Ed Bolen challenges President Obama’s comments

Terry Spruce

National Business Aviation Association
(NBAA) president and chief executive officer Ed Bolen has challenged the disparaging
remarks made about business aviation by President Barack Obama during a 29 June
White House press conference.

“The president has inexplicably chosen
to vilify and mischaracterize business aviation, an industry that is critical
for citizens, companies and communities across the US and one that can play a central
role in the economic recovery he says he wants to promote.”

Bolen said the president’s words today fly
in the face of comments he made just last October; back then, Obama championed
his own proposal to accelerate depreciation schedules, something the president said at the time
was intended, “to allow businesses and investors to deduct immediately the
full cost of most investments [that] will help businesses expand and
hire.”

“Nine months ago, this president
extolled the virtues of shortening depreciation schedules to stimulate
jobs,” Bolen said. “Now he seems to want to reverse course and push
ahead with punitive treatment for general aviation, an industry that creates
jobs, helps companies succeed and serves communities all around America.”

“Furthermore,” Bolen said,
“The idea that, in the current job environment, we would meddle with a
proven formula for incentivizing the purchase of American products is
unthinkable, and flies in the face of policies he and other elected officials
on both sides of the aisle agreed to just months ago.”

“Equally alarming, the president’s
disparaging remarks reflect a total lack of understanding, or a complete
disregard, for general aviation in the US,” Bolen added. “The
fact is, general aviation is an industry that employs 1.2 million people and
generates US$150 billion in revenues each year. It’s one of the remaining few
industries that produces much-needed exports and contributes positively to the
nation’s balance of trade. Additionally, most companies relying on a business
airplane are small and mid-size companies, and they’re flying into towns with
little or no airline service. Simply put, these companies are using their
aircraft to reach for opportunities to keep their businesses alive in an
unforgiving economic marketplace. In the process, they’re bringing jobs,
investment and hope to towns across the country.”

Bolen concluded: “The Obama proposal is
bad policy and cynical politics. We will oppose the idea vigorously, and we
call on Congress to reject it. We need to focus on policies that foster the
growth of business aviation, so that it can continue serving citizens, companies
and communities across the US.”

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