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What has changed since then? The jobless economy is in a steeper decline, the middle class is struggling more than ever, and poverty is rising.

“The U.S. economy is teetering on the brink of another recession,” says University of Maryland Business School economist Peter Morici. “Get ready for a bad ride.”

The tax hikes the Senate just passed are going nowhere in the House, where Republicans plan to vote next week to extend all the Bush tax cuts for another year. But half-a-dozen very vulnerable Senate Democrats are going to pay a political price for their vote when they face their constituents in November, as will Mr. Obama.

The Gallup Poll reported Thursday that business owners are “now among the least approving of Obama,” falling to 36 percent in the second quarter.

The Republican war cry this fall will be “Americans have been taxed enough.”

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