Paul Page

White House Woos Reluctant Retailers
Administration’s warning of $200 billion tax hit on consumers if fiscal cliff is reached falls flat

The White House warned retailers Monday that they face a painful fall off the fiscal cliff unless a bipartisan agreement is reached to prevent expiration of middle-class income tax rates and limit the reach of the alternative minimum tax.

But if the intent was to enlist the retail industry’s support for a bargain with congressional Republicans on the administration’s terms, the White House report concluding that the two critical tax components of the fiscal cliff may cost store owners up to $200 billion in sales next year did not have the desired effect. The industry’s leading trade group made clear it does not intend to get into the middle of a partisan battle over tax and spending issues.