This is a nice graphic demonstrating the primary reason for my shameful (in the eyes of many of my friends and family) transition from “conservative” to “liberal”:
No Republican president has balanced a budget in close to 40 years. I can’t remember which budget that would have been, but it was some time during the Nixon administration. Ford didn’t do it. Reagan didn’t do it. George H.W. Bush didn’t do it. And George W. Bush didn’t do it. Since 1980, Republicans Reagan, Bush, and Bush have had 20 opportunities to preside over a balanced budget and have not managed it once. For Reagan, I’ve been told that the Democratic Congress was the problem all 8 years. For Bush the Elder, again, it was those darn Democrats. When Clinton presided over balanced budgets, then it was because of the Republican Congress. But when Bush the Younger had a Republican Congress to work with, deficits hit record highs. It’s time to face the fact that, with Republican administrations, budget deficits are not the exception, they are an iron-clad rule.