Ah, the Tea Parties. That great populist upsurge, ordinary people concerned about debt raising their voices in righteous fury against the burden placed upon future generations. Oh, wait:
Business advocates hope the expiration of the Bush-era tax cuts at the end of the year will become a flashpoint at town hall meetings and other gatherings, just as health care and government spending were during last year’s August break.
In a pair of letters to lawmakers later this week, businesses plan to raise concerns about looming tax increases on investment income and also on individual income. The groups will argue that the ultimate effect of the tax increases will be to “discourage investment in the recovering U.S. economy and in job creation,” according to a person familiar with the effort.
The effort is being organized by a couple of coalitions. One, the Alliance for Savings & Investment, has about 25 investment group and company members; it focuses on tax relief for investors. The other organization, the Tax Relief Coalition, includes major business organizations such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, as well as manufacturers, contractors and others.
Conservative activists are hoping the issue of the expiring 2001 and 2003 tax breaks will catch fire among grassroots tea party groups, too.
“It’s something people everywhere are interested in,” said Max Pappas, vice president of FreedomWorks, the conservative activist group. “There’s pretty broad agreement that higher taxes mean less economic growth.”
FreedomWorks, of course, is the business-financed astroturf lobbying outfit that has helped sponsor the Tea Parties. The Chamber of Commerce is, well, the Chamber of Commerce.