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Isakson promotes tax cuts at Rotary

DULUTH -- To get out of the Great Recession, politicians need to keep taxes low and regulations predictable, U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson said Tuesday at the Rotary Club of Gwinnett.

"If small business isn't growing, then jobs aren't growing. If jobs aren't growing, the economy is stuck, and that's where we are right now," Isakson said to one of the biggest crowds the club has had. "We need in Washington ... to make our taxes predictable and regulations fair."

With many of the Bush tax cuts expiring at the end of the year, Isakson said he expects there to be a move before the November election, with many Democrats unwilling to go into a campaign with an impending tax increase.

Compromise on the estate tax, which could rise from zero to 55 percent on Jan. 1, is a few votes shy but likely to be worked out, said the senator, who faces his own re-election battle in November.

"We've got to deal with it," he said of the tax cuts. "That would be the last nail in the coffin on the economy."

Isakson, who spent his working career in residential real estate, said the nation's housing problem will only be solved by jobs.

Just hours before President Barack Obama's address on Iraq and Afghanistan, Isakson said it would be a mistake to withdraw from Afghanistan.

"The worst thing to do would be to leave Afghanistan -- just like it was to leave Iraq -- without reaching the goal," he said. "We can win our objective."

The two war zones had different objectives, and Iraq's was met, he said. It is critical to the safety of America to remove Afghanistan as a safe haven for the Taliban, he said.