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Tax Reform Proposals

October 02, 1985

This is to express my feelings on the basic issue of tax reform through plans to simplify, reorganize, and redistribute federal taxes. I am wholeheartedly for it because it is long overdue. The country is in great need of both simplifying the methods in order to make it more fair across the board and cutting down on the many loopholes by those that have the means.

By reducing the highest tax rate to 35% the biggest advantage obviously goes, once again, to the highest earning levels. This big reduction creates a real doubt that this much tax loss can be regained without minimizing or even negating a tax reduction for the middle economic class.

If taxpayers in the $25,000-to-$40,000 a year range do not get their fair share of a graduated tax break, then that major reduction of 35% for the wealthy had best be lessened. If, on the other hand, enough of those damnable loopholes can be eliminated to compensate for this fantastic additional tax cut (50% to 35%) it could be an important part of simplification.

Just to point out one loophole that always impressed me as being very unfair is the luncheon-dinner-entertain deduction allowed for so-called business transactions. Everybody has to eat and most people like to be entertained. So how, in all fairness, can such deductions be justified as business expense? By any real logic they cannot be. The wage and salary earner, the retired person (on limited income), whomever, would also like to take their friends and associates out to dinner and an entertaining evening and deduct it as a "business expense." But heavens, that would "hurt the poor restaurant and entertainment businesses too much," as the lobbyists say and, of course, it might bring in a considerable amount in taxes.

This deduction is certainly one of the most unfair loopholes of the many that exists today and attests to the combined lobbying power of the restaurant associations and chambers of commerce throughout the nation. It is, in fact, a monument among many infamous examples of effective special interest legislation at the expense of the general public and nation. How this nation can survive its national debt explosion with such gross unfairness only heaven knows.

Perhaps corporate tax increases on those making tremendous profits will make up for the 50% to 35% top percentage cut. Perhaps bigger fines imposed on companies and/or individuals that illegally pollute our environment would have actual benefit on tax revenue and the making of a healthier world.

So, regardless of the studies, and efforts that may be required of Congress toward this end, let's hope that they undertake the historic task of open minds and a positive approach.

Let's hope that real statesmanship and an abiding concern for this nation will bring about the best of compromises for the greatest benefit.


Sherman Oaks

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