Bill Thomas: I’ve Got No Beef with Dan Glickman

Bill Thomas, the former and formidable chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee when Republicans ran Congress, called tonight to say that, despite Washington speculation, he has no beef with Motion Picture Assn. of America President Dan Glickman.

Sen. Max Baucus said on the Senate floor the other night that moviemakers were robbed of a $246 million tax break in the mega-billion stimulus package because of a “vendetta against the industry.” Baucus did not name names but said the provision was taken out on the House side a few years ago “for a personal reason, if I may be candid.”

Thomas said he did, as chairman, preside over a change in the corporate income tax law meant to bolster U.S. manufacturers. In 2004, the bill included moviemakers. Two years later, after Glickman had become MPAA’s top executive, Thomas said the committee realized that movie employees were contractors, making the industry ineligible for the break.

But he said he had no beef with Glickman, former congressman from Witchita, Kan. and former Agriculture Secretary in the Clinton administration. 

 “I have no feud with Dan,” Thomas said in a phone interview. “We served on the Agriculture Committee together.”


Anyway, he said, corporate tax cuts are different from the 50% write-off for equipment that was in the $900 billion stimulus package.

“Somebody is trying to build a rumor,” he said. “It makes a better story for some people who prefer fiction over fact.”