Jim McTague devotes his latest “D.C. Current” column in Barron’s to an examination of President Obama’s capital-gains tax proposal.

There he goes again! President Obama wants to hike the capital gains and dividend taxes paid by the top one percent to 28% — the same rate in the 1986 tax-reform bill signed into law by President Ronald Reagan, the patron saint of fiscal conservatives. Obama has been agitating for a hike since 2009. He again raised the issue before last week’s State of the Union address. Administration officials said that Obama’s fiscal 2016 budget will call for the higher rate. Obama’s goal is $320 billion in added tax revenue over 10 years to pay for some new social programs.

Congressional Republicans — you know, the “no new taxes” guys — held their noses in 2013 and let the capital-gains rate for the rich rise from 15% to 23.8%, as part of a budget deal with Obama to avert an impasse that would have left the U.S. unable to meet its debt obligations. The Bush tax cuts, which outdid Reagan’s, were expiring. The deal enshrined the Bush rates on income, dividends, and capital gains for the middle class, but let them revert to the higher, Clinton-era levels for the jet set. If other deductions lost by wealthy taxpayers in that compromise are included, their capital-gains rate actually rose to 25%. The same deal let the tax bite jump to 39.6%, from 35%, on ordinary income for individuals making more than $400,000 and families making more than $450,000. …

… The low-capital-gains-tax crowd argues that a higher rate imperils economic growth by damping business fixed investment — i.e., outlays for machinery and buildings — because the returns on these become lower on an after-tax basis. This, in turn, damps hiring. Higher rates on investment “do not make America the best place in the world to invest, start a business, and create jobs,” Larry Lindsey, a former Bush economic advisor, said at the same hearing.

In 2011, before the Obama hike, only the United Kingdom, Denmark, and France had integrated capital gains and dividend taxes exceeding those in the U.S. High rates also steer corporations away from stock markets to debt markets, because interest paid on bonds is deductible. The increase in corporate debt elevates a corporation’s credit risk. A 2010 paper by economist Allen Sinai for the American Council for Capital Formation argued that a 28% tax would cause an annual loss of 602,000 jobs. As for the argument that 28% was good enough for Reagan…the world has moved on. Our trading partners have slashed corporate rates to lure investments away from the U.S.

Now that the GOP controls both the House and the Senate, it’s unlikely to accede to another capital-gains boost. Maybe it will counter by proposing a cut.