After beginning with a Clinton-era surplus in 2001, the Bush administration ran up deficits of $158 billion in 2002; $378 billion in 2003; and $413 billion in 2004. Then, with revenues pouring in, the deficits began to fall: $318 billion in 2005; $248 billion in 2006; and $161 billion in 2007. That 2007 deficit, with the tax cuts in effect, was one-tenth of today’s $1.6 trillion deficit.Read the whole thing.
Deficits went up in 2008 with the beginning of the economic downturn — and, not coincidentally, with the first full year of a Democratic House and Senate.
Via Instapundit who notes, "People complained about Bush’s spending, but if we could get back to the Bush-era spending and deficits now it would look like a triumph of fiscal responsibility — and Democrats would complain of 'austerity.'"