Strong opinions, weakly held

Ways the government helps rich people

From Matthew Yglesias:

It seems that a commercial flight pays $2,014 in taxes to fly from New York to Miami, whereas a private jet only pays $236 even though the impact on air traffic control is the same.


  1. One could point out a similar disparity between property taxes and public school benefits, or fuel taxes and highway wear. Maybe aviation should be an exception (and I certainly feel no pity for folks who are flying private jets), but I think it’s a rare case in which the formula for paying taxes is correlated to the benefits directly derived. In fact, that’s usually the whole point.

  2. Yeah, but:

    Approximate taxes per passenger:

    Commercial: $13.42 (assuming 150 not rich passengers per plane)

    Private: $47.20 (assuming 5 rich passenger per plane)

    And that assumes that the taxes mentioned actually go to directly support the air traffic system, which I doubt.

  3. I’d love to see a further breakdown of those taxes, because I know that if runway wear-and-tear is included, those prices probably dramatically fall in favor of the airline.

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