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May 28, 1981
Latest on Nimitz disaster 14 dead 44 injured. Had an N.S.C. meeting. Gave the go ahead to a plan for the Caribbean & Central Am. to help the smaller cos. economically, social reforms etc. plus mil. aid to protect against Cuban exported radicals. We’ll involve or ask to be involved Canada, Mexico, Venezuela & others. I proposed that the answer to the Haitians continuing to come here as illegal aliens for ec. reasons should be a program to upgrade Haiti’s economy so it could provide jobs for its people. Cabinet meeting. Demo’s. finally have come up with a counter proposal to our tax program. They want to include a reduction of the inc. tax rate on unearned income from 70% to the 50% top rate on earned income. We wanted that in the 1st place but were sure they’d attack us as favoring the rich. Several of their other proposals are things we wanted. Decision is, I’ll reluctantly give in provided they’ll accept the 3 yr. across the board cut which will be 5-10 & 10 instead of the 10-10 & 10 we originally proposed. I’ll hail it as a great bipartisian solution. H--l! It’s more than I thought we could get. I’m delighted to get the 70 down to 50. All we give up is the 1st year 10% beginning last Jan. to 5% beginning this Oct. Instead of 30% over 3 yrs. (36 mos.) it will be 25% over 27 months. Tonite a quiet pvt. dinner at Dillon Ripley’s. It was most enjoyable—no more than 20—an evening of good conversation. I almost forgot to mention the 1st meeting of the day. Mrs. Scharansky & a young Jewish refugee from the Gulag (10 yrs. in prison) came to see me. Mrs. S. married her husband 10 yrs. ago. She had a visa to leave Russia for Israel the day after the wedding. She left—the authorities told her the Groom would be allowed to leave very soon to join her. He is in the Gulag—was never allowed to leave—is said to have been an American spy which he never was. D--n those inhuman monsters. He is said to be down to 100 lbs. & very ill. I promised I’d do everything I could to obtain his release & I will.