“There is something fundamentally wrong with the tax system… when it allows a corporate executive to deduct his $20 martini lunch while a working man cannot deduct the price of his bologna sandwich.”
If there’s anything the 1970s were more notorious for than disco and herpes, it’s inflation. By 1976, Jimmy Carter was famously railing against the working class subsidizing the $50 martini lunch. Gerald Ford’s witty comeback -- “The three-martini lunch is the epitome of American efficiency. Where else can you get an earful, a bellyful, and a snootful at the same time?” -- might have won him the election, if he hadn’t waited until 1978 to deliver it, at a speech to the other NRA, the National Restaurant Association.
Carter failed to push through three-martini-lunch legislation, but Reagan pulled it off in ‘86, reducing the meals & entertainment write-off in exchange lowering the business tax rate. Clinton later finished the job with further deductions on deductions. By the time he was done, the three-martini lunch made as much business sense as businessmen after three martinis.