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This week, Mr. Obama’s plan to do just that couldn’t attract the 60 votes needed to make it the pending business. Two Democrats voted no, while others expressed opposition to raising taxes in a recession, though they voted with their party in a procedural vote, but not on the merits of a plan they disliked.

Mr. Cain isn’t going to be the presidential nominee of the GOP for two fundamental reasons: He doesn’t have a ground organization needed to wage a campaign in the primaries. And it’s hard to see anti-tax Republicans rallying around a flat tax plan that calls for a new 9 percent federal sales tax on top of all the other sales taxes we pay.

Democrats think they can win this tax battle by playing the class-warfare game and making millionaires their poster boys for higher income taxes. The Congressional Research Service put out a study this week that said one-fourth of all millionaires in this country paid as little as 24 percent on their income.

But the reason they may pay at a lower rate than many middle-income Americans is that most of their income comes from dividends and capital gains on stocks or other securities, which are taxed at 15 percent. Mr. Obama wants to raise that tax, too, which would cripple capital investment.

Mr. Romney, whose economic plan would cut the business income tax and keep all the Bush tax rates in place, would also eliminate the capital gains and dividend tax rate on incomes under $200,000 a year and keep it at 15 percent for higher earners.

In the years ahead, more middle-income retirees will be living on interest, dividends and capital gains from their retirement savings, and he thinks that shouldn’t be taxed at all. They already paid taxes on it when they earned that money in the first place.

Donald Lambro is a syndicated columnist and former chief political correspondent for The Washington Times.