Remember when Obama was railing on about "the tax-break for corporate jets," during the debt-ceiling fights of 2011? He repeatedly invoked this "tax break," which was really about how some corporate jets were depreciated over five years instead of seven. The message was clear: Republicans are in bed with corporate-jet owners. His loyal legions on the Left joined the chant.
But today, Obama's export-subsidy chief promised a billion dollars in taxpayer-backed subsidies for corporate jets, according to Bloomberg News.
Fred Hochberg heads the Export-Import Bank, a federal agency that subsidizes U.S. exports by loaning money or guaranteeing loans to foreign buyers of U.S. goods. Bloomberg reports:
Export-Import Bank Chairman Fred Hochberg plans to provide more financial aid to U.S. corporate jet manufacturers, branching out from a traditional support for Boeing Co. (BA) to help an industry where demand has suffered....
Ex-Im supported $90 million of corporate jet deliveries last year to customers of Textron Inc. (TXT)’s Cessna Aircraft Co, General Dynamics Corp. (GD)’s Gulfstream unit and Hawker Beechcraft Corp. Hochberg said he plans to boost the aid to $1 billion by 2014. The increased focus comes after order backlogs on corporate jets fell by more than half to $40 billion in three years.
This might be something for Senators to consider today as they vote on reauthorizing Ex-Im -- do they really want to cut subsidies to the corporate jet makers? Imagine the world with more expensive corporate jets!
It also is a perfect microcosm of Obama's approach to industry: Tax them more, regulate them more, and subsidize them more. As little as possible should be done outside the reach of government.