So, okay, Delta supports the Second Amendment but just wants to discriminate against those who also support it by joining organizations that vigorously defend this basic right.
Georgias Mistake: Delta Tax Break Wasnt Crony Capitalism
That Deltas capitulation to the continuing demands by the Lefts Thought Police is an egregious display of corporate irresponsibility and political cowardice is indisputable.
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After all, Delta had no such qualms in entering the political debate when it opposed protecting religious liberty or supported same-sex marriage, both highly divisive issues, as these positions were sanctified by the Left. Using the respect for our customers and employees on both sides and, therefore, refrain from entering this debate justification after they already entered it reflects an astounding duplicity.
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But its not surprising that Delta, the Georgia based premier air line with its hub at Atlantas Hartsfield-Jackson airport, touted as the worlds busiest, scrambled for the Maybelline counter so quickly on this particular issue.
Neither Georgia Prospers, an organization of businesses opposing religious liberty legislation in Georgia, nor GLAAD, for which Delta serves as a corporate sponsor, are debating whether to give Delta a $50 million annual tax break, like the Georgia legislature is presently considering.
Delta, the Ready When You Are airline, is a multi-billion dollar enterprise with 80,000 employees. And it is good to its employees. Delta recently announced that it will share $1.1 billion in profits with its employees, the fourth year in a row that Deltas profit sharing has topped $1 billion, according to CEO Ed Bastian.
This is good news for Deltas employees and corporate Delta as well since it elucidates the corporations robust fiscal position which they seemed to have miraculously achieved without any Georgia taxpayer subsidy.
The aftermath of the Parkland shooting showed how social and cultural issues can have a significant effect on business decisions. In response to public backlash against the NRA, multiple businesses ended special discounts for NRA members. This in itself is nothing new; businesses frequently respond to social conditions to keep their public images positive. A far greater issue arises when policymakers allow their decisions to be affected by the culture war.
One of the companies to revoke NRA benefits was Delta. Headquartered in Atlanta, the airline found itself under attack from Georgia politicians who perceived Deltas actions as hostile towards gun rights supporters. In direct response to Deltas actions, Georgias lieutenant governor (who happens to be running for governor) announced on Twitter that he would kill any legislation that benefits Delta until the airline reversed its position on NRA benefits. Soon after, Georgia lawmakers voted to remove a provision in a landmark tax bill that would have exempted jet fuel from state sales tax.
As much of the reporting on this tax break focused on how Delta would benefit from it, some writers saw a silver lining—at least this might remove a piece of cronyism from the Georgia tax bill. Unfortunately, the term crony capitalism has become so ubiquitous that it has begun to have its meaning diluted. There are cases in which government policy that is good for a specific business is still good policy, and this is one of those cases.
There is a strong argument for exempting jet fuel from state taxes. Airlines operate on narrow profit margins, so any increase in their operating costs is usually borne by passengers. Jet fuel costs are a substantial percentage of these operating costs, so jet fuel taxes generally translate to taxes on anyone who flies on a commercial airline. Taxation of jet fuel for commercial airlines also creates tax pyramiding, the imposition of taxes on top of other taxes. Consumers already pay taxes on airline tickets; with a jet fuel tax on commercial flight in place, they would pay taxes on the amount their ticket price increased because of the jet fuel tax.