Plane Truth

If Obama were serious about tax reform, he'd stop obsessing about corporate jets.

According to the White House website, President Obama enjoys the comfort and convenience of two "highly customized" Boeing 747s with "4,000 square feet of floor space on three levels," including " a medical suite," two galleys that "can feed 100 people at a time," and "an extensive suite for the President that features a large office, lavatory, and conference room"—all at taxpayer expense. But as he proved at his press conference on Monday, where he once again inveighed against "these egregious loopholes that are benefiting corporate jet owners," Obama cannot stop complaining about other people's fancy airplanes.

After all, children's lives are at stake. "You go talk to your constituents," the president recalled telling Republican leaders last month, "and ask them are they willing to compromise their kids' safety so that some corporate jet owner continues to get a tax break. And I'm pretty sure what the answer would be." Me too: "Huh?" There is a legitimate point here about the unfair, irrational complexity of the tax code, but it is buried beneath so much dumb demagoguery that getting to it may require a backhoe.

Obama objects to the fact that owners of corporate jets can write off the cost of their purchases over five years instead of the seven required for commercial aircraft. If this policy continues, he warned at a press conference two weeks ago, "it means that food inspection might be compromised," along with college scholarships, medical research, the National Weather Service, and Medicare. 

The revenue to be gained from a slower depreciation schedule for corporate jets, writes The Washington Post's Glenn Kessler, is "so small the White House could not even provide an estimate." Republican congressional staffers say it amounts to about $3 billion over a decade, or $300 million a year, which is 0.02 percent of this year's budget deficit. If Obama can fund food inspection, college scholarships, medical research, the National Weather Service, and Medicare for that amount, he should have no trouble balancing the budget without raising taxes. 

The whole point of Obama's rants against corporate jets, of course, is to shame Republicans into going along with tax increases by portraying them as fat cats' lapdogs, salivating at the thought of balancing the budget on the backs of uneducated, untreated food poisoning victims who don't even know whether the sun will come out tomorrow because the government can't afford to pay for meteorologists anymore. Still, he's right that there's no reason to assume corporate aircraft degrade faster than commercial aircraft. For that matter, why pretend that planes fall apart after seven years, when they actually last for decades?

Congress wrote those depreciation schedules into law in 1986, leaving it to the Treasury Department to adjust them as appropriate. Two years later, Congress revoked that authority, presumably due to some well-placed lobbying.

Yet on three separate occasions, Obama himself has championed even faster depreciation for business aircraft in the name of stimulating the economy. The most recent law, signed by Obama in December, allows businesses to write off the entire cost of planes purchased between September 8, 2010, and December 31, 2011, in the first year.

Aircraft manufacturers, whose special treatment accounts for something like 0.03 percent of all tax breaks, are understandably dismayed at their quick transformation from engines of job creation into accomplices of corporate villains. Ed Bolen, president of the National Business Aviation Association, complains that "the president has inexplicably chosen to vilify and mischaracterize business aviation—an industry that is critical for citizens, companies, and communities across the U.S., and one that can play a central role in the economic recovery he says he wants to promote."

Everyone who benefits from a tax break has a justification for his. But if Obama were serious about tax reform, he would not only reject such special pleading; he would renounce the use of the tax code for economic and social engineering, which creates the "egregious loopholes" that suddenly bother him.

Jacob Sullum is a senior editor at Reason and a nationally syndicated columnist.

© Copyright 2011 by Creators Syndicate Inc.

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  • Joe M||

    I'm sure Obama's jets are filled with puppies and lollipops for the kids.

  • ­­­­­­­||

    He's a Kenyan Muslim, not a pedophile.

  • Joe M||

    No, he'Keynesian, not a Kenyan.

  • ­­­­­­­||

    DAMN THIS KENYBOARD!

  • Mr Whipple||

    Did the lollipops come out a purple unicorn's ass?

