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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 08:46 AM ET, 07/20/2011

The Morning Plum

* Republicans to their leaders: Make a deal already: In case you needed further proof that the ground is shifting big time in the debt ceiling debate, consider this number from the new Post poll: Fifty eight percent of Republicans say their leadership is not doing enough to srike a deal, and seventy-nine percent of independents say the same about GOP leaders, versus 62 percent who say it about Obama.

This mirrors Gallup’s finding earlier this week that 57 percent of Republicans, and 72 percent of independents, want their leaders to reach a compromise even if they disagree with its contents.

* Even Republicans favor tax hikes on the rich? As Chris Cillizza and Aaron Blake point out, another striking finding in the Post poll is that 54 percent of self-identified Republicans favor raising taxes on those over $250,000 to help shrink the deficit:

Those numbers suggest that the notion that any tax increase is anathema to the party base — a belief that seems to be guiding much of House Republicans’ negotiating strategy to date — may be misguided or, at least, overstated.

There are certainly signs of serious vulnerability for Obama in the poll. Disapproval of him on the economy is running very high, and the economy could ultimately reduce the debt ceiling standoff to a sideshow. But it’s now impossible to escape the sense that the public views the debt ceiling debate largely on the White House’s terms.

* Gang of Six proposal won’t be part of any deficit compromise: No matter how much gushing there is about the Gang of Six plan released yesterday, the fact is, as Harry Reid says, that there is not enough time for it to be part of any compromise that will raise the debt ceiling before the default deadline.

* Debate in Congress has drifted WAY to the right: Also key in the above link: Some of the $1 trillion in new revenues the Gang of Six plan would raise by closing loopholes would actually go towards reducing the tax rates of the wealthy and corporations. This, even though large majorities — and now a majority of Republicans — favor raising high-end taxes.

* House Dems’ opposition rising to McConnell escape-hatch proposal: Some House Dems think McConnell’s plan to transfer control of the debt ceiling to the President is a trap designed to make Obama absorb all the public blame for high spending, ensuring that he’s a one term president.

Whether that’s true or not, the McConnell plan will need House Dems to pass, given opposition to it among House GOPers, so this is a dynamic to watch.

* Dems win big in Wisconsin recall election: As expected, Dem state senator Dave Hansen trounced his GOP recall challenger by a large margin last night, winning the first test of whether any Wisconsin Dems will be recalled for fleeing the state and setting the stage for the final Dem push to take back the state senate.

“Tonight’s results provide an indicator of what’s possible in the coming weeks,” emails Kelly Steele of the labor-backed We Are Wisconsin. “We look forward to finishing the job in the critical elections that will play out over the upcoming weeks.”

* GOP no longer the party of Reagan: Dana Milbank on how Republicans honor their alleged hero Ronald Reagan more in the breach than the observance, given that he hiked the debt ceiling 16 times and raised taxes 11 times.

* Media getting it right on the debt ceiling: Kevin Drum offers an interesting explanation for why public opinion is shifting in favor of raising the debt ceiling: Media figures are finally getting serious about reporting on the default battle not as mere political theater but as a genuine threat to our economy and well being.

* False equivalence watch: Jonathan Chait says what must not be said in polite company: One party is far more to blame than the other for the debt ceiling impasse, and pundits who claim otherwise are concealing the truth from readers and making default more likely.

* Michele Bachmann, profile in courage: She has a new ad up in Iowa claiming that she’s showing “courage” by opposing a hike in the debt ceiling.

Of course, the reality is exactly the opposite: Her position is nothing but craven demagoguery, and the truly courageous position would be for her to tell 2012 GOP primary voters the truth about default, rather than taking the politically expedient route of feeding their delusions about it.

* Migraine story becoming a serious headache: Politico unearthes new details about her condition, and it seems clear that her initial explanation won’t be enough to fend off continuing media inquires.

* And Bachmann camp blames reporter for scuffle: Wow. So now Bachmann’s spokesperson is claiming her aides shoved around ABC’s Brian Ross because he “jumped on stage and rushed towards us,” an explanation that even the Los Angeles Times’s Andrew Malcolm finds laughable.

What else is going on?

By  |  08:46 AM ET, 07/20/2011

 
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