Voters ahead of Washington in grappling with tough economic choices

Voters Back Tough Steps to Reduce Budget Deficit

Jonathan Weisman
The Wall Street Journal

RICHMOND, Va.—Frustrated voters, fixing on the $1.5 trillion federal deficit as a symbol of Washington’s paralysis, appear increasingly willing to take drastic steps to address the red ink.

Leonard Anderson, 56 years old, a Richmond, Va., drug-maker engineer and a Republican, said he would be willing to accept a national sales tax to raise revenues. Kimberly Moore, 46, a Richmond Democrat and bank information-technology analyst, said everyone will have to accept budget cuts. And at 67, Paul DesJardins, a Henrico, Va., Republican, said he would accept higher Medicare co-payments and deductibles.

“As Americans, we’re all going to have to cut back and take less,” said Lois Profitt, a 58-year-old small-business owner and political independent from Chesterfield, Va.

With the November midterm elections looming, voters appear ahead of Washington in grappling with the tough choices to come, according to national polling and a focus group commissioned by The Wall Street Journal in the bellwether city of Richmond…

…Voters seem more impatient and say they want their political leaders to take a stand. “I wish the politicians would be hard-a—, and be like, ‘You know what? It’s going to be horrible for the next few years, but you’ve got to shut up,” ‘ said Jennifer Ciminelli, a 35-year-old political independent in Richmond, Va., and one of 12 Virginians who participated in the Journal’s focus group. It included four independents, four Republicans and four Democrats.

Virginia is a new swing state that voted for President Barack Obama in 2008 then elected a Republican governor, Bob McDonnell, the next year…

Read the entire article at The Wall Street Journal.

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