    BTW, Ron Paul hates puppies.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Without tax incentives, people wouldn't couple up, have children and weatherize their houses. Without the taxes, people would do whatever they wanted without paying a tribute to the state. Let's not throw the subsidized baby out with the levied bathwater. Only rich private jet owners need to stop abusing the loopholes found in that useful hammer known as the United States Tax Code.

  • ||

    *golf clap*

  • Sinic||

    He has to throw a bone or two to his base now and then to make them feel like he hasn't been consistently screwing them for almost 3 years.

  • Otto||

    Throw them a bone?

  • ||

    What does that mean? Can someone from AC/DC explain that to me? While they're at it, what did Hendrix mean when he said "Oh, move over, Rover, and let Jimi take over. Yeah, you know what I'm talkin' 'bout." No, actually, I don't.

  • Ted S.||

    He's been screwing everybody for almost three years.

  • Sinic||

    It probably hurts more if you voted for him. And even more if you know you're going to vote for him again.

  • Joe M||

    Obama is America's abusive boyfriend.

  • ­­­­­­­||

    He hit me. And it felt like a kiss.

  • jacob||

    I feel more like its a case of abduction. The Dem voters are, as usual deep into their Stockholm syndrome.

  • Otto||

    Like the singing douchebags who "protested" at one of his fundraisers. Oh, you gave him $5K a plate, and then sang a song to say you were sad. How precious.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Oh, you gave him $5K a plate, and then sang a song to say you were sad. How precious.

    A lack of perspective and self-awareness is the hallmark of SWPL faggotry.

  • ||

    Obama is America's abusive boyfriend.

    He's going to change, really he is.

    And its not his fault anyway, those rethuglickins made him attack Libya and renew the Patriot Act.

  • tarran||

    The state depends on conflict for its survival. Without fear/hate of outsiders, whether a fear of other nations, other etnic groups, other socio-economic classes etc people would see not need to shovel vast quantities of their production to the grasping hand of politicians and go govrernment functionaries.

    And, if the proles are insufficiently angry or scared, one fans the flames of hatred in order to create a demand. In sales there is a technique for leading people to make a purchase they would ordinarily not make:
    1) Create doubt
    2) Insert self.

    Here Obama is engaging in that very thing. He is a complete and utter failure by most measures. His supporters are increasingly dispirited. To change this dynamic, he is creating a conflict where none heretofore existed, and then inserting himself as the solution.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    The only standard he passes is that of a true statist.

    Unfortunately, they exist.

  • casquette burberry||

    nice post!

  • adam||

    According to this estimate, the annual cost of operating Air Force One is $240M-$280. So Obama could just stop using it and save roughly the same amount.

  • adam||

  • Draco||

    You are not seriously suggesting that the value of Air Force one to the American people is comparable to the value of 5-year vs. 7-year depreciation of corporate jets, are you? You really think it would be a good idea for the POTUS (any POTUS, not just the current clown) to travel from place to place as Commander in Chief and Chief Executive in a Kia Sportage with a Garmin Nuvi?

  • ­­­­­­­||

    He could just stay home. it was good enough for John Tyler.

  • ||

    And Antonius Pius.

  • Zeb||

    This. There is almost nothing that the president really needs to leave the Whitehouse for. Why should the president travel at all. It is very expensive and the security is just a pain in the ass to everyone in the places he goes. If the president wants to go anywhere or do anything that is not absolutely essential to his presidential duties, it should be on his own dime, including security.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Fuck him AND anyone who can't use GoToMeeting like regular people.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    I'd like to see him in a Yugo. I think it would be more appropriate.

    Although a Volga wouldn't be bad either.

  • Kim Jong Il||

    North Korean glorious automobile!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NmhTKDqrEDo

    You buy now or I keel you!

  • Peoples' Glorious Auto Co.||

  • GM||

    We might just buy the tooling for THIS little gem:

    http://tor.tripod.com/belcars/images/zaz4.jpg

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    If he thinks the Chevy Volt is so hip and revolutionary, he should make it the First Chariot. Considering it wouldn't have even gotten this far in development without government subsidies, it would also be an honest admission of patronage, for once.

