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Last week, ABC’s George Stephanopoulos reported on the network’s nightly news that “since the [administration’s] bank plan was unveiled last Tuesday, the Dow industrials has lost 800 points.” His report included an interview with an economist who said “investors are not convinced [Mr. Obama’s] programs are going to work.”

Support for Mr. Obama’s economic recovery plan remains high for now at 64 percent, but as the latest Washington Post poll revealed Tuesday, “deep partisan fault lines are quickly reemerging.” His job approval rating among Republicans has dropped sharply since last month, from 62 percent to 37 percent, and nearly 40 percent of Americans now approve of the job the GOP is doing in Congress, up by double digits since last year.

Notably, a large majority now says Mr. Obama’s plan falls short of what is needed to turn the economy around. A whopping 63 percent say much more stimulus is needed (tax cuts?), with 29 percent saying “a lot more.” A meek 20 percent say the plan “will be enough.”

This is what is fueling the lack of confidence in Mr. Obama’s recovery plan as the economy retreats into a shutdown mentality.

Having said all this, I continue to believe in the American economy’s inherent resilience, if we pursue the right policies and send the right messages.

Telegraphing - as the Obama administration did this week - that they will raise the top two income tax rates on upper income individuals and small businesses in 2011 (when the country will still be in, or coming out of its recession) weakens the economy’s future prospects.

Making matters worse, states and counties, from California to New York, are raising taxes, too, creating even bigger obstacles to an early recovery.

This is not a time to be raising taxes on anyone. On the contrary, we should be cutting tax rates on businesses, investors and workers to give the economy the capital and breathing room it needs to recover.

That is the economic prescription Republicans have been relentlessly urging the administration to take, but without success. A $13-a-week tax credit for low- to middle-income taxpayers that will end next year isn’t going to make a dent in a cash-strapped economy. The American people are just beginning to understand that.

Donald Lambro, chief political correspondent of The Washington Times, is a nationally syndicated columnist.