Published on August 18, 2010 at 7:03 AM
In the meantime, The Wall Street Journal reports on a new poll and focus group that found "[f]rustrated 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. ... That is a source of political peril for both Democratic and Republican parties, which are trying to talk about the deficit without addressing the specifics of how they would tackle it. Leaders on both sides of the aisle worry about being attacked if they produce a package of painful spending cuts or tax increases. And to reinforce lawmakers' anxiety, voters remain divided about what ought to be done." Some say they would accept higher copayments and deductibles for Medicare medical care. "With the baby boom generation retiring, the deficit will begin rising again because of rising Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid spending" (Weisman, 8/16).