Aviation manufacturers counter Obama visit to Iowa to talk up corporate jets

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During the fight over the federal debt ceiling, Obama cited tax breaks for corporate jet owners an example of what could be set aside in an effort to raise revenues to lower the national deficit.

"The tax cuts I’m proposing we get rid of are tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires; tax breaks for oil companies and hedge fund managers and corporate jet owners," Obama said in a press conference in July in which he mentioned jets six times.

"It would be nice if we could keep every tax break there is, but we’ve got to make some tough choices here if we want to reduce our deficit," he said.

Aviation industry leaders said at the time they were offended by Obama's rhetoric, and Wednesday, organizers of the rally in Cedar Rapids said "In the current economic environment, it is important that we capitalize on the things that are working.

"Fortunately, you don’t have to look any further than general aviation to find the perfect example,” Rockwell Collins Chairman Clay Jones said in a statement released Wednesday by GAMA. “General aviation is one of the few manufacturing industries that provides a trade surplus for the United States and it supports more than 1.2 million jobs across the country. In Iowa alone, GA contributes $1.4 billion to the economy annually.” 

Iowa lawmakers Sen. Chuck Grassley (R) and Reps. Tom Latham (R), Leonard Boswell (D), Steve King (R) and Bruce Braley (D) attended the GAMA rally Wednesday.

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