My good friend Bill Chafe (yes, one of the 88; deal with it) wrote a piece for the N&O this morn. And he's basically right. So I sent him this note:
I enjoyed your article in the N&O this morning.
Thought I would share a table I made up for an article I just wrote for CRITICAL REVIEW. This is total government spending per capita, in real (2010 constant) dollars, by decade:
Table: U.S. Nominal and Real (2010$) Federal Spending Per Capita
1990.. $5,100.... $8,300
2000.. $6,500.... $8,300
2010.. $12,300... $12,300
(Sources: Budgetof the US Government: Historical Tables 3.2 and 7.1, and StatisticalAbstract of the United States)
So ignoring the fact that Republicans are hopeless hypocrites about tax cuts, it is pretty clear that Republicans presidents are also the cause of spending increases! That's mostly, but not exclusively, because of idiotic military spending, but that hardly matters.
The usual story about how Clinton balanced the budget was that he had huge tax increases to cover his big spending growth. Well, thanks for playing, but no.
Constant dollar Gov't spending per person was $8,300 in 1900, and was still $8,300 in 2000 when "conservative" GWB took over.
We have had exactly one president who embodied the "keep spending low, balance the budget" conservative principles of the Tea Party since 1970, and his name was... Clinton.
So, goodONya, sir. Hope to see you sometime.