President Reagan said today that in spite of “Washington sophisticates” and special interest lobbyists “firing every weapon in their arsenal,” ordinary citizens are supporting his new tax plan with “a tidal wave of mail” to the White House.
But the White House press office could not furnish any mail figures to substantiate the President’s “tidal wave” characterization.
Reagan, who tried Thursday--principally for television cameras--to symbolize the “revolutionary” aspects of his tax plan and its benefits to “Main Street” America--turned Friday to emphasizing its advantages to “high-tech” companies of the future.
He spoke outdoors in a drizzle--hundreds of people left before he finished--at the Great Valley Corporate Center, a high-tech industrial park for 200 firms and 11,000 employes.
“We’ve got good news for our silicon cities,” the President said. “We’re going to feed the fires of technological invention by lowering the capital gains tax once again, giving it (an effective) top rate of 17 1/2%. We’re going to make sure that American technology wins the race to the 21st Century.”
‘It’s Great to Leave’
But Reagan’s main message here, as he intends it to be whenever he promotes his plan outside of the nation’s capital, is that the Washington Establishment is working against the citizens’ best interests on taxes.
“Let me tell you, it’s great to leave Washington once in awhile and see what the real America is up to,” Reagan said.
“Right now, the army of lobbyists and special interests are dug in around the Capitol Building, firing every weapon in their arsenal in an attempt to shoot down our proposal for tax fairness and simplification. They’re allied with the Washington sophisticates and so-called experts who tell us that tax simplification will never pass, that it challenges too many of those special interests and takes away the special privileges of a powerful few who like the present tax code just fine.
“But I think the sophisticates, the lobbyists, and the experts have forgotten one thing--they’ve forgotten about you. They’ve forgotten about the rest of America that exists beyond the shores of the Potomac.”
He added, “Remember, Washington is a few miles off, so you’re going to have to speak up if you want to be heard.”
Reagan received a modest response from the large crowd, who heard a 15-minute speech studded with the sort of rhetorical phrases that the President seldom uses in his nationally televised addresses. Some examples:
“Our tax cuts in 1981 lifted our economy out of malaise. . . . We can ignite the second stage of our booster rockets and blast this economy to new heights of achievement.”
“We’re going to break apart the shackles and liberate America from tax bondage.”
“As many as half of you . . . won’t have to fill out a tax form at all. That’s how I spell relief.”
Reagan stopped in Malvern, a Philadelphia suburb, during a helicopter trip from the White House to Camp David, Md., for the weekend.