Page:Carter Interview with Harry Reasoner (Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter 1st debate)(Gerald Ford Library)(1554406).pdf/6

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We, in analyzing issues, this year, are using key Members of Congress and their staffs whom they recommend to work with us in deciding what ought to be done with basic tax reform, welfare reform, agricultural policies, transportation, energy and so forth. So I think there will be a good knowledge of one another if I am successful, and the other thing is I consider my word of honor at stake.

MR. REASONER: One of the charges you have faced a couple of times during the campaign is the charge that you have different faces for different audiences. I am thinking of your remarks about tax reform in your acceptance speech, and then last week your visit with businessmen in New York City. Some people interpreted what you said in New York as a backing away from your populous promises in your speech. How do you reconcile that, sir?

GOVERNOR CARTER: There is no incompatibility there at all. I am going to have the first year devoted to a complete revision of the income tax structure to eliminate loopholes and special privileges that have been enjoyed by the rich and the powerful entities in our society.

I let it be known to the businessmen, for instance, that I was going to do this. In the past a tax reform quite often has resulted in a cheating of the average American family because the reforms are shaped by intense pressure from special interest groups and the general public is not aware of what is going on.

I am going to be responsible as President for any comprehensive major tax reform and for acquainting the American people with the issues that are drawn. And if I can get the support from the folks back home with the natural inclination of many Congressmen, I think we can be successful.

MR. REASONER: Would as drastic a measure as a revolutionary measure of taking home mortgage interest off the deductible list -- would that be included in your program?

GOVERNOR CARTER: Well, we now have about $10 billion in tax credits or incentives for the ownership of homes. I would maintain that incentive toward home ownership. I think, if anything, perhaps it needs to be expanded a little bit. But I would reserve the right to modify the mechanism used to give that credit.