Influential Business Group Opposes Bush Tax Cuts

By John S. McClenahen The National Association of Manufacturers and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce are in the forefront of business groups backing the Bush Administration's Jobs and Growth package. But the Committee for Economic Development (CED), an influential group of 200 business leaders and university presidents, is not. The Bush proposal, which the group figures would add $920 billion to the federal budget deficit between 2003 and 2013, fails to restore balance to the budget, CED says. The federal budget deficit, which could top $300 billion this fiscal year, "is too large to be closed or even substantially reduced by tax increases or budget cuts alone," CED warns. To prevent a long-term budget crisis, CED is proposing a comprehensive plan that includes the restructuring of Social Security, Medicare reform, restraint in defense and national-security spending, and new revenue. "Any budget program must address the deficit on every front," says Roy J. Bostock, retired chairman of Bcom3 Group Inc. and currently CED's chairman.

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