POLITICAL NOTEBOOK: Dueling protests planned at Gwinnett courthouse

Groups from both the left and the right will have dueling protests today, as Congress’ debate on extending the Bush tax cuts continues.

Gwinnett’s chapter of MoveOn.org, which has drawn little attention in previous events on health care reform and other issues, caught attention with its plans to call for the a “millionaire tax break” to be allowed to expire.

The group plans to protest at noon at the Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center in Lawrenceville, and Steve Ramey of the Founding Fathers Tea Party sent an alert to ask people to counter that protest.

“This is nothing but a government bailout for millionaires,” said Glenda Poindexter, an organizer of the MoveOn Gwinnett event. “It’s just plain immoral to give a tax bailout to millionaires at the same time that Congress is cutting off unemployment assistance for millions of unemployed Americans. Congress should be focusing on creating jobs and fixing the economy instead of this outrageous giveaway to wealthy Americans.”

Ramey called the protesters “anti-free enterprise,” and said the tax cuts are “desperately need(ed) to get the economy moving again.”

In an e-mail to his group, he encouraged people to bring signs without stick handles and said he wanted to outnumber the MoveOn group.

Senators call for action

On Wednesday, U.S. Sens. Johnny Isakson and Saxby Chambliss were among 40 Senate Republicans pushing for a vote on an extension of the tax cuts.

In a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, the group said it would not vote to proceed on any legislation until the matter was brought up. The breaks are set to expire at the end of the year.

“Given our struggling economy, preventing the tax increase and providing economic certainty should be our top priority,” the letter said. “Without Congressional action by December 31, all American taxpayers will be hit by an increase in their individual income-tax rates and investment income through the capital gains and dividend rates.”

Political Notebook appears in the Thursday and Sunday editions of the Gwinnett Daily Post.

Camie Young can be reached via e-mail at camie.young@gwinnettdailypost.com.