AVmail: February 11, 2013
Letter of the Week: Depreciated Income
Regarding the reaction to the White House's comments on depreciation: I believe the comment from the administration is about accelerated depreciation and not straight-line depreciation.
While GAMA and others cry foul, one of the largest owners of jets, NetJets' Warren Buffett, complains he's not paying enough tax — yet his company will participate to lower their tax liability with accelerated depreciation, thus his tax rate is lowered.
Being in the high-tax-rate group but not high enough to afford the fat cat travel modes, I pay for their benefits because of their lobbyists.
Additionally, many of their products are not built in the U.S. and really benefit Canada or Brazil, so why should the U.S. general taxpayer subsidize corporate fat cats like Buffett of Jeff Imelt at GE? Let them join the regular tax-paying public and enjoy the jocularity of the TSA while traveling.
I believe in flat taxes so there are no politics in collections. We all pay and make our decision on sound personal economic terms, not political DC intrigue.
If Buffett believes he's not paying enough taxes, the U.S. Treasury does accept donations. Why not drop a check off on them? In my youth, we had a saying: "Put up or shut up."
Accelerated depreciation to keep the fat cats flying cheaper is a non-starter for me and for most of the flying public.
Who Pays Again?
Regarding the issue of paying the FAA for electronic charts: [The agency] should be compensated for the data, but I suspect that's not what's happening. What the FAA laments is they no longer get paid to print paper charts, because no one wants them anymore.
For aviation data, the government should be able to recover the actual cost, not the lost revenues from printing paper charts.
Letter writer John Sullivan feels that getting something for nothing is inappropriate. This must represent a recent sea change of public opinion. For the last 45 years, at least 50 percent of my tax dollars have paid someone for nothing.
The FAA is paid by you, the taxpayer, to develop and maintain the aviation infrastructure. To be asked to pay for it again is robbery. It's already paid for and belongs to the taxpayer!
Regarding the story about shooting at airplanes: This is not a new phenomenon.
Many regard Steve Wittman (namesake of the Oshkosh airport and inventor of the spring steel "Wittman" landing gear) as the greatest pylon racer of all time. I remember him telling the story of returning from Florida to Wisconsin in his race plane. Suddenly the engine lost power. He skillfully found a field and landed, to find bullet holes through his aircraft.
Apparently a moonshiner had mistaken him for a federal agent and had fired on him. The next day the headlines ran, "Miami Air Race Winner Shot Down Over Tennessee." Really!