In response to this story, about how the airport tax paid by proles being herded onto commercial boxcars is spent to make life even cushier for the big guys flying Lear jets, someone defended the poor abused jet setters thus:

It is worth pointing out that those “Learjets” burn bunches of fuel and pay the corresponding fuel taxes, so they aren’t getting a totally free ride. Figure 200 gallons an hour as a usable figure (jet pilots figure burn in pounds, with taxes of $.50 a gallon or so (I don’t have the actual figures), and they are paying $100 an hour. The airlines do not pay the fuel taxes, instead getting a head tax from passengers. The story is not nearly as simplistic as many imagine.

OK then.

First, if these general aviation jets burn 1,600 lbs. high-test aviation fuel an hour — spewing CO2 and water vapor into the atmosphere in the worst possible place — they better be carrying nothing but hearts, eyes, and kidneys for people needing transplants.

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What are the odds of that, you think? I knew they were energy pigs, I didn’t realize just how much so. Time to outlaw these. (Oh, OK, too much regulation. Fine, they aren’t outlawed. They just aren’t allowed to take off, land, or buy fuel in the US. Parked is fine.)

Second, what’s this about scheduled airlines paying a head tax rather than the fuel tax? Insane if so. We need to apply that tax to airline fuel purchases immediately, as the first step to ending all subsidies to commercial airlines (without which they will shrink drastically, which is what has to happen).

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