We’re not always huge fans of the government “punishing” private companies for their political stances – we’ve seen the flipside of this in places like Houston, where the Democrats on the city council wanted to deny Chick-Fil-A a permit due to the owners’ stance on LGBT issues and in California, where Los Angeles city officials want to punish any company that participates in building a border wall. If it’s not right for one side to do it, it can’t possibly be right when the other side does it.
All that said, Georgia lawmakers are moving forward with a bill that will penalize Delta Airlines for the company’s decision to stop offering discounts to NRA members in the wake of the Parkland shooting. Proposed and promoted by Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, who has his eye on the governor’s mansion next year, the bill will eliminate a $50 million jet fuel tax exemption that was Delta’s to lose. It is by far the biggest financial penalty yet paid by a company for their anti-gun politics.
On Thursday, the Georgia State Senate passed the bill and the House approved it. It now awaits Gov. Nathan Deal’s signature, and while he has criticized the move, he has nonetheless expressed a willingness to sign it due to its reduction in overall tax rates.
“Ours is a welcoming state — the epitome of ‘Southern Hospitality,’” said Gov. Deal. “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.”
Republicans like Cagle, however, say that Delta made a poor choice when they decided to stick it to NRA members as a result of one psychopath’s rampage down in Florida. “I think that obviously Delta is free to make any decision that they want to,” he said on Fox News, but they “chose to single out the NRA and their membership – law-abiding gun owners – and I don’t think that’s right.”
We’re not entirely comfortable with the blurring of the line between politics and business, but then again, this is a situation that companies like Delta have brought upon themselves. Just think back to the North Carolina bathroom bill and all of the companies that were boycotting the state so they could appear so progressive and heroic to the LGBT community. Maybe the line is already blurred and there’s no going back.
Well, we take that back. Companies could stop pandering to their customers with political “opinions” and just, you know, run their businesses. If Delta had stuck to that philosophy, they would have had a nice little tax break coming their way.