Tech: The Virtual Third Party

A Silicon Coalition has emerged in Congress. It cuts across party lines and trumps ideology

House Minority Leader Richard A. Gephardt had high-tech execs spilling their lattes in shock when he appeared at a breakfast at a Northern Virginia hotel in late March. Gephardt, an icon of "Old Democrat" values and champion of Big Labor, praised Silicon Valley's role in fueling America's economic boom. He then endorsed more visas for skilled foreign workers and even backed a handful of tech-oriented tax breaks. Among them: extending the moratorium on new Internet taxes, scrapping the federal telecommunications excise tax, and making the credit for research and development permanent.

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