  • some guy||

    Scrap the Nuvi. If I can navigate by map, he can navigate by map.

    Hell, I bet I could find your house using a Denny's placemat. I demand the same level of competence from my President.

  • adam||

    I'm seriously suggesting that the President has as much use for his own plane as a CEO of a major corporation. If he thinks it's useful for him (I would agree), then he shouldn't attack other people that have lots of demands on their time for using them.

  • ||

    Get Stossel on this one right away!

  • sarcasmic||

    I don't know what the big deal is.
    Those businessmen acquire their income through voluntary trade, and we all know that profit is theft. When two people make a transaction and both say "Thank you" you know something fishy is going on.

    Obama acquires his wealth by coercion, and we all know that since taxation is legal is must be moral. When two people make a transaction and one of them is thinking "Fuck you" the other one gets a power woody so it's all good.

  • ||

    Someone not from the mainstream media needs to ask Obama two simple questions: How many corporate jets does GE own and how much did they pay in taxes last year?

  • Otto||

    Don't forget GM, Chrysler, Lehman, etc.

  • Aqua Buddha||

    and we all know that since taxation is legal is must be moral.

    The Market is morally suspect people making their own decisions. The only true moral actions are those forced upon the cattle by their morally superior, disinterested superiors.

    If you made the choice, it is morally suspect. If Obama one of your Betters makes it for you, it is morally pure.

  • sarcasmic||

    True freedom is freedom from choice. This allows you to pursue the pinnacle of the hierarchy of needs. If all choices are made for you by your betters, and you obey without question, you are free for spiritual pursuits known only to gurus and communists.

    Freedom is slavery.

  • Mr Whipple||

    Fundamentalist paternalism?

  • Barry Obama||

    If you don't like that, you can live under statist maternalism.

    My wife tells me it's not so bad.

  • Mr Whipple||

    If all corporations were pass-throughs,like REITs and S-corps, we wouldn't be having this conversation.

    Get a fucking clue, Obama.

  • ||

    Right now, the governor of Iowa is on CNBC right now, blabbering about what a great deal corn ethanol is.

    Ethanol will make us "energy independent"!

    What a lying sack of shit.

  • Mr Whipple||

    Ethanol will make us "energy independent"!

    ...while making us food dependent.

    Comparative advantage, how does it work?

  • Draco||

    See, Brooks, we agree on something!

    End the War on Food.

  • ||

    I mean RIGHT NOW!

  • ­­­­­­­||

    Is this going on right now?

  • Sammy Hagar||

    Come on! It's EV! RY! THING!

  • ||

    lol...ok..that was funny

  • ||

    As soon as the Ascended One goes on the teevee and calls for also eliminating tax subsidies for people who buy Chevy VOLT^S, I'll listen.

  • rather ||

    total BS story. All of them travel in style. Do you want him to use a wind glider?

  • ­­­­­­­||

    Way to read the whole article.

  • rather||

    Blah blah blah Obama is bad. Did I miss anything else?

  • ||

    Um, actually it was yada-yada-yada Obama is bad. Buy some glasses.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    I don't agree with Limbaugh on everything, but he called this one perfectly. It's pure class warfare politics. Obama has showed his hand and where he's willing to go in the future. He doesn't really care if the economy burns as long as he and the Democrats can profit politically.

  • ||

    I'd like to see him in a Yugo.

    Only if the top has been cut off.

  • Number 2||

    For crying out loud...this bastard signed a law six months ago that extended the very tax break he is now comdemning? And no one is calling him on it?

    My anger is less addressed at Obama than at a news media that since Watergate has posed as the "watchdog" against governmental abuse and the "truth tellers," but are more concerned about Sarah Palin misstatements about Paul Revere than this president's obvious, and far more harmful, bullshit.

