Friday, November 17, 2017


In a better world, this would be a major embarrassment to the GOP:
If you're one of the lucky Americans who owns a private jet, don't fret. Republicans have your back—in the form of tax breaks.

The new Senate tax bill will give those who own or lease private planes breaks on the amount they pay to companies for maintenance, storage, fueling and even when they want to hire pilots and a crew onboard.
We can criticize this, but as soon as we do, the response will be that we're attacking ... workers. Anyone remember the yacht tax of the early 1990s?
The 10 percent excise tax on expensive boats was imposed [in 1990] as a way to generate new revenue from the rich. The tax, say those in the boating industry, began having an immediate impact on sales as buyers adopted a wait-and-see attitude.
Sob stories began appearing in the press:
Last year, some 220 workers built boats at Pearson Yachts Corp. in Portsmouth, R.I. This year, there are 50 workers left.

On Maryland's Eastern Shore, Harrison Yacht Sales in Graysonville has trimmed its 95 employees to eight.

Those job cuts are among an estimated 19,000 blue-collar marine jobs lost throughout the nation this year. The culprit, boat industry officials say: a 10-percent federal "luxury tax" that went into effect in January on new pleasure boats that cost more than $100,000.

Created to hit the blue-blazer crowd, the tax has instead slammed into the blue-collar worker like a summer squall, according to boatyard owners and officials who track the 450,000-worker industry.
The tax went into effect on September 30, 1990, and by early January 1991 a New York Times letter writer claimed that the tax had literally reduced luxury boat sales to zero while causing more than 100,000 layoffs in the boat industry.

In 1992, President George H.W. Bush called for the tax to be repealed. Repeal happened in 1993.

Right-wingers often say that it's dangerous to give new government benefits to the poor and middle class, because all of us shiftless bastards will just get used to them, and we'll raise hell if anyone tries to take them way. Now, watch that happen if this private jet tax break goes through. We'll be told we can't possibly repeal it ... because of the workers. That won't be the real reason.

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