There’s the ideological divide between Republicans and Democrats, which seems to be wider than ever. Then there’s the divide between what Americans say they want and what elected officials in Washington give them.

The latest McClatchy-Marist poll says that 47 percent of us think the debt ceiling deal is bad for everyone except the wealthy and corporations (43 percent were OK with it). Here’s who voters think are treated unfairly by the deal:

* The elderly: 65 percent.

* The poor: 63 percent.

* The middle class: 61 percent.

Conversely, 57 percent of voters polled think people with high incomes were treated fairly, and 56 percent said corporations got a fair shake.

Some other interesting results:

* 69 percent of respondents are for raising taxes on those who earn more than $250,000 a year, versus 28 percent against.

* 62 percent say Congress should get rid of subsidies to oil and gas companies.

* 50 percent support cuts in defense spending, while 46 percent oppose cuts to the military.

On the other hand, a much larger majority — 84 percent — opposes cuts to Medicare and Social Security, and 73 percent are against cutting Medicare and entitlements.

And a whopping 70 percent think the country is headed in the wrong direction.

Faced with gaping deficits and an unsustainable national debt, lawmakers are in a difficult position. How do they balance the budget, cut deficits and restore confidence in their ability to govern?

Not with short-term deals with an eye toward getting re-elected.

They definitely need to come up with a long-term plan to cut the debt, because there’s not much joy in their short-term deal.

— Loveland Daily Reporter-Herald, Colorado, Aug. 15

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