Some leftovers and pro-regressives have discovered debt as an issue and now want to use it to justify increased tax slavery.
For the past 10 years they have claimed that Bill Clinton produced budget surpluses. We always knew these "balanced budgets" involved placing major budget items (Social Security, government pensions, Medicare) off budget.
And that any movement toward control of spending Clinton achieved were forced on him by gridlock with a GOP Congress.
Much as I too look nostalgically, under Obama-Pelosi-Reid, at both Clinton and gridlock, this myth is a lie.
But it turns out Clinton also stole money from various government trust funds as "loans" to cover up his deficits:
Will the national debt push us over the falls? Find out.
Clinton ran deficits throught all 8 years of his term, and one can go to the US Treasury Department and looking through the history of the total outstanding debt throught Clintons term. (http://www.treasurydirect.gov/NP/BPDLogin?application=np)
Every year Clinton was in office, the total national debt continued to climb.
How Clinton managed to claim a surplus was that while the general operating budgets ran deficits but Clinton borrowed from numerous off budget funds to make the on budget fund a surplus.
For example, in 2000, Clinton claimed a $230B surplus, but Clinton borrowed
$152.3B from Social Security
$30.9B from Civil Service Retirement Fund
$18.5B from Federal Supplementary Medical insurance Trust Fund
$15.0B from Federal Hospital Insurance Trust Fund
$9.0B from the Federal Unemployment Trust Fund
$8.2B from Military Retirement Fund
$3.8B from Transportation Trust Funds
$1.8B from Employee Life Insurance & Retirement fund
$7.0B from others
Total borrowed from off budget funds $246.5B, meaning that his $230B surplus is actually a $16.5B deficit.
($246.5B borrowed - $230B claimed surplus = $16.5B actual deficit).
If there is ever a true surplus, then the national debt will go down.