General aviation employs 1.2 million Americans and generates $150 billion a year in revenue. President Obama praises it as one of America's industries that still maintains an advantage over other countries' manufacturers.
So it disappointed several in the aviation industry when the president on Wednesday held up an obscure tax break for corporate jet owners as an example of why Congress should close tax loopholes as part of any deficit reduction deal.
"While such talk may appear to some as good politics, the reality is that it hurts one of the leading manufacturing and exporting industries in the United States," wrote the General Aviation Manufacturers Association and the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers in a letter sent to the president
In a lengthy press conference, Obama repeatedly cast the debate over the deficit as a choice between ending tax breaks for jet owners and jeopardizing children's education and safety