Reginald H. Jones, chairman of the General Electric Co. and a leading business spokesman on economic and tax issues, yesterday called for a $25 billion federal income-tax cut next year as an anti-recession move.
Jones said the reduction was needed to "give weary taxpayers some relief from inflation" and help spur business productivity. He suggested that $18 billion of the cut go to individuals and $7 billon to corporations.
Jones' recommendations, outlined in a speech at a tax conference in Chicago, marked a major departure from the prevailing mood in Congress and the administration, where policymakers still are leaning against any big tax cut.
Jones also endorsed proposals for a value-added tax, or form of national sales tax, proposed by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Al Ullman (D-Ore.); faster business depreciation writeoffs; and some Social Security tax relief.
The GE chairman indicated yesterday he was speaking for himself and not necessarily for business as a whole. Jones is chairman of the tax issues committee of The Business Roundtable, an organization of large U.S. corporations.
Jones' call for cuts in income taxes, both for individuals and corporations, placed him at odds with top White House officials, who have argued that if taxes are cut at all it should not be in the income-tax area.
President Carter has suggested that if he ever does propose a tax cut for 1980, it likely will be confined to relief from Social Security taxes and faster depreciation writeoffs for business.