  • ||

    The "news media" is a propaganda division of the democrat party. The only time actual reporting happens is when various factions of democrats are fighting each other.

  • Number 2||

    I know...but the audacity of this jerk, and the willingness of the media to swallow anything he says without question, is breathtaking.

  • crackerBarrel||

    There's a fair-sized fleet of business-style jets available to the Executive Branch. They range from the afore-mentioned heavily modified 747s to smaller, less-modified, but still comfy and speedy jets.

    He could take one of the smaller jets on most jaunts, and reserve the 747 for when he expects a crisis and needs an airborne Executive Office. Or he could stay home.

    CB.

  • Tony||

    We are all aware that this has nothing to do with private jets... it's just a symbol. Because, yes, Republicans do want to pay for very low taxes for the rich and various corporate loopholes with money meant for the basic financial security of old and poor people.

  • Weak spoof||

    is weak

  • Mr. FIFY||

    The real Tony would have bitched about how Obama's stimulus extended the tax write-off for corporate jets in the first place.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Nah, the real Tony would have been a lot more disingenuous than that:

    "The tax break was necessary, but now that the stimulus did what it was supposed to do, it's not needed anymore."

    10 posts later...

    "I never said that the stimulus saved the economy!"

  • Mr. FIFY||

    And shrike would've just called people "Christ-fags" and gone on about how much he loves Ayn Rand.

    It's hard to fathom the liberal mind.

  • Parasite Paradise||

    What mind?

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Good point.

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    Sounds like Romney.

  • Jeff||

    And since Obama's stimulus created the very accelerated depreciation for private jets that he's constantly complaining about, so does he.

  • ||

    How do you pay for tax breaks? Also, in what manor is paying more than everyone else fair?

  • Tony||

    If you judge fairness in terms of strict numbers alone, I can see your point. But that's not a useful way to define fairness. Think in terms of the burden taxes cause. A pittance taken from a millionaire would be a lifestyle-changing burden for a poor person. The point is to pay for the things we buy and not burden anyone's lifestyle with taxes. Fairness needs to mean something in the real, physical world and not just be a function of raw numbers.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    IF that money actually GOT to a poor person.

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    Still presuming that the involuntary wealth transfer is moral...

  • Mr. FIFY||

    But... but... teh chilrunz...

  • ||

    I bet in your daydreams you're being interviewed by Oprah.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Wouldn't that be considered "torture" under the Geneva Convention?

  • ||

    By your definitions, I would think the correct word would be just. Fairness would be each paying a fair amount for what they receive. What does a rich person receive from government? Ideally, a safe, stable and fair environment to pursue their idea of success. A poor person receives the same, plus whatever social programs they participate in. Is it really fair for one to pay $100k for the basic package, while another pays $1k for the upgraded package? No, by any normal standard, that isn't fair. You could make the argument that it is just, if you appeal to the individuals ability to pay, or in other words, from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.

    Also, in case you missed it earlier, tax-breaks ≠ spending.

  • Tony||

    I'm not too concerned with semantics, but I think you have the "packages" reversed. A wealthy person has a lot more of a stake in government--a lot more to lose in raw numbers, that is. He avails himself of the court system more, of police power and a stable economy to protect his wealth, and so on. He also has a stake in a social safety net--masses of destitute people do not contribute to a stable economy or society, nor are they able to act as customers for the wealthy person's business. The mere ability to make, keep, and make more money is the upgraded package. We seem to always lose the obvious point that being poor enough to trigger safety net protections is hardly the definition of a privileged lifestyle. Would you rather be the rich person with higher taxes or the poor person with lower taxes? If you choose the former (as you obviously would), how can you claim that it's a more burdened lifestyle?

  • ||

    The point wasn't that poor have a better lifestyle because they have the benefit of social programs, but that they receive more from government. If your perspective is that everything one gains or has is from government, than we have nothing whatsoever left to discuss, because that's patently absurd.

