Is there life after tax revision at the Treasury Department? Treasury officials say their work has just begun.
On Tuesday, the department issued its long-awaited tax reform and simplification plan and was immediately inundated with telephone calls from around the country and requests for the 262-page summary of its proposals. In three hours, the department had distributed 1,200 copies of "Tax Reform for Fairness, Simplicity, and Economic Growth" and the Secret Service ran out of visitor's passes for entry to the Treasury building.
The Government Printing Office, which sold the book for $8 a copy, ran out of its first printing of 2,500 by Wednesday afternoon. GPO officials said another 7,500 copies should be available this morning.
Next week, Volume 2 will be available. It will be filled with technical information concerning the plan, such as the new depreciation schedule that businesses have been clamoring to see. Volume 3, consisting of research on the value-added tax, which was rejected as a substitute for the income tax in the Treasury plan, will come later. Some officials joked that perhaps the tax-reform volumes could be made into a television mini-series.
A Treasury Department secretary, who declined to have her name used, said she hasn't seen such interest in a department subject since the 1981 tax act. In this case, however, many of the requests for information are from "the average citizen," rather than just lawyers and lobbyists, she said.
Opposition to the plan by special interest groups who feel they would be hurt has been mounting for weeks. In a counterattack, the Treasury plans a national blitz with officials giving speeches and interviews to mobilize the masses in favor of the tax-reform plan.
The department plans to focus on average citizens and try to persuade them to tell their members of Congress that their reelection could be jeopardized if they don't vote for tax reform. That was part of the strategy used to pass the 1981 tax cuts, a Treasury official said.
The morning after the tax-reform plan was released, Secretary Donald T. Regan appeared on "Good Morning America" (ABC/WJLA), and he is scheduled to talk about tax reform on "This Week with David Brinkley" (ABC/WJLA) Sunday and give a speech before the National Press Club Monday. NEW FACE, OLD FACES . . .
Roger Bolton, most recently director of speechwriting for Reagan-Bush '84, is slated to replace Thym Smith as deputy assistant secretary for public affairs, but he has not received final approval. Bolton technically is a consultant and is acting as a department spokesman. Bolton previously served as press secretary for the Joint Economic Committee.
George Carlson, economist and 14-year Treasury veteran, will become director of the Office of Tax Analysis, and Howard (Skip) Nester, at Treasury since 1975, will become assistant director of the office.
Richard Reinhold, associate tax legislative counsel who handled commodity futures and tax-straddle issues, will leave his post to be counsel to the New York law firm of Cahill, Gordon and Reindel. Reinhold has been at Treasury since 1982.