Jon Chait on who gets credit for the Clinton budget surplus:
It wasn’t Clinton’s boldness alone that caused the budget surplus to appear. George H.W. Bush’s 1990 deficit reduction deal, which was also denounced in apocalyptic terms by conservatives, did more to reduce the deficit than Clinton’s 1993 budget. The 1990s economy helped as well, though both Bush and Clinton deserve credit for helping lay the groundwork for that growth by putting sensible fiscal policy into place.
He goes on to mention the historical reality that the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 was merely a formality as the surplus was inevitable. And the Republicans of 2000-01 decided to obliterate the surplus with tax cuts rather than paying down the debt. One huge recession later and the Republicans have suddenly found religion on the deficit? That’s hilarious.