  • Tony||

    Not if you see government as more than a check writing machine for poor people. How much do America's poor benefit from our war machine, really? How much do they benefit from infrastructure? Police power? Arguably all of things things--and most other functions of government--benefit the wealthy more. A safety net isn't just a cash handout to people who didn't work for it, it's part of a guarantee of a stable society, as I've explained, which too benefits the wealthy.

    In a market economy, return is meant to be proportional to investment. The wealthy have much more of an ability to manipulate the system in their favor. Without progressive taxation, over time the disparity between rich and poor naturally grows, with the advantage of being rich growing along with it. So yes one function of progressive taxation is to reduce income inequality, which comes with benefits such as better health, crime rates, and general stability.

  • ||

    The poor benefit no less from security and infrastructure than the wealthy do. Having government work to prevent all of your stuff from being stolen is of no less value to me, with not much stuff, as it is to some rich person with a Bugatti, and a diamond encrusted breakfast bar. What I own, or how successful I am is not a function of government. The freedom to pursue my idea of success/wealth, is.

    The problem comes when government starts unequally taxing, regulating, or banning, based upon lobbyists, and in a sense picking winners and losers within the market. That is when some of the upper class gain more from government. That tends to block small companies, and innovators out, in favor of your hated big business, and those unfairly rich people your so keen to take money from.

    I don't have a problem with the poorest among us not paying income taxes. I'd be fine with a flat tax of say 15%, with the first $15k for every individual, being exempt.

    The main difference that will never allow me to accept your view, is I believe that the federal government will never be able to effectively address poverty. They are extremely inefficient, ineffectual, and indiscriminate. Aid to the poor should be handled primarily at the community level, face to face. Both the one doing the giving, and the one getting aid, are better off. Faceless aid encourages dependency.

    Of course, that is on top of the basic premise that government should always be the minimum necessary to accomplish basic roles that society can't accomplish through free-market means.

  • Alice Bowie||

    The President of the US cannot have a modest airplane or fly coach.

    He is not saying that Corporate CEOs can't have private planes. He is saying that they should not be a deductible expense for merely flying a bunch of suits from NY to Washington at $10k at the stock holder's (owners) or tax payers expense. If the Stock Holders and Owners are OK with it, fine. However, the tax payer should not be subjected to subsidizing this.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    So, why did Obama approve of extending the depreciation table on corporate jets in the first place?

    He set us all up, giving the impression that he actually gives a shit about the manufacturing sector.

  • Alice Bowie||

    That entire thing should go away.

    Corporations should NOT pay taxes.

    Capital Gains should go away.

    EVERY FORM of INCOME (whether earned-income or capital gain) Should be Taxed at a flat rate and ONLY individuals should be TAXED.

  • Alice Bowie||

    AND TO TAX WRITE-OFFs or Deductions.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Nice, but it doesn't answer my question.

  • Mr Whipple||

    Well, duh. If C-corps were pass-througs, they wouldn't have a tax liability to deduct from.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Here's another:

    Why should any politician get to live a life We Ordinary Peons can't ALL have?

  • ||

    "He is saying that they should not be a deductible expense for merely flying a bunch of suits from NY to Washington at $10k at the stock holder's (owners) or tax payers expense"

    You DO realize, though, that corporate jets are popular because they are a net-savings for most businesses? They'll get you there faster, avoid larger, busier int'l airports, typically way more fuel efficient, and are much cheaper to maintain. It's not a 'lifestyle' choice for most businesses and executives as much as it is an 'economic' choice.
    All that waiting in line at airports, paying baggage fees, delays, cancellations, sky-rocketing fuel prices, travel reimbursement rates, and pissed off employees tend to cost companies money.

  • Alice Bowie||

    That's bullshit.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Tell Obama that, Alice... it was HIS stimulus plan that put the corporate jet tax change in place.

  • adam||

    Ha. What company in its right mind is going to send the some executive making $5M a year to waste several hours of hi day in an airport, risk flight cancelation, etc, when they can pay a few thousand to put him on a corporate jet.

