Megan McArdle says neither party is “particularly credible” on the deficit:
Looking at our small group of post-1980 presidents, we have two GOP presidents who increased the deficit, one GOP president who took major steps to close it, one Democratic president who took steps to close it. The “Dems good, GOP bad” has another problem, of course: Barack Obama., the Democratic president who has set spending records as revenue collapse.
This is unfair to Barack Obama for reasons I hope Ezra Klein will explain.
More to my interests since this is an ideologically driven non-partisan blog, I can take note of the fact that George HW Bush’s excellent record on deficit reduction is a great illustration of the point that conservatives don’t care about the deficit. After all, what do conservatives think about George HW Bush? They hate him! And what specifically do they hate about him? They hate his deficit reduction package! Blind partisanship is a strong force in American life, but in the particular case of Papa Bush and the deficit, it’s something conservatives are able to overlook in favor of their passionate lack of concern about the budget deficit. Anyone who gave any weight whatsoever to the idea that deficit reduction is an important issue would have to think that HW Bush looks like a pretty good president. And anyone who wants to be a member in good standing of the conservative movement needs to think that HW Bush was by far the worst of the post-Carter Republican presidents.