FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
Voters are fed up with our lawmakers' inability to take action when it comes to reducing the $1.5 trillion federal deficit. And as The Wall Street Journal reports, it's the voters who appear more willing to take drastic steps to do something about the nation's mounting red ink.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/06/09/art.voting.jpg caption=""]
The newspaper talked to voters in Virginia, a swing state, who say they're willing to make the tough cuts - from a national sales tax, to budget cuts, to higher medicare co-pays and deductibles.
The voters get it even if the federal government doesn't. And Washington really doesn't get it. Our leaders worry about being attacked in an election year if they suggest spending cuts or tax increases.
The American people just want their leaders to lead on this issue. Is that too much to ask? That's why they were elected.
One independent voter in Richmond, Virginia told the Journal, "I wish the politicians would be hard-[blanks] and be like, 'You know what? It's going to be horrible for the next few years, but you've got to shut up'."
Wouldn't that be refreshing? Meanwhile we await the results of Pres. Obama's bipartisan deficit reduction commission - which are conveniently scheduled for release after the November election. And when the recommendations finally do come; most, if not all, of them will have to be approved by Congress. Which will likely render the entire exercise meaningless.
Some are suggesting a popular uprising is the only way to get our country back on track. A piece on InfoWars.com suggests "without a revolution, Americans are history."
Here’s my question to you: If voters want the deficits addressed, why does Washington continue to ignore them?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Chandler in Rockaway, New Jersey writes:
Jack, For the same reason we are a nation of fat slobs. Everybody wants to be thin, but hardly anybody is willing to eat less and exercise more. The electorate wants the deficit reduced, especially after being whipped up by Tea Party demagogues. But heaven forbid we touch Granny's Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare. And who would cut support to our brave fighting troops? (If you don't cut those four things, nothing else matters; everything else put together is a rounding error.) Everybody else out there who wants to pay higher taxes, raise your hand. Everybody wants deficits cut, as long as you don't cut spending or raise taxes.
If you asked those voters in Virginia something like "Would you be willing to pay $1,000 extra a year in new taxes and co-pays to help fix the deficit?" you'd get unanimous disapproval. It's easy to say you want everyone to make sacrifices, but when it comes to opening your own wallet, the status quo is just fine, thank you very much. Let somebody else pick up the tab.
Michael in New Mexico writes:
Democrats are in a no-win situation and they are picking the political lesser of two evils as they see it. If they tackle the deficit, then they have to cut Social Security and Medicaid in some way and in the process anger a lot of voters. On the other hand, if they ignore it and keep spending they will only anger the Tea Party, Republicans and some Independents - not their base. They are betting that if they ignore it they will still lose but not as badly as if they tackle the problem.
Donald in Hilton head, South Carolina writes:
The primary objective of congressmen (and the president) is to get re-elected. So they will always opt to put off the hard decisions to the future. Most of us, independents, recognize there are hard times ahead. The sooner we face that, the better. We desperately need term limits and a balanced budget amendment.
When push comes to shove, voters do not want spending cuts that would need to be addressed to curb the deficit. They like the "idea" of deficit reduction.
Ed in Morganton, North Carolina writes:
Our elected officials are like spoiled children who ignore their parents. We can't spank them, but we can vote them out in November.