Business Roundtable and 297 other business groups sent a letter to Congress and the White House this week calling for immediate action to forestall the economic damage from the ever-nearing "fiscal cliff," i.e., the tax increases that would hit when current provisions expire and the draconian spending cuts from sequestration.
News coverage gave good play to the serious nature of the issues and the trade associations' proposals, while acknowledging what members of Congress are saying: Action is unlikely before a post-election lame duck session, and even that might be a "punt" to avoid the cliff, waiting for more comprehensive action in 2013.
National Journal, "Business Groups Urge Action on Fiscal Cliff "
A coalition of business groups led by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has urged Congress and President Obama to act to avert the "fiscal cliff" of expiring tax cuts and automatic spending cuts. Economists have warned that the mix of higher taxes and budget cuts could send the country into a recession.
"The time to act is now," the business groups said in a letter. "It is imperative that action be taken now to avert a potential crisis."
The business groups are calling on an extension of all Bush-era tax rates, including current marginal rates, dividend and capital gains rates and estate tax relief.
They also want to extend expiring business tax provisions, provide alternative minimum tax (AMT) relief and find spending cuts to replace those in the sequester.
In looking down the road, the groups, which include chambers of commerce around the country and a wide variety of other groups, want Washington to commit to tackling comprehensive tax reform and take a closer look at the level of entitlement spending.
Associated Press, "13 Defense Executives Bemoan Uncertainty Of Cuts"
Motion to proceed to consideration of S. 744, #immigration bill, passes Senate by 84-15. Getting right into amendments.
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