GOP Battled To Nail Tax Break For 3-Martini Lunches In Stimulus Package: Report
Critics have already criticized the imbalanced distribution of the country's resources in a draft of the new COVID-19 financial aid package after the Washington Post reported that it contained a tax break for the so-called "three martini" business lunch.
Meanwhile, regular workers are getting only $ 600 in stimulus money from the government, which could be the equivalent of a single lunch bill for this senior executive.
Meal tax deductions - which are expected to cost the US Treasury Department billions in tax revenue - have been pushed by the White House and Republicans and denounced by Congressional Democrats, according to the Post. It's included in a summary of the economic agreement that is circulating among congressional officials, the newspaper reported.
President Donald Trump backed the withdrawal to revitalize the food service industry amid the pandemic. However, critics said it did little to help restaurants and would mostly benefit business people who do not need help from taxpayers.
Democratic leaders agreed to the provision in exchange for Republicans who agreed to expand the package's tax credits for low-income families, the newspaper reported.
“Republicans are an advantage to unemployed workers when it comes to reducing tax breaks for three martini power lunches. That's incomprehensible, "Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), The senior Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee, told the Post.
Executives since the 1980s have been able to deduct 50% of the often extravagant lunches from their federal taxes. The provision in the stimulus package would increase this to 100%.
It was one aspect of the deal that sparked critics. Another reason was the meager payout of $ 600 to working Americans. Critics pointed out that Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross once wore a pair of bespoke slippers valued at $ 600 for the capital.
Attorney Walter Shaub, former head of the US Department of Government Ethics, has whipped the "smelly" $ 600 checks as "what you give Americans if you just don't care." He compared it to the hundreds of thousands of farm subsidy tax dollars raised by Senator Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa and his family.
Shaub also pointed out the cost of Ross' custom slippers.
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