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‘3 Martini Lunch’ Full Tax Credit Part of Covid-19 Bill

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Part of the Covid-19 Relief bill scheduled for approval this week includes provisions for corporate tax breaks for so-called 3 martini lunch expenses. Designed to boost the restaurant industry’s flagging fortunes during the pandemic, the tax break is part of the stimulus bill negotiations. 

RELATED: Congress OKs $900B Aid, Includes $600 Stimulus Check

From 50% to 100%

Prior to the measure, corporations can charge up to 50% of their meal expenses off their federal taxes since the 1980s. The new White House-backed proposal allows companies to now write off 50%. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin made this proposal, also backed by Senator Tim Scott (R-SC), part of the ongoing stimulus bill negotiations. Democrats reportedly agreed to the measure in exchange for additional tax credits for low-income families and working poor.  

In a statement, Scott said that the measure is a “pro-worker, pro-restaurant, and pro-small business bill will lead to increased spending in restaurants and more income for staff.” His party mates said that the American Hotel and Lodging Association, US Travel, and the National Restaurant Association, support the measure.

“Nickel and Diming”

Senator. Ron Wyden (D-Or) a top Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee said that “Republicans are nickel-and-diming benefits for jobless workers, while at the same time pushing for tax breaks for three-martini power lunches. It’s unconscionable.” Many people picked up on Wyden’s reactions, and social media became abuzz with comments last Monday. 

For some people, the tax breaks added insult to injury. Citizens already complained about the reduced stimulus check amount from $1200 to $600. “Let them eat cake,”  a derisive term synonymous with out of touch leaders, became a trend on Twitter and other social media platforms. The cost to taxpayers for this proposal remains unknown. However, tax experts expect it to reach a few billion dollars a year.

Social Media Reactions

Some of the top comments on social media include tweets and reactions from prominent personalities. This includes Berkeley professor and former Labor Secretary Robert Reid, who echoed Wyden’s statement. He said “The deal includes corporate tax cuts for three-martini power lunches but nickel-and-dimes jobless workers. GOP priorities.” Jake Tapper of CNN, who asked: “Do we get to backdate the three-martini lunch expenses and also what if we were eating alone but thinking about work?”

Citizens also joined the fray. A Mike Ponsford surmised that the tax breaks will be much longer than the relief for citizens. He tweeted ”Long after the $600 stimulus has been spent on necessities, those three-martini lunch tax deductions will just keep on coming. For years and years.” Teacher and former Republican candidate from Virginia Matt Walton were incredulous. He asked “The draft language of the emergency coronavirus relief package includes a tax break for corporate meal expenses…So let me get this straight… as a teacher I have to pay for my own lunch, but a corporation can get a tax break for one?

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Bring Back Life to Restaurants

Earlier this year, President Donald Trump pushed for bigger tax deductions for corporate entertainment and meal expenses. Along with Larry Kudlow, director of the White House National Economic Council, they aggressively pushed the deductions since April. Trump urged that the US should “go back to the original” version of 100% tax deduction for entertainment and meals.

Trump added that “They’ll send their executives, they’ll send people there, and they get a deduction. That is something that will really bring life back to the restaurants; I think to make them hotter than before. You know, they used to have it. And when they ended it, it was really never the same. It was never the same.”  In a roundtable discussion last May, he suggested the measure as urgent versus the other emergency bills. “I think it’s, frankly, more important than even the other things we’re talking about,” Trump said at the time. “I guess, short term, what you’re talking about, is more important, but long-term, the deduction would be phenomenal.”

‘Still a Bad Policy’

Both conservative and liberal economists and tax experts rejected the idea. Kyle Pomerleau, an analyst for the conservative American Enterprise Institute, said that “Months later it is still bad policy, and still not good economic relief for the current situation. It just should not be in there. Critics pointed out that the measure does little to help restaurants affected by the pandemic. The measure would only benefit business executives, a group that does not need urgent help at present.

Watch the video of CNBC television featuring Robert Frank reporting on a provision in the GOP stimulus bill that would allow a 100 percent deduction for business meals:

Do you agree with the 100% tax breaks for corporate meals, AKA “3 martini lunch”?

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Do you agree with the measure bringing back 100% tax breaks for corporate meals, AKA “3 martini lunch”? Let us know what you think of this measure. Share your thoughts in the comment section below!

