The Hill (12/23/12) Vicki Needham
Business leaders are growing increasingly frustrated with the lack of progress in talks to head off billions in looming tax increases and spending cuts they say will harm the nation’s economy. The increasing likelihood of that possibility sunk in after lawmakers left Washington on Dec. 21 for the Christmas holidays with neither a broad bipartisan agreement nor a back up plan that could, at the very least, prevent more than $600 billion in tax increases and spending cuts scheduled to begin in January. Collectively, business groups generally have pushed for the sides to agree to a sizeable deficit-reduction package that also prevents tax hikes on most taxpayers. Big and small businesses have sometimes been at odds during the talks, with corporate CEOs offering more support for higher tax rates and small business groups arguing that would hurt their members. Many hoped the talks could provide a framework for tax reform next year, something that has long been a priority for the corporate world.