An interesting graphic can be found here. It shows deficits by year, 1980 through 2010, in both dollars and as a percent of GDP. Most interesting.
From the ideological side of the fence, I notice that Clinton's surplus did not happen until after the Republicans took over in 1994. I also note that after W's 'monster deficit' in 2004 - which is no where close to where we are now(!) - was followed by a steady decline until 2008. IMHO, the 2008 deficit was predominately caused by the economic collapse, although the budget was most certainly bloated (and first pure Democrat budget in a decade or so). This trend continued into 2009 and 2010, when spending *really* took off. I also think the projected reductions in the deficit in the coming years are woefully optimistic.
All of this ideological analysis means nothing.
Whether Democrats or Republicans get proportionate blame is meaningless. Congress writes the checks, Presidents cash them. Everyone's finger is in the pie with the ONLY goal of "getting re-elected".
We both agree that we have a spending problem. Right now, it appears BOTH SIDES are trying to find a way to push things into the next Congressional cycle so THEY won't have to deal with the very hard decisions which are looming. Rest assured that I'm just as ticked off by the Country Club Republicans as I am by the Wacky Left. Everyone is on a spending spree, and the head-in-the-sand pronouncements that things are not as bad as they could be, hides the problem (and the solution).
Fundamentally, I think either you believe in economic liberty – which is to say that government IS NOT the optimum means of allocating investment – or you don’t. I am hopeful that an increasing number of people realize how we REALLY got in this mess (and who was at the controls, e.g., all of the self-serving 'power brokers'). Unfortunately, this is counter-balanced by an increasing number of the "dumb-masses" who are accepting the argument that government ought to take any money lying around to spend as government wants, and this is OK (e.g., ‘fair’) just so long as it soaks ‘the rich’.
I don’t want to fix blame, and I don't want to shift the burden from Peter to Paul, and I don't want to waste time trying to manipulate who gets the credit... I want true economic freedom to make a Real Comeback.
If I may paraphrase Jerry Pournelle again, "Freedom is not free. Free men are not equal. Equal men are not free. And the universe is not fair."