So Georgia's Lieutenant Governor tweets to Delta, "Give NRA members a flight discount, or I'll increase your tax burden." Velshi and Ruhle are not impressed.
February 27, 2018

Silly Republican Lieutenant Governor forgets that he's with that 'no taxes for corporations' party and he just threatened a major employer with more taxes at a time when the state just flinched last year over gay rights and Disney. Transcript from Velshi & Ruhle:

ALI VELSHI: Georgia Republicans are hitting back at Delta Airlines after that company took a public stance against the NRA.

STEPHANIE RUHLE: This is straight out of old-school Trump playbook when you could go after CEOs.

VELSHI: Delta wiped out a discount fare program that made it cheaper for NRA members to travel to the NRA's annual meeting.

RUHLE: The company issued a statement saying:

Georgia's lieutenant governor Republican Casey Kagel threatened Delta with this tweet:

Behind his threat is Delta's share of a $50 million tax exemption on jet fuel.

VELSHI: Delta is not alone in the new stance. United Airlines and a growing list of companies seen here are doing away with NRA membership discounts in the wake of the Parkland shooting.

RUHLE: Let's be clear, just doing away with discounts.

VELSHI: They aren't punishing anyone. They are taking away an advantage given to NRA members.

RUHLE: Which the NRA said, no big deal, this isn't going to stop us. And they are right. Single-issue voters won't care about this.

VELSHI: Right.

RUHLE: Here with more, Brian Sullivan, co-anchor of CNBC's "Power Lunch." Brian, Delta, one of the largest employers in Georgia. How big of a deal is a $50 million tax break and can the lieutenant governor actually pull that off?

BRIAN SULLIVAN: Wow. I'm confused as a lot of people are out there. You have the state senator or lieutenant governor saying reimplement the discount. Delta saying we don't want to do anything because we don't want to take a stand. But by eliminating the discount, you are kind of taking a stand. Someone, get me a drink. Anyway, 5.1 billion dollars in net income for Delta, call it a $40 million to $50 million tax break, you do the math, it is a couple of percent. This goes to any airline, a jet fuel break. So most of it goes to Delta because they are based in Atlanta. Atlanta. Biggest airport. 180 million, the number of passengers that Delta flew last year. Nra has 5 million members. I think you said it best going into the break. Georgia needs Delta more than the other way around.

VELSHI: A tweet from the newly-elected governor of Virginia Ralph Northam, where he said

Delta won't pull up stakes and move somewhere else. But there are 49 other state governors who would be happy to say to Delta we will give you the infrastructure that you need, and international and domestic travelers. I think for the lieutenant governor, of Georgia, playing with fire.

RUHLE: Quick, is the stock moving?

SULLIVAN: Stock is moving down a little bit but with all of the other airlines, Stephanie. So it is not moving in any outsized ways to other airlines today.

RUHLE: That has to be somewhat embarrassing for the lieutenant governor, when have you a shot across the bow like that you think will rattle the company? You rattle the company when the stock moves.

VELSHI: You have to get it across the bow.

SULLIVAN: Are they moving to Roanoke Regional Airport in Virginia? No offense to the governor of Virginia -- that's odd.

VELSHI: Thanks. It is a weird argument, silly argument. Not something that is --

RUHLE: It is not weird and silly if you're going to send it to the White House, and say hey Mr. President....

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