Donald Lambro

"I don't know of an economic theory on the face of this earth that suggests that raising tax rates on business, raising tax rates on small business, raising tax rates on investment capital, would be a good idea at a time of severe financial strain," Kemp said at a news conference.

In 1960, when Sen. John F. Kennedy was running for president, the economy was growing at a lackluster rate. Kennedy's prescription to "get the economy moving again" was to cut the top income-tax rate in the belief that, as he put it, "a rising tide lifts all boats." His tax-cut plan was enacted, and the economy took off, ending that turbulent decade with a federal-budget surplus.

Obama, on the other hand, thinks people at the top don't pay enough taxes and would raise the top rate to nearly 40 percent, even though the IRS notes the top 10 percent pay the most income taxes. His running mate, Sen. Joe Biden, said it was unpatriotic for wealthier Americans to oppose Obama's tax hikes.

But the dirty little "income redistribution" secret in Obama's plan is that he would use that money to give refundable tax credits to lower-income workers who pay no income taxes.

McCain can regain the political offensive on the economy by tearing into Obama's plan to raise taxes on corporations and investors at a time when businesses are struggling to survive and desperately in need of capital to see them through hard times.

Voters in fear of losing their jobs can identify with this. They know this is no time for the IRS to be sending business people higher tax bills when they can't pay the bills they face now.

The lifeblood of our economy is capital -- a word Obama never utters. But the core of his plan to fix the economy is to raise taxes on capital investment. John F. Kennedy would have opposed his plan.

In 1986, Ronald Reagan offered a definition of the government's view of the economy before he became president that describes Barack Obama's economic plan perfectly: "If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it."

Donald Lambro

Donald Lambro is chief political correspondent for The Washington Times.