Law & Order actor calls to renew Bush tax cuts

Thompson is also a former senator from Tennessee and will appear in TV ads beginning Tuesday that attempt to educate voters on what will happen if the tax cuts expire.

"Our nation faces a massive automatic tax increase at the end of this year when the Bush tax cuts expire," Thompson says in the ad. "When that happens, your income taxes could increase by 10 percent or more, capital gains will jump more than 30 percent and taxes on dividend will more than double. That's not a pretty picture."

Thompson's effort to maintain the tax cuts comes a lawmakers grapple with how to extend them. Democratic leaders say tax cuts benefiting the middle class will be extended while breaks for the wealthy will expire.

Still, there is growing concern in Congress that allowing any of these tax cuts to expire could be detrimental to the economic recovery.