So let's be clear about who's really to blame for this predicament.
Republicans simply want to extend all Bush tax cuts for a year, a position shared by several Democrats, including Bill Clinton before Obama forced him to repent. Obama himself once said that the worst time to raise taxes is in a bad economy.
Yet Obama has now expressly promised to let taxes go up on everyone if he can't get them raised on the "rich." And Democrats show an increased willingness to hold a gun to the economy's head if they can't force Republicans to play their class warfare games.
Nevertheless, the real problem businesses face isn't gridlock in Washington — lawmakers are sure to strike a deal before years' end.
The real problem they face is the cliff of a potential Obama reelection.
Even if they won't admit it to the New York Times, businesses know that a second Obama term will mean:
Higher taxes. Obama wants to jack up income tax rates not only on the "rich," but also raise the top capital gains rate to 24.7% and the top dividend tax to 44.7%. When this fails to produce any revenue, he'll certainly be back for more.
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