Every day we ask influential politicos to send us their top three bullet points that are driving the day's conversation inside and outside Washington.
RedState.Com Editor Erick-Woods Erickson:
– What has Michele Bachmann raised in campaign cash? We know Mitt Romney will top $15 million. We know Tim Pawlenty and Jon Huntsman are in the $4 million range. We know Herman Cain is in the $2 million range. But what of Bachmann? She started off an insurgent campaign on low dollar grassroots donations, but she has taken off meteorically. If she tops $5 million, she is the official anti-Romney candidate in the GOP primary.
– As the GOP says it wants a short term debt ceiling deal with the Democrats to get through 2012, the voices of discontent among the base are growing louder and louder. If there are no significant cuts, there could be a back bench rebellion of conservatives in the House.
– Democrats suddenly have a new talking point: spending is not out of control. One of the best examples of this is a recent post at the left-wing blog Talking Points Memo that uses a miscalibrated spending chart to make that case. Meanwhile, the GOP has a more accurate talking point of its own. No matter the tax rate, revenue into the federal government has averaged 16.9% or so of GDP. But when Barack Obama took office, the number precipitously dipped. Neither the Reagan nor the Bush tax cuts nor the Clinton tax increases have ever really kept the number from fluctuating much. Only the economic boom of the late 90's and the Obama economy have seriously changed that percentage. The former for the better and the latter for the worst.
Senior Political Columnist for TheDailyBeast.com John Avlon:
– The Debt Ceiling Debate: The Senate is coming back to work instead of enjoying their summer vacation because their work is not done. Whether a mini-deal is in the works or a grand-bargain, spending cuts, entitlement reforms and revenue increases are all necessary to deal with the deficit and the debt. Default will only compound the fiscal hole we’re in.
– Minnesota Government Shutdown: Casts a shadow on Tim Pawlenty’s claims of fiscal discipline by highlighting the deficit he left his successor. Also, this could be a sign of things to come if DC dysfunction continues.
– The Money Primary: This is the real test of a presidential campaign at this stage. With most second quarter fundraising totals released, we get a clearer sign of the strength of the field – Romney in first with nearly $20 million; Huntsman, Pawlenty, and Paul in a distant second at $4 million and change apiece. Newt not reporting; Bachmann coasting off her $13 million in national activist donations from 2010.
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