Donald Lambro
WASHINGTON -- There he goes again. President Obama says that what America needs right now are higher taxes to pay the government's mounting bills and curb its $14 trillion debt.

It isn't enough that every business and every American is already getting whacked daily with $4-a-gallon gasoline prices, because of the White House's policies to discourage drilling for oil. As a result, top economists are cutting their economic-growth forecasts for this year into the mid-2-percentage-point range.

Then there are the new Obamacare taxes that will be imposed on businesses and individuals who don't buy the plans the government wants to impose on everyone.

Throw in federal taxes that rake in about $2.5 trillion a year from all of us, businesses, individuals, retirees, investors, shopkeepers and every other nook and cranny of our economy. Add in all of the state income taxes, sales taxes, property taxes and dozens of other fees and taxes on everything from the tires on our cars to the food we eat.

It isn't as if our economy is going gangbusters, jobs are plentiful, and Obama is getting high marks for how he's handling the nation's economy. Quite the contrary.

In the third year of his presidency, the average unemployment rate remains nearly 9 percent -- with half the states running jobless rates of between 9 percent and 14 percent. A Gallup Poll puts the unemployment rate at 9.6 percent and the underemployment rate at a shocking 18.9 percent.

Meantime, wages have been flat or falling. Home foreclosures continue to rise at a furious pace. Home sales and new construction are in a recession. Small businesses, the engines of employment growth, are still struggling. The New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal and legions of economists say the economy is still "fragile."

A growing percentage of Americans are blaming Obama and his failed tax-and-spend economic policies. The Gallup Poll reports that 55 percent of Americans say "he is doing a poor job of making America prosperous," and, by 47 percent to 41 percent, they say, "he is doing a poor rather than a good job of improving the nation's energy policy."

Our economic future doesn't look so hot, either. It didn't make the network nightly news shows, but Gallup found in a separate survey that "Optimism about the future of the economy declined across all political parties" during the first three months of this year.

"Democrats remain the most optimistic, with 45 percent saying things are getting better, but this is down from 55 percent in January and 52 percent a year ago. Independents' economic optimism is at 31 percent and Republicans' at 21 percent, both down from January," Gallup said.

Donald Lambro

Donald Lambro is chief political correspondent for The Washington Times.