Remember when ABC’s Charlie Gibson asked candidate Obama if he would raise capital gains tax rates even if it brought less revenue to the government. Yes, Obama said. “I would look at raising the capital gains tax for purposes of fairness.”

In contrast, it was after Bill Clinton agreed to cut the capital gains rate in 1997 that large enough gushers of revenue poured in to balance the federal budget.

Obama seeks to advance what Alexis de Tocqueville in “Democracy in America” called “soft despotism,” with “a network of small, complicated, painstaking rules” — think Obamacare — to “finally reduce … each nation to being nothing more than a herd of timid and industrious animals of which government is the shepherd.”

Or so it seems to me. If so, why not risk a recession? It would keep the herd in need of shepherding.