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Mr. Obama’s arguments on behalf of raising income taxes on upper-income Americans, employers and investors are couched in the language of class warfare: Those who earn more should bear the increased burden and pay their “fair share,” not lower- to middle-income people. It’s a very clever but ultimately dishonest argument.

The people who will be directly or indirectly hit hardest by his proposed tax increases — in terms of jobs, incomes and economic opportunity — will be the middle class, who have suffered the most from a weakening economy.

An analysis of Mr. Obama’s tax proposals by the respected accounting firm Ernst & Young said that raising the top tax rates will destroy 700,000 American jobs.

“That’s because many of those hit by this tax increase are small-business owners — the very people who are the key to job creation in America,” Mr. Boehner explained.

Throughout his re-election campaign, Mr. Obama repeatedly attacked the Bush tax cuts, blaming them for the economic meltdown stemming from the subprime home-mortgage collapse, and tied them to Mitt Romney’s proposals to cut taxes, saying they were the same policies that “got us into the mess last time.”

Many factors led to the housing bubble and recession, but it’s a stretch to blame George W. Bush’s across-the-board tax cuts or future tax cuts that allow people to keep more of their own money.

Washington Post Fact Checker Glenn Kessler awarded Mr. Obama a near-failing grade of “Three Pinocchios” for his preposterous claim.

During his news conference, Mr. Obama pointedly noted that voters sided with his proposals to raise taxes, though he conveniently ignored that nearly half the voters sided with Mr. Romney’s five-point plan to boost economic growth and job creation through tax reform that would offset lower rates needed to spur growth.

Mr. Obama did say he would not draw “red lines” around his proposal to raise the top tax rate from 35 percent to nearly 40 percent, and he may be willing to agree with a higher rate somewhere below that, some Democrats say.

The bleak reality we face, however, is a job-starved, income-declining, debt-ridden, overtaxed economy, and Mr. Obama is proposing the economic equivalent of 18th-century bleeding.

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