  • adam||

    The taxpayer isn't "subsidizing" anyone's jet except for the president's. Depreciating an asset on your taxes is not a subsidy. If it were, then every single capital asset that any (profitable) company buys is "subsidized."

  • Nicholas Sarwark||

    It's a fair criticism that the corporate jet depreciation break is not huge, but it still doesn't make any sense that there's a longer depreciation schedule for the same plane in commercial use than there is for the same plane in company use.

    It's straight-up corporate welfare and it saddens me to see Sullum come out in favor of it to score points against Obama.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    IT WAS OBAMA'S IDEA.

    Now, he hates it.

    Sound familiar?

  • Tony||

    Republicans ran in 2010 on imaginary cuts to Medicare, only to vote almost unanimously to dismantle it.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Nice deflector-shield deployment, but tell us why it was a *good* idea when Obama's stimulus was passed with his approval, but now the corporate-jet depreciation table changes HE approved, are now The Devil's Cut.

  • Tony||

    Because the Republicans have decided that it's time to balance the budget.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Still dancing around why Obama set up a tax "break", only to personally use it as a wedge issue months later.

  • Tony||

    Because it's a politically winning position handed to him on a silver platter by Republicans who insist on balancing the budget without any help from the sorts of people who own personal jets?

  • Mr. FIFY||

    You're still avoiding why Obama approved said tax "break", only to demonize it mere months later.

    You can't answer it honestly, can you?

  • Tony||

    Obama approved the Bush tax cuts too without supporting them. What, are you surprised at politicians doing politics?

  • Nicholas Sarwark||

    You're still avoiding why Obama approved said tax "break", only to demonize it mere months later.

    Because he's a politician.

    It didn't make sense when he supported it and it doesn't make sense now that he's against it. Only partisan hacks have to change their position if the other team agrees with them.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    You are SOOO close, Tony, but you just can't make the intellectually-honest leap, can you?

    Obama said the corporate-jet tax-table alteration was a good idea.

    NOW, he hates it.

    HIS fucking idea, was just fine and fucking dandy not that long ago... now, it's like he had a bastard redheaded-stepchild moment, and disowns HIS spawn.

    And you're going along with it.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Maybe I expect too much from politicians.

  • Nicholas Sarwark||

    Maybe I expect too much from politicians.

    I expect nothing but cynical pandering and ass-covering.

    I'm seldom disappointed.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Ideally, politicians who lie and cheat and misuse money and power, would send themselves to prison.

    A guy can dream, what what?

  • Number 2||

    Nah, you just expect too much from Tony.

  • Tony||

    It's hardly the hypocrisy of the decade. A good candidate for that would be Republicans engaging in record deficit spending only to turn around, when the other guy is in power, and pretend to be austerity hawks. It's their narrative, Obama is just positioning himself as more of a grown-up even on their own turf. If Obama and the Dems had their way, we wouldn't be raising any taxes because we would be focusing on unemployment instead of the phantom deficit issue.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    A grown-up wouldn't approve of an idea one minute, then demonize it later WITHOUT ACKNOWLEDGING HYPOCRISY ON HIS PART.

    Jesus. Why do you stand up for him?

  • Tony||

    If he started going around calling himself a hypocrite I'd stop supporting him on grounds of political malpractice.

    To answer your question specifically, I support him because Republicans are crazy and dangerous and he's the only thing standing in their way at the moment.

  • Barack "Janus" Obama||

    Let me be clear.

    I was against the change in corporate-jet depreciation, before I was for it... before I was against it.

    Top THAT, Kerry.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    An honest person wouldn't play such stupid, childish games, especially on this high a level.

    But if you think Obama is THAT much better than Republicans, you set a pretty low bar, expectations-wise.

  • Tony||

    I expect Obama to do whatever is politically necessary to get what he wants. You think his opponents will respect the gentlemanly code or whatever the fuck it is you're talking about?

