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Should the United States fund the service program AmeriCorps? President Obama would increase its budget. Rep. Paul Ryan would eliminate federal funding for the program.

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ThePlumLIneGS whorunsgov plumline
Posted at 06:17 PM ET, 07/16/2012

Happy Hour Roundup

* Pew:

By two-to-one (44% to 22%), the public says that raising taxes on incomes above $250,000 would help the economy rather than hurt it, while 24% say this would not make a difference. Moreover, an identical percentage (44%) says a tax increase on higher incomes would make the tax system more fair, while just 21% say it would make the system less fair.

A total of 68 percent overall either say raising high end taxes would help the economy or make no difference — while barely more than one in five agree with the Mitt Romney and GOP claim that it would hurt the economy.

Forty-one percent of independents say raising high end taxes would help the economy, versus only 18 percent who say it would hurt, and 30 percent say it would make no difference. Forty-four percent of independents say it would make the tax system fairer.

The challenge for Obama has always been to make tax fairness relevant to the debate about what to do about the economy. Even if Americans agree with him about the former, we don’t know whether that will impact their vote in an election that’s about jobs. This poll suggests at least some openness to connecting the two.

* Jonathan Cohn on why the Bain battle is indeed relevant to how Mitt Romney would run the country: The conservative/Romney policy response to the human toll of outsourcing is to essentially do nothing.

* Jonathan Chait on why the Romney camp has not responded effectively to the Bain onslaught: Because there is no effective response to it.

* Is Romney’s business background still an asset? Scott Clement finds serious slippage in the battleground states, though there still may be a silver lining there for Mitt.

* David Corn keeps chipping away at Romney’s story, and the more we hear along these lines, the less relevant Romney’s claim of no direct managerial control will seem.

* Chris Cillizza on why Romney’s Bain problem is unsolvable:

Regular people who aren’t CEOs don’t retroactively retire after three years in which they are listed as the head — whether titular or not — of a major company.

* Lee Fang asks how Romney’s father would have handled the exit from Bain, and posits that Mitt’s troubles (such as on tax returns) flow from his lack of his father’s ethical code.

* With Republicans set to block the DISCLOSE Act tonight, this weekend’s Post editorial on how Republicans moved from supporting full disclosure to abandoning the post-Watergate consensus on keeping our elections clean is very much worth reading.

* Andrew Rosenthal eviscerates Mitch McConnell’s claim that disclosing who pays for political ads would somehow limit people’s right to ... pay for political ads.

* E.J. Dionne on how active government remains the way to facilitate the social mobility conservatives regularly claim to want when they’re asked what we should be doing about inequality.

By the way: Bill Clinton is reading E.J.’s new book on the need to recapture American history from the Tea Party, and you should read it, too.

* And why won’t Mitt release more tax returns? Kevin Drum offers one possibility: “there are probably multiple years in which Romney paid no taxes at all.”

What else?

By  |  06:17 PM ET, 07/16/2012

 
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