The Bush tax cuts are scheduled to expire this year.  For a primer on what that means for you and business, check out this helpful list from Americans for Tax Reform.  In a nutshell, all income-tax rates will rise-not just the top earners.  The marriage penalty will return and the child tax credit will be cut in half.  The death tax will return and there will be higher capital gains and dividends taxes.

Understandably, people are worried about this loss of personal income and businesses are showing a reluctance to grow in light of these new taxes.  Today’s New York Times reports that despite record profits, many companies are holding on to the cash, not expanding or hiring.  The reason? Uncertainty.  

When Alcoa reported a turnaround this month in profits and a 22 percent jump in revenue, its chief financial officer, Charles D. McLane Jr., assured investors that it was not eager to recall the 37,000 workers let go since late 2008. “We have a tight focus on spending as market activity increases, operating more effectively and minimizing rehires where possible,” he said. “We’re not only holding headcount levels, but are also driving restructuring this quarter that will result in further reductions.” 

Michael E. Belwood, a spokesman for Alcoa, said more than 17,500 of the former workers were employed at units Alcoa has since sold, but added that the company “had to be resized to match the realities of the recession.”  

“We’re keeping a close eye on costs because there is still uncertainty about the stability of this recovery,” he said.  

But don’t worry, Sam Donaldson has a fantastic idea to deal with this uncertainty.  Discussing the topic on ABC’s This Week, Donaldson, (proving once again he’s never once held a job in private industry) offered this idea for generating confidence in the business sector.  He said: 

“…perhaps we should continue to extend the tax cuts across the board, but put in a trigger. When our national product gets better, when our unemployment gets better, use some other indexes. Then the trigger automatically raises it for the wealthy back to 39 percent.”  

Thanks Sam, that’s a great idea. Nothing reassures a business owner like a tax that is triggered when one starts earning money.  Sounds like an incentive to keep profits low and job creation even lower. 

Get this guy a job at Treasury!