Gary Kelly Says Obama Proposals Will Hurt Jobs & US
Often in recent years, general aviation and the airline industry
have been on opposite sides of issues, especially user fees. But
the Obama administration's proposal to add a $100 takeoff fee has
both groups energized to fight back.
It's also put Southwest Airlines in line with the rest of the
airline industry, which doesn't always happen. CEO Gary Kelly
(pictured) has used his blog, "Nuts About Southwest," to urge the
airline's customers to contact their federal lawmakers, and make
sure they understand what a bad idea this fee would be.
Kelly writes, in part, "As a valued customer of Southwest
Airlines, I am writing to urge you to speak out against the
proposed increase in federal taxes on the airline industry and help
keep the cost of air travel affordable. Recently, the White House
sent a proposal to Congress that recommends two significant tax
increases on the airline industry, a mandatory departure tax and an
increased security tax. We need you to lend your voice and tell
Congress to OPPOSE increasing taxes on air travel."
Kelly says the proposed increases would total $3.5 billion per
year, and $36 billion over the next decade, and claims they would
have a devastating effect on Southwest's business and the overall
US economy. He adds that the higher taxes will mean higher fares
for passengers, fewer flights to communities, losses for the
airlines, and fewer jobs for Americans, a guaranteed political hot
button right now.
Kelly closes, "New taxes on air travel would greatly impact your
wallet and your flexibility in air travel. Airlines will have no
choice but to try to offset these higher taxes by increasing fares
or reducing service.
"I am asking you to join me, and your fellow Southwest Airlines
passengers, to tell Congress that deficit reduction cannot happen
on the backs of those who drive the economy - US airlines and our
passengers. Take action now at www.Southwest-Outreach.com/StopAirTaxNow
and make your voice heard!"
Many federal lawmakers have already lined up to fight this
provision of the Obama deficit reduction plan. The Hill reports the
Air Transport Association circulated a letter last week to House
Speaker John Boehner, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and
supercommittee co-chairs Rep. Jeb Hensarling and Sen. Patty Murray,
calling for the supercommittee to reject the takeoff tax proposal.
The letter was signed by 119 House members.