In last week's Liberty Update, we highlighted the Heritage Foundation's 2022 Index of Economic Freedom…
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Image of the Day: More Economic Freedom = Higher Standard of Living

In last week's Liberty Update, we highlighted the Heritage Foundation's 2022 Index of Economic Freedom, which shows that Joe Biden has dragged the U.S. down to 22nd, our lowest rank ever (we placed 4th in the first Index in 1995, and climbed back up from 18th to 12th under President Trump).  As we noted, among the Index's invaluable metrics is how it demonstrates the objective correlation between more economic freedom and higher citizen standards of living, which this graphic illustrates:

 …[more]

May 19, 2022 • 12:53 PM

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Corporate Jet Tax Will Kill Manufacturing Jobs Print
By Ashton Ellis
Thursday, September 22 2011
A casual observer might think Obama’s jet fixation is just a petty way to look tough on so-called fat cats with deep pockets. But it’s not Warren Buffett and his ilk who are crying foul. It’s the aviation unions.

With President Barack Obama threatening to raise taxes on corporate jet purchases, members of private aviation unions are wondering why their manufacturing industry is being singled out for punishment. 

In a June 29 speech about cutting the deficit, President Obama said six times that buyers of private jets should pay more for the privilege.  Since then, the president has repeatedly lumped together oil companies, private jet owners and faceless “millionaires and billionaires” in public remarks designed to build a wedge between everyday Americans and fiscal conservatives opposed to tax increases. 

There’s more.  As part of his latest deficit reduction plan, the president called for imposing a $100 tax per takeoff or landing for simply using a private jet on the pretext that flyers don’t “pay their fair share” of Federal Aviation Administration operating costs. 

All told, Obama’s jet levies would total little more than $3 billion over the next 10 years in added revenue, a tab even the White House admits is more symbolic than substantive since the budget deficit is measured in trillions.

Still, a casual observer might think Obama’s jet fixation is just a petty way to look tough on so-called fat cats with deep pockets.  But it’s not Warren Buffett and his ilk who are crying foul.  It’s the aviation unions. 

“I think it’s just insulting,” Steve Rooney, president of District 70 of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, told the Associated Press (AP).  “He acts like it is just a luxury for somebody to own a business jet when they’re used as tools.  And I don’t think he realizes how many people that this industry employs and how much revenue is brought in here from those types of aircraft.”

Indeed, private jet manufacturers Cessna and Hawker Beechcraft, both located in Wichita, KS, have seen their workforces plummet during the recession.  According to the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, Hawker reduced its employee levels by a third since 2008 (9,000 to 6,000), while Cessna cut half its workforce (16,000 to 8,000) during that time.  Industry wide, private jet makers have shed 20,000 workers since 2008. 

Other aviation groups have weighed in as well.  The General Aviation Manufacturers Association expressed “deep concern” to Obama’s proposed tax changes.  The head of the National Air Transportation Association said he “is appalled by President Barack Obama’s attacks on general aviation.” 

And for good reason.  Under current law, corporate jet owners can deduct the cost of their purchase from their income taxes for five years.  Commercial airlines must do so over seven years.  The policy helps encourage purchases of American-made aircraft among business clients that need and can afford more options in air travel.  But by equalizing the depreciation schedules in favor of the longer interval, Obama’s plan amounts to a tax increase that may dissuade some companies from buying private jets.  That, in turn, could lead to a new slowdown in manufacturing and more layoffs. 

Stressing that American-made private jets “are one of the few remaining manufacturing industries left in this country,” Shawn Vick of Hawker Beechcraft told the AP that “it would seem to me it would be important to help us grow, not put impediments to our growth in place.” 

Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS) agrees.  “[The President’s] rhetoric kills sales of American manufactured goods, and with them the jobs that are created when those airplanes are built,” he warned on the House floor two days after Obama’s $100 fly fee proposal.  

Luxury goods providers have seen this movie before.  As part of his much maligned 1990 budget, President George H. W. Bush broke his 1988 campaign pledge not to raise taxes.  One of those increases was a 10 percent sales tax on yacht purchases.  The result was to deepen the impact of the recession then driving down sales, eventually forcing layoffs of thousands of yacht builders as buyers fled the market. 

Note to President Obama: Those yacht jobs did not return. 

In response to Obama’s first swipe at killing working class jobs associated with the private jets, Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) said that the president was sounding more like a Third World leader than America’s chief executive.  If Obama succeeds in ruining one of the last bastions of American manufacturing to make a symbolic political point, he’ll turn rhetoric into reality. 

Quiz Question   
How many days does it take the average U.S. household to consume as much electrical power as one single bitcoin transaction?
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Notable Quote   
 
"The trial of former Clinton campaign attorney Michael Sussmann crossed a critical threshold Friday when a key witness uttered the name 'Hillary Clinton' in conjunction with a plan to spread the false Alfa Bank Russian collusion claim before the 2016 presidential election.For Democrats and many in the media, Hillary Clinton has long held a Voldemort-like status as 'She who must not be named' in scandals…[more]
 
 
—Jonathan Turley, Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University
— Jonathan Turley, Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University
 
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Should any U.S. government agency have a function called the "Disinformation Governance Board" (See Homeland Security, Department of)?