What conclusions to draw from the HPU/UNC poll released today?
(N&R story here.)
Simple. People would like to see Republicans in charge of the economy, fixing the deficit and national defense.
And Democrats running education, health care and energy.
It’s the perfect case for, not divided government, but partitioned government.
Unfortunately, nothing’s really so simple. For example, if you give Democrats free rein in regard to education, health care and energy, you’ll explode the deficit. They’ll spend way too much money educating kids, providing everyone with medical care and promoting green energy projects.
On the other hand, more Americans probably think that’s preferable to the Republican alternatives of no public schools, health care only for those who can afford it and poisoning our atmosphere with carbon emissions.
Meanwhile, more Americans want Republicans to fix the economy, which they could easily do by eliminating taxes on big corporations and the wealthy job creators. As for national defense, Americans clearly trust Republicans — a green light for restoking the Cold War-era arms race.
That does leave the puzzling challenge of cutting deficits while give big tax breaks and power-feeding the military-industrial complex.
This riddle may be explained in the answer to the question of which party would better deal with government ineffectiveness: 37 percent say Republicans, 34 percent Democrats. A statistical dead heat, and essentially a vote of no-confidence in both.