- The Washington Times - Friday, February 10, 2012


President Obama is waging war against personal success and economic prosperity. Raising taxes on Americans is the centerpiece of his re-election campaign, a plan that respects no earthly or heavenly bounds. This became clear at the national prayer breakfast earlier this month where Mr. Obama oddly opined that tax hikes coincide with the teachings of Jesus Christ.

On Monday he’ll bestow his budget book on Congress, and we’ll get to see the details of his tax scheme in black and white. Whoever is in the Oval Office next year will immediately have to handle the pending tax hikes.

At the Conservative Political Action Conference on Friday, Mitt Romney made it clear that his philosophy differs from Mr. Obama‘s. “I did things conservatism is designed for - I started new businesses and turned around broken ones,” the former Massachusetts governor told the audience of activists. “And I am not ashamed to say that I was very successful at it.”

Mr. Romney made it clear that should he secure the Republican nomination, “tax hikes - they are off the table.” His platform calls for a moderate revision of the current tax code for individuals with slightly lower rates and a reduction in the federal corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 25 percent.

Corporate taxes are the most pressing issue because Democrats have sought to make business and prosperity into dirty words. Right now, the combined federal and state tax levy on companies averages 39.1 percent. On April 1, Japan will lower its corporate rate to 38 percent, leaving the United States with the dubious distinction of being the single worst place in the industrialized world to do businesses. Expect even more jobs and money to flee our shores seeking nations with tax structures more conducive to turning a profit.

To make matters worse, corporate earnings are double-taxed by the 15 percent capital gains and dividend taxes, further restraining our recovery. At the end of 2012, the capital gains rate is slated to jump to 23 percent and dividend taxes to a jaw-dropping high of 43.4 percent (this includes a new 3.8 percent tax on investment income to pay for Obamacare).

The hikes on tap for 2013 will make the integrated dividend rate - that is, the combination of corporate and investor taxes - skyrocket to 68.6 percent, according to new study by the Alliance for Savings and Investment. The coalition of dividend-paying companies and investor organizations found this figure was significantly higher than all other industrialized countries.

The integrated capital gains tax rate will be 50.8 percent, making it the fourth-highest in the world. The report notes that most developed countries provide relief from the double tax on corporate profits because they know it negatively affects economic performance.

Last year’s House-passed budget would have closed loopholes and ended credits so rates could be lowered for both individuals and corporations. In his State of the Union address last month, the president promised to give tax breaks to businesses and lower the corporate tax rate, but he didn’t offer specific figures. He said to Congress, “Send me these tax reforms, and I will sign them right away.” It will be telling if Mr. Obama includes any such lower rates in his 2013 budget.

Emily Miller is a senior editor for the Opinion pages at The Washington Times.

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