LAST CALL: Three-martini lunches make return

As the rest of the country rolls up its sleeves, PR people may be

loosening their belts.

Unsure whether the best way to help their country is to offer pro bono

work or to send hefty checks to relief agencies, flacks may put

themselves to good use by revisiting their glory days, and by being the

first to the trough.

To encourage consumers to spend, spend, spend, Congressional

budget-crafting wizards are moving to allow taxpayers to deduct 100% of

the cost of a business meal, removing a 1993 restriction that made such

meals only 50% tax deductible.

In other words, US lawmakers are finally moving the return of the

three-martini lunch - one of the PR industry's fondest institutional

memories - to the front of the national agenda.

The motive for the return to government-assisted gluttony is to help the

troubled restaurant and hotel industry, and to ease the general business

tax burden.

We'll drink to that!

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