Donald Lambro

In a $14 trillion economy, the 1930s era idea pushed by Obama that we spend our way out of the recession with $800 billion for "shovel-ready" jobs was preposterous on its face. It takes too long to get money into the contracting pipeline, and once it is spent, the jobs end. Which of course is what happened.

It's generally believed that Obama and the Democrats have poisoned the well on income tax rate cuts, despite that policy's record of success, and there are many polls that support raising taxes on businesses and the richest Americans, just as Obama proposes to do with his $1.5 trillion plan.

But other polls suggest the American people are more closely divided on this issue than has previously been reported.

When the Gallup Poll asked Americans this summer, "Do you think our government should or should not redistribute wealth by heavy taxes on the rich?" 49 percent answered "No, should not" and 47 percent said "Yes, should."

"Seven in 10 Democrats believe the government should levy taxes on the rich to redistribute wealth, while an equal proportion of Republicans believe it should not," Gallup said. "The slight majority of independents" -- who decide most elections -- "oppose this policy."

The bottom line: "While a solid majority of Americans, 57 percent, believe money and wealth in the U.S. should be more evenly distributed among the people, fewer than half favor using the federal tax code to do so," Gallup said.

Redistributing income is at the heart of what Obama has proposed this week in his plan to raise taxes on upper-income people -- from small family businesses that earn more than $200,000 a year, to seniors who live off capital gains and dividends from their retirement funds.

But a tax hike policy that proposes to divide the nation's shrinking economic pie into small slices to redistribute it among our body politic is not a prescription for growth. It's a recipe for economic decline, fewer employers and jobs, less investment and increased poverty.

The Federal Reserve's ominous statement Wednesday forecast "significant downside risks" ahead for our nation's economy in the coming months. No one expects things to improve this year or even next under this administration's impotent tax-and-spend policies.

"The economy is imploding thanks to incompetence in Washington," says University of Maryland economist Peter Morici, who warns that the economy right now is dancing "along the precipice of a second recession."

"President Obama is hardly the victim of his predecessors' mistakes as much as his own decisions," Morici says in an analysis of the economy's rapid descent.

We need a policy that deregulates the economy to free it from Obama's rigid central planning, that will drill for oil to halt the currency drain to OPEC, and that will lift the tax burden that is pulling our country ever deeper into an economic abyss.

Donald Lambro

Donald Lambro is chief political correspondent for The Washington Times.