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That level of trust in Republicans on tax policy is well justified. Look beneath the surface of the White House/Democrats’ tax plans, and you see confiscatory tax rates that would shut down what little growth remains in Mr. Obama’s economy.

The Democrats’ millionaires surtax would be slapped onto investment income, raising the top tax rate to 40.6 percent and even higher, 45.2 percent, if the George W. Bush tax cuts are allowed to expire at the end of next year.

Raising federal taxes on capital investment in the U.S. economy would effectively kill investment, undermining future business expansion, curbing growth and reducing job creation, or what’s left of it.

But Mr. Obama and his party aren’t interested in boosting private-sector investment by enacting tax-cut incentives to unlock trillions of dollars in capital reserves that remain on the sidelines. They’re only interested in getting more money to spend on the same failed central-planning programs they’ve tried before without success.

Mr. Obama wants to make next year’s election about the rich and big business versus the middle class, when it’s really going to be all about who has the smartest ideas to expand the economy, boost investment and create jobs.

His plan is to divide the economic pie into smaller slices rather than create a bigger pie through robust economic growth and more capital formation.

He thinks that by raising taxes on dividends and capital gains, the government will receive more tax revenue when it will get less of both. When President Clinton cut the capital gains tax rate in his second term, the economy took off like a rocket, unemployment fell, and higher tax revenue led to a budget surplus.

Mr. Obama saw that happen but insists on raising taxes on investors anyway, which may explain why polls show that just 58 percent of Democrats believe he will be re-elected.

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