  • Jordan||

    I expect Obama to do whatever is politically necessary to get what he wants. You think his opponents will respect the gentlemanly code or whatever the fuck it is you're talking about?

    And yet you constantly bitch when the Republicans do it. You are such a dishonest fucking hack.

  • Tony||

    Unlike the totally non-hypocritical stance of Republicans raising the debt ceiling in clean bills 7 times under Bush, but now screaming--and threatening--apocalypse over it?

  • Mr. FIFY||

    So, it's okay when Team Blue does it.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Team Blue is also good at crying wolf, apocalypse-screamingwise.

  • Tony||

    What's OK? You aren't even making sense. You're just trying to ding Obama over some meaningless bit of nothing.

    The private jet thing is rhetoric. It's synecdoche. To repeat: if the Democrats didn't take advantage of the political birthday cake the Republicans have given them (their defending tax cuts for wealthy people even to the extent of threatening a global recession if they don't get their way) I would be far more angry at their lack of political skill than about any minor hypocrisy.

  • stephendedalus82||

    "What's OK? You aren't even making sense. You're just trying to ding Obama over some meaningless bit of nothing."

    We get it Tony. You like Obama. You can take his dick outta your mouth now.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Minor hypocrisy.

    Obama puts forth a tax "break", then claims it's unnecessary and it'll cost us money.

    WHY THE FUCK DO IT IN THE FIRST PLACE?

    So he can have an issue to bitch about.

    There, I gave the answer you wouldn't give. Coward.

  • ||

    The private jet industry is centered in Kansas, I believe.

    I guess the polling showed Obama wasn't going to win in Kansas anyway. So fuck 'em.

  • ola||

    how in the world do you calculate a revenue from changing a depreciation schedule from 5 years back to 7?. Only if total amount of depreciation was to change would it change the amount of tax revenue in the long run. If a company is depreciating $50 million over 5 years or $50 million over seven years, assuming it is profitable for all seven years, you haven't changed the overall tax payment, just the timing of tax payment. Where is the savings?

  • Nicholas Sarwark||

    If a company is depreciating $50 million over 5 years or $50 million over seven years, assuming it is profitable for all seven years, you haven't changed the overall tax payment, just the timing of tax payment. Where is the savings?

    If it didn't change anything, methinks the corporate jet industry wouldn't be so angry about the proposed change. Also, you may want to look into the concept of the time value of money.

  • ­­­­­­­||

    That link didn't work for me. It was all full of numbers and stuff.

  • adam||

    Interest, time value of money.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    "If Obama and the Dems had their way, we wouldn't be raising any taxes"

    BWAhahaha!!!

    If the fucking breeze blows, Dems want to raise taxes.

    "we would be focusing on unemployment"

    Well, that would be nice. Why don't you suggest that to your fellow Team Blue cheerleader-squad captains in D.C.?

  • Tony||

    Your pretend ignorance is growing tiresome. A politician being cynical? Quick, get the smelling salts!

    Why, oh why doesn't Obama just admit that the poor and elderly ought to pay down the national debt caused mostly by rich Republicans. It would be the honest thing to do!

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Using your own argument, Obama shouldn't have extended the tax cuts, claim it was a good idea, then fail to demonize his own positions.

    You're just too intellectually cowardly to come out and admit it.

  • Tony||

    Who's the real coward here? I'm perfectly willing to admit that I can tolerate minor hypocrisy if it means Democrats beating Republicans in the next election. I am under no illusion that politics is a gentlemanly thing anymore. You are the one who can't admit how much water you carry for Republicans.

  • ||

    Carrying water for Republicans? Did you forget what site you were on? I'm under the impression that, with a few exceptions, I'm about as republican as it gets around here, and I'll bash them nearly as easily as I will Democrats. The thing right now is that Democrats hold most of the power, so they get most of the lashings.

