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Friday, April 22, 2011

Note To GOP On Debt Limit: You Do Not Fold When Holding A Full House

All talk of financial Armageddon by the Obama administration aside, it seems that the majority of Americans, who now hold the lowest "mood" level in two years, also are opposed to raising the debt limit. (Source-CBS News/New York Times poll)

Just 27 percent of Americans support raising the debt limit, while 63 percent oppose raising it.

Eighty-three percent of Republicans oppose raising the limit, along with 64 percent of independents and 48 percent of Democrats. Support for raising the debt limit is just 36 percent among Democrats, and only 14 percent among Republicans.

The current debt ceiling is at $14.3 trillion and as you can see from the National Debt Clock above this post, we are at $14,277 trillion and change. (yeah pocket money huh?)

While politicians admit the need to raise the debt limit Republican politicians are demanding a way to raise the ceiling at the same time as assuring the public as part of the debt limit deal that spending will be cut by placing caps, assuring that taxes will not be raised and/or a concrete balanced budget amendment in order to guarantee the pattern of spending, borrowing and raising the limits over and over again is stopped.

Democratic politicians and Obama simply want the debt ceiling raised in a "clean bill" to continue to borrow more money without addressing the causes.

The Obama administration still wants Congress to pass a “clean bill” that raises the debt limit without additional spending curbs, White House Budget Director Jacob Lew said on Bloomberg Television’s “Political Capital with Al Hunt.”

“Let’s not link them,” Lew said.

Ryan rejected that approach today, saying Republicans can’t support greater borrowing without taking additional steps to reduce the federal deficit at the same time.

“Nobody is saying we want to see default,” Ryan said. “We want to get cuts in controls and on spending going forward, and that is what we’ve been telling the White House.”

Republican senators are considering a plan to tie an increase in the debt ceiling to a cap on federal spending at 20.6 percent of gross domestic product within 10 years.

Ed Morrissey at Hot Air digs into the CBS poll's samples and weighting system expresses surprise, that given the unbalanced weighting giving Democrats in the poll a huge edge, the opposition despite Obama's White House messaging of impending doom if the debt limit is not raised, the numbers in opposition are still so high.

It wouldn’t be a CBS poll without looking at the sample and their weighting techniques — and this one’s a doozy. Somehow, their pollster ended up with a raw sample that was almost half Republican, with 543 registered GOP voters in a sample of 1,116, while only 277 Democrats took part in the survey. Pollsters correct those imbalances through weighting, which was necessary for a sample that had a raw D/R/I of 25/49/36.

So how did they weight it? They ended up with a D/R/I of 33/25/41, almost as badly skewed as their raw sample. They ended up pumping Democrats up by a third while cutting Republicans in half and giving independents a slight bump upward, leaving Democrats with an advantage among registered voters that they haven’t enjoyed in years. Remember, Obama won 2008 election popular vote by seven points, with significant numbers of independents and some crossover Republican support as well.

With every two Democratic survey respondents getting three votes to a half-vote for every Republican, it’s somewhat surprising to see that Obama’s campaign on the debt limit hasn’t resonated better than we see here.

This shows that Obama's message has not even resonated well with Democratic supporters.


The debt limit was increased under Bush seven times in the eight years he was president, the end of which had a Democratically controlled Senate and House.

Under Bush the debt limit went from almost $6 trillion on the day he took office in 2001 to $10.63 trillion on the last day of his second term.

Any wonder why Americans turned against the GOP?


February 17, 2009, the debt limit was raised from $11.315 trillion to $12.104 trillion. From then until now, under a Democratically controlled House and Senate it has been increased three more times and now sits at almost $14.3 trillion.

Almost $3 trillion in two years of an Obama presidency.

2010 midterms gave the GOP the largest increased in House seats in over 70 years and a gain in the Senate. The GOP promised to get Washington's spending under control and work on lowering our debt and to focus on jobs.

Americans gave the GOP a second chance in 2010.

The GOP needs to understand that in this particular issue they have, according to this latest poll and others conducted before it, not only a majority of Americans, but two-thirds of the country behind them in sticking to their guns, demanding the root problem be addressed before raising the debt limit yet again.

Even then some will not be happy the limit was raised again but at least the GOP will have solid actions to back up what they promised during the campaigns that gave them control of the House.

You do not fold when you are holding a full house.

[Update] Going through the discussions on this topic I see I am not the only one using the card game analogy and Patterico's Pontifications thinks the GOP might very well fold their full house.

If they do, the 2012 elections will not be the happy-happy moment the 2010 midterms were for the GOP.

Bet on it.