March 1, 2018; New York Times
In a vengeful move, Georgia lawmakers in both the house and senate sought to strip Delta Airlines of an expected tax break on purchases of jet fuel. The $50 million break had been included in a broader tax relief bill before the airline elected to cut its ties with the NRA because of its behavior following the Parkland, Florida school shooting that left 17 dead.
But Delta is one of Georgia’s biggest employers, and Georgia prizes its business-friendly reputation—a reputation that Governor Nathan Deal would like to retain.
“Ours is a welcoming state—the epitome of ‘Southern Hospitality,’” said Deal, who will leave office early next year because of term limits. “We were not elected to give the late-night talk show hosts fodder for their monologues or to act with the type of immaturity that has caused so many in our society to have a cynical view of politics.”
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Atlanta is currently shortlisted as the site for Amazon’s second headquarters. “Unfortunately, we’re looking at political gamesmanship, and trying to send ultraconservative messages for the Republican primary,” said Senator Steve Henson, the minority leader. “I think it does not enhance our chances to get Amazon.”
Meanwhile, multiple states have reached out to Delta as potential, if unlikely, alternative homes. Kansas was right there to step up with an invitation:
“Hey @Delta, if the peach state isn’t treating you right I’d love to show you around our new airport in #Wichita,” Rep. Brandon Whipple said in a Facebook post. “We’re the Air Capital of the World, with mid-west values, an amazing work force, & access to world class universities. My #ksleg (Kansas Legislature) friends & I would love to talk.”
For now, the socially conscious who are planning to travel should put their consumer power to work.—Ruth McCambridge