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Thu, Feb 21, 2013

White House Calls Potential Loss Of Aviation Jobs A 'Difficult Choice'

'Loopholes For Corporate Jet Owners' Still In Administration's Cross Hairs

The President's press secretary said Wednesday that the potential loss of middle-class manufacturing jobs in places like Wichita where bizjets are built is a "difficult choice" that has to be made to preserve jobs for teachers or the national defense.

And the remarks, not surprisingly, drew the ire of GAMA.

Politico reports that during a press briefing Wednesday at the White House, Jay Carney (pictured) said that "making choices about budgets and deficit reduction always involves difficult choices,” in response to a question about what he might way to middle-class union workers in places like Wichita and Everett, WA. “When it’s a choice between laying teachers off or affecting our national security or in the broader scheme, reforming our tax code in a way that eliminates these special interest tax breaks or subsidies, that is a better option,” Carney said. “The question here is: What choices do we make? Do we choose to protect narrow special interest loopholes?”

In an interview with television station KAKE, the President tried to soften that language somewhat, saying that he wants to give tax breaks to "all the aviation companies in Kansas" to keep the manufacturing in the U.S., but added that in his view, people who could afford to buy a corporate jet "don't need an extra tax break, especially at a time when we're trying to reduce the deficit. Something's got to give."

In a statement, GAMA president and CEO Pete Bunce blasted Carney's remarks, and called for an apology from the press secretary. "How dare Jay Carney dismiss the value of aviation manufacturing workers in this country. They are not special interests but hardworking folks that provide for their families, pay taxes, work to make schools better in their communities, and make charitable contributions in so many ways," Bunce said. "These statements are totally outrageous and Mr. Carney should apologize to the tens of thousands of hard working middle class workers all across this country – from Kansas to Ohio to Arkansas to Iowa to Georgia to Minnesota and so many more.  It’s completely offensive to refer to hard working Americans as ‘difficult choices’. This Administration should stop the sound bites and political games and focus on fixing our economy."

FMI: www.whitehouse.gov, www.gama.aero



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