Ending tax breaks eyed as way to ease budget cuts

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats have a new mantra in budget talks: Close tax loopholes.

They're looking to raise more revenue by closing tax loopholes for certain businesses, investors and professionals. The idea is to help ease automatic spending cuts that are soon to become more painful.

The Democrats' list includes deductions for corporations that pay executives in stock options instead of salaries, and reduced tax rates for hedge fund managers. They're also going after ways to escape taxes on foreign earnings and Medicare tax avoidance measures for doctors and lawyers.

Republicans aren't averse to closing those loopholes. But they insist that new revenues should help reduce tax rates, not increase government spending.

The dispute could doom prospects for a deal to averting more spending cuts next year and a longer-term budget agreement.