Washington insiders project that tax code discussions could be to 2011 what healthcare was to 2009 and financial regulatory reform was to 2010: a nationally divisive issue that provides a chance for lobbyists to cash in. No matter what the political allegiance, this debate has a “something for everyone” feel that will engage lobbyists across party lines scrambling to weigh in on deductions and withholdings.
Though Congress voted to extend the Bush-era tax cuts for two more years, some determination needs to be made regarding what will happen not only in the meantime, but after the cuts expire again (in line, incidentally, with another major election year). Businesses and associations favor a simplified tax code, but no one is sure about the best way to implement it. President Obama has also voiced support for a simplified code, but also is not sure of what the best practices would be.
With varied interests at stake, and no one, even Congressmen, sure where to start, there is a unique opportunity for lobbyists to take up almost any issue to promote on the Hill. And as was the case with healthcare reform and financial industry regulation, no matter what happens, no one will be satisfied, and lobbyists can be sure they will have their hands full peddling for any myriad of deductions (or elimination thereof).