Chamber of Commerce CEO: New Taxes Will ‘Hurt Job Creation’

By Penny Starr | January 10, 2013 | 3:37 PM EST

Tom Donohue, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, spoke at the State of American Business event on Jan. 10, 2012, in Washington, D.C. ( Starr)

( – The new taxes that were put in place as part of the so-called fiscal cliff negotiations will have a negative impact on U.S. businesses and, in turn, the job market, the president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said on Thursday.

“On the negative side, the recent tax increases resulting from the fiscal cliff deal will hit successful small businesses hard, which will dampen growth and hurt job creation,” Tom Donohue said in his remarks at the annual State of American Business event in Washington, D.C.

Donohue noted that the results of Chamber survey of small business members of the business lobbying organization showed “significant uncertainty over health care regulations, taxes, and deficits.”

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When asked how the new taxes will impact small businesses and job creation at a press conference following the event, Bruce Josten, executive vice president for government affairs at the Chamber, said that about 800,000 small businesses in the U.S. are “responsible for a little bit more than 50 percent of all economic activity in the country.”

Josten noted that part of that activity is generated by customers buying their services and products – an activity that could be threatened by another fiscal cliff deal – the end of the payroll tax holiday for American workers.

Taxes will increase for “virtually everybody,” Josten said, “and that’s going to have an impact on them and the anemic recovery that already exists.”

In his speech, Donohue said economic experts at the Chamber predict that the economy will not fall back into a recession but will only grow by a modest 1½ to 1¾ percent over the first part of the year and 2½ percent by the end of 2013.

Donohue also called for the development of domestic energy, in particular oil, natural gas and coal, entitlement reform, and a bi-partisan approach to solving the country’s problems.

“In this difficult environment of divided government, we stand ready to work with both parties and within both parties, with the administration, and with both traditional allies and adversaries, wherever we can agree,” Donohue said. “But we will not sugarcoat or shy away from the disagreements that will inevitably arise.

“We’re going to passionately defend the right of the business community and all Americans to speak freely and participate in the politics and public affairs of our democracy without fear, intimidation, or undue regulation,” Donohue said.