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22 Comments

22 Comments

  • janice alderson says:

    Really, while the American people are hungry, they want a paid lunch. Come the next election they well be buying their own lunch, while we take them out. We well not forget this.

  • Aj says:

    All of you politicians can afford lunch but the rest of us are starving but do you care no you gave us $600 which can barely feed us for a month if we don’t eat much

  • Nancy P. says:

    THIS MOVE IS ABSOLUTELY REDICULOUS. BIG CORPERATION STILL GETTING THEIR BIG RIGHT OFFS. THIS COUNTRY REVOLVES AROUND BIG MONEY AT EXPENSE OF IT’s TAX PAYERS, AND STINGY WITH STIMULOUS CHECKS. CUT THE $1200.00 down to a measly $600.00. BUT Oh boy, UNEMPLOYMENT WENT UP $300.00 MORE . NO WONDER THEY DON’t WANT TO RETURN TO WORK. MAKING MORE MONEY ON UNEMPLOYMENT. THESE DECISION MAKERS HEADS ARE IN THE SAND.

  • Liberally Disgusted says:

    This may bring more people back to restaurants and provide income/tips to restaurant workers in red states whose governors arent trying to destroy them by shutting down again.

    While I don’t love this and would like to see more money go directly to struggling people and small businesses, I certainly despise the hundreds of millions going to other countries and “climate change” garbage that will increase everyone’s costs more than $600 a whole lot more. Who put those in the bill? Not Republicans! Another Pelosi “win”. Screw America and our citizens all the way around. “Democrats” can’t stop the power grab to help those they’re supposed to represent – they’re always and only about the agenda.

  • Eddie Lee Frisby says:

    I am all for helping people that need help but the stiimulus bill that passed is a big joke. The next election we need to get rid of almost everyone and put people with some common sense into office.

  • Shirley casale says:

    Boy you really know how to caterer to the big wigs and let us little guys starve Where is the fairness you idiots rig up . You do not give a dam about the hard working class who have all they can do to make ends meet !!!!!

  • Kellie says:

    The restaurants in which the Corporates are dining are NOT the restaurants in danger of closing…the $200 entrees each. Maybe help the small family owned restaurants that are in real danger of closing very soon.

  • Susan Diane Sweeten Grider says:

    This doesn’t make me near as FURIOUS as the MILLIONS they shoved in the bill for Sudan & other countries! They continue to push and American History will be taught to our children & grandchildren about the the Great Revolt and Revolution of 2021! At some point enough Americans will band together to say ENOUGH!

  • Phyllis Poole says:

    3matinis?! Catering to alcohol business too? And expensive restaurants where most of us can’t go? And why must anyone eat out to get business? Order pizza in if you must eat.
    NO. I don’t like this stimulus bill It’s only for the rich while the mainstream family must cut down on what and where they eat.!!

  • David says:

    Why would something that ridiculous even be brought up when people are struggling….what in the HELL is wrong with these politicians…..pure SCUM…..
    IM NOT SO SURE WE EVEN NEED THEM….WE SURELY COULDNT DO ANY WORSE

  • Sean Mcdermott says:

    I think it is a great idea. Help the restaurants

  • Dave says:

    I “DO NOT” support such a political entitlement! The common citizen is desperate for food & our politicians make such an exception – makes no sense to me in the “real world”!

  • Margo Wendt says:

    There are loads of average, every day, tax paying American citizens who want to work that can barely feed their family at home out of the grocery store. And our legislators are proposing we fund luxury restaurant meals to boost their thriving businesses? Drain the swamp!

  • Will says:

    As a retired very small business owner I think it is great! Much of my business development was done over lunch that I couldn’t write off. I would have done more had I had the write off. The lunches were not at fancy restaurants but other small business eateries. It is obvious the most of the comments are not being written by small business owners. These people don’t understand.

  • Don Fulton says:

    Eddie, there won’t be any elections coming to us due to the tratorist left wing infiltration of the democratic party. Thousands of false drivers licenses imported from China, irregularities’ by the use of the Dominion, blocking pole watchers from the smuggling of false votes during the counting, not allowing Republicans to monitor counting etc. The new USA will become the SSA (Socialist’s States of America)I’m sure they will change our flag to include a Chines flag in place of one of the stars and maybe more. SUCKS

  • Cary says:

    All you people bitching about giving these tax breaks to businesses don’t seem to have a problem with pelosi giving 10mill to Pakistan or the money going to the Sudan! If they awarded all the money to the American people it would have been a check of 2000+ to the American people!