  • Tony||

    I will be sure to check back under the Bachmann administration to confirm this "guys in power" argument--which is perfectly valid I suppose. But it doesn't explain FIFY's concern over Obama's hypocrisy to the exclusion of the overarching and much more consequential hypocrisy of Republicans finding religion on the debt ceiling only when their guy isn't in power.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    I voted for ONE Republican in '08, and it was a local-level vote.

    So, go fuck yourself.

  • Tony||

    If all you want me to do is acknowledge hypocrisy, I got something even better: Obama voted against raising the debt ceiling as a senator. Of course I care less about the hypocrisy than about the weaker hand it gives Obama now.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Obama's vote against raising the debt ceiling, was one rare instance of him showing true worthiness.

    Once. Maybe twice. I doubt he deserves much more than that.

    He's a fucking politician. They lie, they get away with lying, and the get away with abusing power... and Tony and his ilk lap it up as long as it gains them yardage.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Of course I care less about the hypocrisy than about the weaker hand it gives Obama now.

    If you can't see how they're tied together, you're hopeless.

    A principled individual doesn't have to be concerned with hypocrisy or having a "weaker hand" politically. It's true that the cynical typically end up being able to assert their will to power in greater measure (see Caesar vs. Cato), but then, Obama and his media fellators weren't promoting him as the Modern-day Machiavelli, now were they?

    If Obama's getting shit for being a typical politician, it's because the bullshit "Hope and Change" narrative about him that's been pushed on Americans since 2004, and is pretty much the primary reason he got elected (other than his skin color), has been repudiated in real time by Obama himself.

    It's no use whining about your boy being criticized for not living up to the standard that he and his enablers established to get him in office; hell, that's the whole point. It certainly doesn't mean we should take people seriously when they say, "But Obama's different, he's going to change things!!" The idiot college students and SWPL goons who clamored for this guy might as well have thrown their votes to the Green party.

  • Tony||

    A "principled individual" as you define it doesn't have to be concerned with anything about the presidency since he'll never win it. I don't know about other starry-eyed liberals but my support for Obama (which was nonexistent in the primary) only grew once I realized exactly how politically canny he was (Machiavellian if you prefer). The Republicans no longer pull any punches or respect the slightest tenets of gentlemanly behavior. I don't see why Democrats should make themselves less effective against them by refusing to play politics. Not that anything we're talking about is remotely objectionable in the big picture.

  • ­||

    So, why do you root for these guys?

  • Tony||

    As opposed to Republicans? The expectations here are a little naive especially considering the disdain these parts have for politicians.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    So, you support lying and one-upsmanship, as long as it benefits Team Blue.

    But what the fuck do I know? Apparently, I've been a lifelong supporter of the GOP, and didn't even know it.

    How I managed to do that, without once sending even One Thin Dime to any Republican candidate, is beyond me... maybe I spent the last couple of decades in a peyote-fueled stupor or something.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    The Republicans no longer pull any punches or respect the slightest tenets of gentlemanly behavior. I don't see why Democrats should make themselves less effective against them by refusing to play politics.

    LOL at this--as if the Democrats have been models of political restraint and decorum, especially since the radicals took over in the late 60s.

    Politics is politics, but let's not pretend that Team Blue was EVER a bunch of wallflowers.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    I don't know about other starry-eyed liberals but my support for Obama (which was nonexistent in the primary) only grew once I realized exactly how politically canny he was (Machiavellian if you prefer).

    Well, considering Bush WAS re-elected, and he's basically running Bush's third term, it makes your support for everything he does, no matter what, all the more silly.

  • MrGuy||

    New drinking game: Take a shot every time the president uses the word "constituents".

  • ||

    Good article.

    Obama gives a bad name to constitutional law professors.

  • ||

    two "highly customized" Boeing 747s with "4,000 square feet of floor space on three levels," including " a medical suite," two galleys that "can feed 100 people at a time," and "an extensive suite for the President that features a large office, lavatory, and conference room"—all at taxpayer expense.

    Yeah, but do they have lots of crawl spaces where Obama can sneak up on terrorists?

  • ||

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