Taxpayer activists hold Tax Day rally at Capitol, urging lawmakers to make last year\’s tax cuts permanent.

WASHINGTON – April 15th rings with a certain dread to every American\’s ears. The tax man cometh.

And to mark the day when Americans must pay their taxes or face the wrath of the IRS, taxpayer activists from across the country today gathered on the west lawn of the United States Capitol, urging lawmakers to make permanent the tax relief package passed by Congress and signed into law by President Bush last year.

"The tax man cometh," said taxpayer advocate Grover Norquist, who heads Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) in Washington, "and he wants too much of the hard-earned money of American taxpayers. Uncle Sam taxes our labor, our food, the nails that hold up our houses, our cars, our electricity, our heat, our telephone bills, our travel, our fuel, our savings – he taxes everything, and then comes back to take half of what\’s left when we die. That\’s why we Americans have come together on April 15th to say NO! to any new taxes."

More than twenty representatives from taxpayer advocacy organizations and business groups spoke at this morning\’s rally on the terrace of the U.S. Capitol. They spoke on various topics, urging Congress to make last year\’s tax cuts permanent, to reform Social Security and Medicare, to abolish the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT), to abolish the capital gains tax, as well as other important taxpayer issues. A vote on making the tax cuts permanent is likely this week in the U.S. House of Representatives. Democrats in the Senate have held up this legislation.

"Congress should move forward on three tax fronts this year," continued Norquist. "First, lawmakers should make permanent the income and death tax relief that passed last year. Second, they should pass the Tax Limitation Amendment, which requires a 2/3 majority of lawmakers to push through a tax hike. Finally, they should move to abolish the burdensome alternative minimum tax (AMT) which was designed to \’soak the rich\’ but which ended up soaking everyone with a little spare change in their pockets."

Norquist concluded: "America\’s legacy of free enterprise and low taxes has produced for her people the highest standard of living the world has ever known. We should continue this drive by making President Bush\’s tax plan permanent and lowering the tax burden of all Americans when and where possible."