Tax Reform Questions Cloud Planning
Chet Currier, Ap, THE JOURNAL RECORD
Nobody expected the plan put forward by his administration to sail swiftly and smoothly through Congress and into law. The power of the ""special interests'' to object, obstruct and delay was well known.
But according to pollsters and legislative leaders of both parties, the proposal has failed to stir enthusiasm among the general public, whose backing it was hoped would give great impetus to the push for overhauling the tax system.
In a typical reading, the accounting firm of Ernst & Whinney found in a survey of 2,500 people that the great majority - 63 percent - want a new, simpler tax code. But only 37 percent said they liked the one Reagan has put forward.
Leading lawmakers ranging from Rep. Thomas P. O'Neill Jr., D-Mass., to Sen. Jesse Helms, R-N.C., have said in recent days that the plan has engendered little excitement.
""The people on the street - they never mention it,'' said O'Neill.
Reported Helms: ""I have not heard one person in North Carolina mention it except in a deprecating way.''
""I don't expect we will see it in its final form this year,'' Helms added.
Appraising the outlook, the Value Line Investment Survey, the nation's largest investment advisory service, said: ""We think that tax reform efforts will not result in the passage of any legislation until 1987 at the earliest.
""Passing the annual budget has become so time consuming that Congress would probably have trouble bringing about such a sweeping change in the tax code in a single year.
""Few in Washington now think there's any chance for passage in 1985, and in 1986 the elections will be prominent on the minds of those in Congress. …