A Proposed Tax Break For Consumers


Our Kind of Loophole

Here’s an idea whose time has come: Don’t take away corporate tax loopholes for travel and entertainment (T&E)! Extend them to consumers who work. What’s good for business could be good for consumers who still have jobs.

Business lobbies say that travel and entertainment deductions are vital for corporations to recruit and retain customers: Taking a tax deduction for taking a customer to the World Series or ordering an expensive wine at a 4-course business dinner will seal the deal. Lobbyists claim calling that stuff “bribery” demeans a required business practice.

Even if it is a bit of bribery, corporations—in rare moments of transparency—argue bribery is often needed for doing business. For confirmation, enter “bribery” and “Walmart.”

It’s the kind of loophole consumers could also use. We need a couple of weeks off every year to recharge the old batteries and get us ready to return to work hard for the good old corporation. A T&E deduction for consumers would increase productivity, lower vacation costs and stimulate the economy.

Look*, now is the time to ask Obama and Romney to do something for consumers, like also giving us the T&E tax break. What’s good for business ought to be good for consumers, right?

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*The word “look” began sentences by various speakers a total of 412 times when making televised speeches at the 2012 political conventions. “God” came in first with a total 822 times, although 14% more at the Republican than the Democratic convention.

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