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U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Fox Lake) addresses the debt crisis, advocating for limited spending and extended tax cuts at a Schaumburg meeting Tuesday.


National debt top of mind for many in 8th Congressional District

by Lauren Cook
Oct 03, 2012


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Lauren Cook/MEDILL

 

Walsh responds to a constituent Tuesday.

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Lauren Cook/MEDILL

Walsh answers a constituent question.

For many residents of Illinois’ 8th Congressional District interviewed this week, the paramount issue of the upcoming election between incumbent U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Fox Lake) and opponent Tammy Duckworth is the $16 trillion national debt.

In interviews, conducted on the street and at a community meeting held by Walsh in Schaumburg Tuesday, constituents frequently expressed fears that their children and grandchildren would bear the burden of the today’s national debt..

“The debt is just too high,” said Schaumburg parent Tony Tornabene, who attend the community meeting. “I’m concerned for the future of my children and my future grandchildren.”

Tornabene said he wants his congressman to pursue shrewder government spending, energy independence and the extension of tax cuts in an effort to reduce the debt and stimulate economic growth.


Dave VerMerris, 25, said “The debt is a scary topic… . I am entirely unsure of how this will come back and bite us, but I’m sure that it will.”

“Retaining tax cuts for the wealthy is an irresponsible response” to the debt crisis, the Schaumburg resident said. Instead, the customer service account major for a large Chicago company said he supports limiting governmental spending, both domestically and abroad, and reforming the welfare system to require more state regulation.

Walsh mirrored his constituents’ concerns Tuesday, saying “right now, we are delivering a country to our kids they’ll never forgive us for.” Republicans need to “ask the country to grow up and say we’ve got to pay our bills,” Walsh said. In terms of specific debt solutions, Walsh advocates limited government, simplifying the tax code and “drilling for oil in the parking lot outside this restaurant.”

Although rising national debt seemed to be the most talked-about topic by people interviewed in the 8th District, residents like Tornabene and VerMerris also said they were concerned about the economy, foreign policy, health care legislation, Medicare and student loan rates.

Tammy Duckworth’s campaign office did not return calls for comment by publication time.