|The Hill Blog|
Aviation Manufacturers Counter Obama Visit to Iowa To Talk Up Corporate Jets
Aug 17, 2011
By Keith Laing
A day after President Obama visited Iowa, the makers of the corporate jets that have been the butt of frequent criticism recently by the president held a rally of their own in the key political state.
The president's bus tour through the Midwest had rolled on to his home state of Illinois, but the General Aviation Manufacturers Association gathered supporters at the Rockwell Collins Flight Operations Center in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
GAMA spokeswoman Katie Pribyl told The Associated Press the event was intended to counter Obama's "negative rhetoric" about corporate jets.
During the fight over the federal debt ceiling, Obama cited tax breaks for corporate jet owners an example of what could be set aside in an effort to raise revenues to lower the national deficit.
"The tax cuts I’m proposing we get rid of are tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires; tax breaks for oil companies and hedge fund managers and corporate jet owners," Obama said in a press conference in July in which he mentioned jets six times.
"It would be nice if we could keep every tax break there is, but we’ve got to make some tough choices here if we want to reduce our deficit," he said.
Aviation industry leaders said at the time they were offended by Obama's rhetoric, and Wednesday, organizers of the rally in Cedar Rapids said "In the current economic environment, it is important that we capitalize on the things that are working.
"Fortunately, you don’t have to look any further than general aviation to find the perfect example,” Rockwell Collins Chairman Clay Jones said in a statement released Wednesday by GAMA. “General aviation is one of the few manufacturing industries that provides a trade surplus for the United States and it supports more than 1.2 million jobs across the country. In Iowa alone, GA contributes $1.4 billion to the economy annually.”
Iowa lawmakers Sen. Chuck Grassley (R) and Reps. Tom Latham (R), Leonard Boswell (D), Steve King (R) and Bruce Braley (D) attended the GAMA rally Wednesday.
No Plane No Gain: Sampling of 2010 Coverage
Since the launch of the No Plane No Gain advocacy campaign, a concerted effort has been made to deliver the message about the importance of business aviation through national and local news outlets. This sampling of national and local television coverage in 2010, highlights the campaign's effectiveness in communicating the industry's importance.
NBAA's Bolen on Fox Business Network
Click here to see Ed Bolen, President and CEO of NBAA, in an interview on Fox Business Network
NBAA's Bolen on DC's Newschannel 8
In an interview with Newschannel 8, Bolen explains that "... business aviation is prudent, cost-effective, and oftentimes, the only way to get where you're going."