General Aviation Rebuffs President Obama Attacks at Iowa Rally

AIN reports that General Aviation Manufacturers Association president Pete Bunce decried President Obama’s “negative rhetoric” about the GA industry and sent a blunt message yesterday: “If you go after our customers, you go after every one of us.” His remarks came at a campaign-style rally for industry workers at the Rockwell Collins hangar in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. For months, Obama has assailed the special accelerated depreciation afforded business aircraft–among other capital investments–as a prime example of the type of upper-class tax breaks it wants to eliminate. The industry views saving the provision as critical to driving new aircraft sales in a down market. The Treasury Department estimates that repealing it would raise $3 billion over 10 years. The Congressional Budget Office puts this year’s federal budget deficit at more than $1.5 trillion. General aviation manufacturers employ more than 2,000 Iowans and contribute $1.4 billion to the state’s economy. Overall, the industry employs more than 1.2 million Americans. At the rally, Rockwell Collins CEO Clay Jones noted that overall GA annually contributes $150 billion to the national economy and is one of the nation’s few remaining manufacturing sectors that yields a trade surplus.

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