Cooking Up a Political Storm

The restaurant lobby is stirred up over entertainment deductions. Maybe too much so.

Roughly half the ceiling at the National Restaurant Association's headquarters in Washington has been torn out to make way for a new sprinkler system. Though unintentional, it's a fitting symbol of President Clinton's proposal to install a 50% ceiling on the deductibility of business meals. Unfortunately, nobody at this 75-year-old trade association is in the mood for irony. "If the government keeps going the way it is, you won't have any fine- dining establishments in America," grumbles chief executive William Fisher, as he chows down a power lunch at nearby Mo Sussman's restaurant. "We are not a special interest. And I...

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