George McGovern’s 1972 Presidential bid never quite took off, but one of his stump lines did.
“There is something fundamentally wrong with the tax system,” that quip went, “when it allows a corporate executive to deduct his $20 martini lunch while a workingman cannot deduct the price of his bologna sandwich.”
Richard Nixon, who enjoyed the occasional martini himself, crushed McGovern in the 1972 election and ignored his prairie populism. Four years later, Jimmy Carter would pick up McGovern’s baton and try to crack down on business meal tax breaks. But Congress blocked him.