The economy is in bad shape, and getting worse. Manuracturing data suggest a new recession may be starting. If the economy isn't in a new recession, it's in danger of falling into one. It's shaky. It almost certainly cannot withstand any substantial shock.
So what does President Barack Obama want to do? He wants to raise taxes. A lot. $400 billion or $600 billion, depending on whose reporting you listen to. He wants to increase business and investment costs by that huge amount, taking that amount out of the economy that can't afford that kind of shock.
Yes, business and investment are the target especially business. As Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner said to Congress (approximately), "We have to raise taxes on small business so government programs don't have to shrink."
But we really do want government programs to shrink. The federal government and its programs are bloated and overly intrusive into the lives and actions of the people and the states. And the federal government wastes and squanders huge amounts of money every year. In addition, the government's increasing regulatory overreach is yet another huge drag on the economy.
There's another problem for Obama, too. The Congressional Budget Office says tax hikes are not necessary. So Obama's proposed tax hikes are both damaging to the economy and unnecessary except maybe ideologically.