  • Howard says:

    Some of us tried to wake people up all year , But the sheep voted for the D`s because of the blind hate . Maybe this kind of action with our money will WAKE THEM UP ?

  • Kate says:

    I pray for all of us.The left led by Pelosi who brags about her Catholic Devotion etc.ought to be ashamed of herself…She is selfish and thinks she is entitled.Thank God she is not a twin..She doesn’t care about what happens to us or the USA.She should go back to her house and hide for the rest of her corrupt life.Perhaps she can reflect on how she could have been a better person and start repenting…
    I think Business lunches “write offs” is all about the rich getting a tax break..
    Well all the losses that our restaurants and businesses have had is there tax break.How many “lunch meetings” have they had to console and talk with their customers, employees and families that they can no longer survive .Just because they didn’t drink Martinis it should count as their tax break…I have worked since I was 14 yo. while going to my Catholic School 12 yr education . I am 70 yo.Retired RN.after42 years of working as an RN. Prayers Pelosi for you not because you deserve them but that’s the Catholic Way.🙏🏻🙏🏻

  • DONEWITHITALL says:

    WE NEED TO BE MORE OUTRAGED!!! 3 MILLION TO VENEZUELA IN THIS BILL!! 6B TO ISRAEL!! 139MILLION TO PAKISTAN FOR GENDER STUDIES??!!! WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON? WE THE TAX PAYORS ARE PAYING FOR THIS AND WE IN RETURN GET $600 MEASLEY DOLLARS? WHERE REALLY IS THE CONSERVATIVE THOUGHT, CRITICAL THINKERS AND FOR THAT MATTER OUR PRESIDENT WHEN HE IS AIDING TO FUND THIS? CONGRESS CONTINUES TO GET THEIR $15,000.00 PPEERRRR MONTH INCOME WHILE WE GET THE CRUMBS, EVEN LESS CRUMBS THAN WHAT PELOSI CRITICIZED THE TAX CUTS OFFERING; AND AGAIN WE FUND THE AIRLINES, LARGE CORPORATIONS, THE BIG BANKS, ETC. WITH OUR MONEY!!! DID WE GET TO STOP PAYING OUR TAXES THOURGH THIS FAKE PANDEMIC? NO!!! WE LOST OUR BUSINESSES, FREEDOM TO WORSHIP, FREEDOM TO GROCERY SHOP UNLESS WE COMPLIED LIKE GOOD SHEEP AND WORE THE STUPID MASKS—WHICH WE KNOW DO NOT WORK!

    WE MUST RISE UP! TAKE BACK OUR LIVES! TAKE BACK OUR FREEDOMS!! AFTERALL, WE ARE WITNESSING THAT NO MATTER IF YOU ARE A PART OF THE RIGHT WING OR THE LEFT WING, IT IS STILL THE SAME BIRD!!! LETS GET RID OF THE BIRD THAT IS IN POWER, AND CONTROL AND HATCH A NEW ONE, SINCE IT IS OLD TIRED AND EVER SO SELF-SERVING! IF WE AMERICANS DO NOT STOP THE PEOPLE WHO ARE SUPPOSED TO BE WORKING FOR US, YET OBVIOUSLY WORKING FOR THEIR OWN INTERESTS AND LOVE FOR MONEY, WE WILL NEVER STOP BEING THEIR FREE LUNCH, WHICH THEY ARE SO MUCH ENJOYING WITHOUT REGRD FOR US, THE REAL PAYORS OF EVERYTHING!!!

  • Kimberly Gard says:

    If you won’t let the restraunts serve people inside how in the world does this help.

  • B says:

    Hey cnbc what about the money going to foreign countries instead of the USA? What about 40 million going to the Kennedy center? Or sending millions of dollars to Pakistan for some gender deal?

  • Sharrie says:

    How can anyone be so closed minded

    This is a huge helpful plan for restaurants. Business people write of meeting at dinner
    already.

    I saw two of my favorite restaurants go out of business!!

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