The Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) were adamant in their belief that the stimulus package needed a healthy dose of ineffective business tax cuts. Both groups are reportedly pleased with the bill that emerged from the Senate:
Business groups that had been pushing for additional tax cuts in the stimulus bill are now urging lawmakers to support a package negotiated by Senate centrists from both parties…In a letter to senators last week, NAM highlighted a number of tax provisions, including a one-year patch of the Alternative Minimum Tax, research and development tax credits and a temporary tax credit for homebuyers.
The business groups may sense victory, but the measures they are cheerleading would have very little stimulative effect. The AMT patch is a yearly Congressional ritual that provides no stimulus, while the home-buyers credit amounts to a “house-flipping subsidy.” These are ill-advised tax changes that were rightfully eschewed in the House’s stimulus. Incidentally, the Senate bill would create between 430,000 and 538,000 fewer jobs than its House counterpart. But, hey, who’s counting, as long as big-business groups get what they’re looking for?