From the NY TIMES: "When President Bill Clinton left office in 2001, the government had run surpluses for three straight years. By the time President George W. Bush left the White House, the governnment had run deficits for seven straight years and the Congressional Budget Office projected a 2009 deficit of over $1 trllion.
Much of the deterioration resulted from huge Bush era tax cuts, which left the nation short of revenue, especially when it had to pay for two wars. And because the budget was already in bad shape when the financial crisis hit in late 2008, the necessary spending to rescue the system only deepened an already deep deficit. Unchastened, Republicans-joined by a few Democrats-are now determined to dig the whole even deeper by calling for all of the Bush tax cuts to be extended beyond their scheduled expiration at the end of this year.: