The recent news story about the Michigan man who makes his own gasoline in his back yard is a good reminder that Americans are a most ingenious people. This ex-chemistry teacher named Floyd Wallace feeds leaves, grass clippings, table scraps, coal, and garbage into his $500 homemade oil refinery and, by a process called pyrolysis, outcomes high-octane gasoline.
Mr. Wallace has been brewing his own gasoline ever since he built his machine 12 years ago, and he uses it in his automobile, his motorcycle and his lawnmower. Wallace said nobody showed any interest in his gasoline machine until a few weeks ago; but now, telephone calls and visits from people concerned about the energy crisis are getting bothersome.
Recent Presidents of the United States have demonstrated their ingenuity by scheming to avoid paying high income taxes. Both Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon had their Vice Presidential papers appraised at a very high value, then donated them to a library, then took an enormous tax deduction spread over several years which saved hundreds of thousands of dollars of income taxes.
Another tax-dodging scheme is for a President to give his personal home to the Federal Government, but retain a life estate. This tax scheme costs the taxpayers in three ways: the President avoids death taxes and probably annual property taxes on his expensive home, he can take a huge tax deduction for the gift, and the taxpayers get stuck with the expenses of upkeep of the house and grounds. Franklin Roosevelt did this with Hyde Park, and now President Nixon plans to do this with San Clemente.
President Nixon’s intended gift of San Clemente would give him another big tax deduction right at the time that the one he claimed for the donation of his pre-presidential papers is running out; and it, too, can be spread out over up to six years to help keep the Nixons on the list of high-income individuals who pay relatively little Federal income tax.
It would be Letter for our country if our Presidents would apply their talents and ingenuity to figuring out ways to reduce the taxes the rest of us have to pay, instead of searching for devious ways to avoid their own taxes. For example, the President could cut out all or most of the some $16 billion in foreign giveaways which he doles out annually to 130 different countries around the world. He could cut out Government loans to Communist countries to buy our wheat, our truck, chemical and fertilizer plants, and our technology.
By balancing the budget, he could cut out part of the costly interest on the national debt. And by initiating the simple solutions put into practice by Governor Ronald Reagan in California, the President could substantially cut the fraud out of welfare and reduce the swollen government bureaucracy.
Our politicians should apply their ingenuity in ways which will save taxes for all Americans, instead of just for themselves.