Straight Talk

By Louis Avallone

Is it too much to ask, really? For a little honesty? I mean, do you sometimes feel that you are living in an artificial world, whether it is in politics or entertainment or morality; where you are prompted by the mainstream media to simply accept the reality of the world with which you are presented? Sometimes it’s kind of like the movie, The Truman Show, in which the main character, Truman, thinks he is an ordinary man, with an ordinary life. Have you seen that movie?

You see, in the movie, Truman’s ordinary life is actually a concocted one; played out on a giant movie set (and viewed by all the world), where all of his friends, and those around him, are actors…only he does not know it. But Truman is genuine. There’s nothing fake about Truman, despite that the world, in which he lives, is counterfeit.

It’s hard to avoid feeling like Truman these days, with so much misinformation or “spin” being disseminated through the mainstream media and from our nation’s leadership. Whether it was the President disingenuously suggesting that our nation’s seniors might not receive their Social Security checks unless the federal debt limit was raised by $2.2 trillion last month, or Nancy Pelosi explaining months ago that extending jobless benefits “creates jobs faster than almost any other initiative you can name,” it can all be quite frustrating (and disappointing) to the millions of hard-working, country-first Americans.

So when the President recently reiterated (over and over) about the malaise of the country caused, in part, by tax breaks for folks with corporate jets, I had to check out the facts.

Here is what Obama told Americans: He said that if the debt ceiling wasn’t raised last month, then “that means there are a bunch of kids out there who do not have college scholarships. [It] might compromise the National Weather Services. It means we might not be funding critical medical research. It means food inspection might be compromised. I’ve said to Republican leaders, You go talk to your constituents and ask them, “Are you willing to compromise your kids’ safety so some corporate-jet owner can get a tax break?”

That’s what Obama said. But here’s the truth: The “tax break” that Obama refers to, about corporate jets is inconsequential to college scholarships or medical research of our kids’ safety. The reason is that the “tax break” merely consists of shortening the time period (five years instead of seven years) over which corporations can write off the purchase of a corporate jet.

That’s it. That’s all there is to the much maligned and whined about “tax break” for corporate jet owners; a “tax break” that supposedly is threatening to end even our nation’s food inspections (according to Obama).

And to add insult to that dishonesty, do you know that even if you collected this corporate jet tax every year (sans the “tax break”), for the next 5,000 years, you will cover only one year of the debt that the Obama administration has run up thus far?

So, we get rid of the corporate jet “tax break” and no more deficits now? Medicare is solved? The unemployment rate is lessened? Are you kidding me?

For the record, despite the President’s bashing, business aviation employs 1.2 million people, and contributes $150 billion to U.S. economic output. In Kansas, for example, it accounts for $7.1 billion, or nearly one-third, to the state’s economy. In addition to business use, private jet use provides medical care, law enforcement, and disaster relief to literally thousands of small communities throughout the country where commercial airline service is absent.

With that said, consider that, despite Obama’s apparent political necessity to now demonize the corporate jet “tax break,” it was the Democrats, through Obama’s $787 billion stimulus bill, that created this “tax break” to begin with.

That’s right. It was Obama’s own legislation that created the very tax break that he rails against today. Essentially, Obama is condemning the Republicans (and anyone else, for that matter) for supporting his own policy here. It’s just crazy.

So, this is exactly what we were talking about earlier. The Obama administration presents this alter-reality that somehow the Republicans value corporate jets, while Democrats value our nation’s youth; that Republican care about tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires, while Democrats protect the Social Security checks of our nation’s seniors. But in reality, it’s not that way at all.

Mr. President, just be honest with the American people and talk straight. Remember, in the words of Thomas Jefferson, “Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.” It’s a best seller in our country. What page are you on?

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