Whatever happened to the three-martini lunch?

Reading the transcript of President Obama’s press conference yesterday, I had a flashback to Jimmy Carter railing about the tax deductibility of the three-martini lunch.  I felt young again.  Whatever happened to the three-martini lunch?  The good news is that the three-martini lunch remains a deductible business expense after all these years (I think).

The bad news is that President Obama is reviving Jimmy Carter Theater with his repeated gibes against corporate jet owners — i.e., the tax deductibility of corporate jets.  The argument is apparently about the depreciation schedule applicable to corporate jets — a depreciation schedule Obama supported in the past before he undertook a thorough search for villains in the service of demagogy.

What’s the over/under on the number of times Obama referred to corporate jet owners yesterday.  I think 15 would be about right. Obama’s audacity certainly includes the audacity to treat his audience like children.   It’s so obvious it’s almost funny.

But why stop with corporate jets?  How about corporate limousines?  How about other corporate gas guzzlers?  Hell, how about corporate chauffeurs?  Let the boss drive himeslf to work, for goodness sakes.  Why should taxpayers subsidize his or her drive to work?

How about corporate lobbyists?  How about corporate advertising?  How about corporate corporations?  They might really get the blood boiling, especially if they’re profitable.


CORRECTION: A reader notes in the comments that the lunch remains deductible, but not the three martinis.  How about killing the deductibility of the corporate lunch ticket?  Or at least killing the deductibility of corporate meals on corporate jets?  Think big!


UPDATE: Glenn Kessler makes a serious effort to crunch the numbers behind the comedy.


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