Before 'W' got in and made changes in taxes and military spending we were paying off the debt. Bush said the deficits that resulted from his changes were "extremely positive news." (Yes, that is in quotes, click the link.) Before that Reagan also caused deficits on purpose. He called it "starve the beast" -- as if democracy is a "beast" that needs to be killed. So don't fall for all this deficit hysteria, let's just fix what caused the deficits and move on.
This Deficit Story Can't Be Repeated Often Enough
Any time any DC elite complains about "the deficit" remind them that when Clinton left office we had a huge surplus, so big that at the rate it was being paid down the entire US debt was going to be paid off in 10 years. Bush demanded that we give back the people's money and Greenspan warned of the danger of paying off the debt. Etc. Etc. Etc. Then Bush doubled military spending -- and started two wars on top of that!
So we went from big surplus to huge, huge deficits. Bush said it was "incredibly positive news" when we went back into deficit spending. He said it was good news because it continued the plan to use debt to force the government to cut back. He said that. It was the plan. (Don't take my word for it, click the links.)
The Reagan people said it too, back when they started the massive deficit spending. It was the plan: force the country into massive debt, "starve the beast," and use that to force the government out of business, or at least to be "small enough to drown in a bathtub." They forced the tax cuts and Reagan said this was "cutting the government's allowance." The point was to use revenue cutbacks to force government to shrink, to get out of the way of the 1%.
Now that government is very much out of the way of the 1% we are seeing how things work out when the 1% dominate everything.
It was the plan. They forced these deficits on us on purpose. Reagan called it "strategic deficits." It was a "shock doctrine" tactic, to get us to panic, and then move in with their "solutions." So we are arguing about how much to cut out of the things We, the People do for our benefit, which the wealthy and their corporations get vastly wealthier and more powerful.
Low taxes on the rich = less money to use to do things that benefit We, the People. Higher military budget = less money to use to do things that benefit We, the People.
The ONLY response to this "fiscal cliff" shock-doctrine nonsense is to repeat over and over that we were paying off the debt, then Bush made changes, so let's undo Bush's changes. If you are so bothered by the deficits, then fix the things that caused the deficits.
And then we can get back to the business of democracy: We, the People doing things for the benefit of We, the People.