Click here to listen to the broadcast of You Tell Me on KTBB AM & FM, Friday, July 1, 2011.
So now it’s private jets and those that own and fly in them that stand in the way of getting America’s finances in order. So said the Demagouger-in-Chief during a press conference on Wednesday about raising the debt ceiling. According to the president, the tax income that is being forgone from these stingy jet-setting fat cats must be collected in order for America to reign in ruinous levels of federal borrowing.
As if that alone weren’t sufficiently preposterous, the president tied his attack on private jets to the need to raise income taxes on those making $250,000 per year or more, as if those meeting this presidentially-approved definition of rich are the same ones that own and fly around in private jets.
Mr. President, your populist demagoguery needs work. Go read up on Huey Long. Now that man knew how to demagogue. You are a piker.
I’m a pilot. I have been since 1981. I hold an Airline Transport Pilot certificate, the highest level of pilot certification there is. I own an airplane. (No it’s not a jet.) I have been around airplanes and the people who own them and fly them for 30 years. I know a lot about airplanes.
So let me share some of that knowledge with you.
A quarter million dollars in annual income, no matter how well that number tests in Democratic Party focus groups, does not get you into the private jet club. It doesn’t come anywhere close.
One entry-level jet is the Cessna Citation II. You can pick one up that was built in 1980 for about $1.5 million. Assuming you put down a third of that price and finance the rest, you’ll make note payments on it of about $110,000 per year.
Now let’s go fly it. The Citation costs about $3,000 per hour to operate and a round-trip to New York will take seven and a half hours. That’s $22,500 for one trip to the Big Apple and back. Let’s say you make one such trip or its equivalent every other month. That’s six trips per year for a total of $135,000 and 42 hours on the airplane. Never mind that 42 hours isn’t much use of an asset for which you’re on the hook for a million five plus interest. Let’s just use the number.
One hundred ten thousand in debt service and $135,000 in operating expenses comes to $245,000. Your quarter million dollars in gross income is gone and you haven’t bought a bite of food, paid for a roof over your head or paid your “fair share” of taxes as defined by President Obama.
No, a quarter million in annual income won’t let you run around in private jet circles. A half million won’t do it either. Even a million a year won’t do it.
So characterizing people who earn $250,000 per year as being fat cat jet owners the under-taxation of whom is leading the country to bankruptcy is pure sophistry.
Our problem is not under-taxation. Tax these earners at 100 percent and you don’t make a rounding error difference in the deficit.
Our problem is the profligate spending that was taking place in prior administrations only to be exponentially accelerated by the Obama administration.
For the president to use the private jet illustration in his press conference on Wednesday would be laughable were the subject not so serious.
And while we’re talking about it, Mr. President, if you’re going to demonize private jets, remember that Lear, Cessna, Beechcraft and others employ over 30,000 workers in Wichita, Kansas building those very airplanes. In addition to serving the U.S. market, these companies are major exporters to the world.
We all remember sir, what happened to the hospitality industry in Las Vegas when you criticized companies for holding meetings there. So are there enough “green energy” and “shovel ready” jobs to absorb these aircraft workers in Kansas if you succeed in killing demand for the product that feeds their families and pays their taxes?
Or do they not matter because Kansas is a right-to-work Red State?