The last President to balance the Federal budget was Bill Clinton. The last Republican President to balance the budget was Dwight Eisenhower. Before him was Herbert Hoover. And we saw how that turned out.
In the last 60 years, the Federal budget has been balanced exactly 5 times. It has run a surplus another five years...and for those who think of the 'Rs as the party of fiscal responsibility, all of those years were under Democratic Presidents. But for 50 of the last 60 years, the Federal budget has run a deficit.
And, somehow, the nation has survived.
Yet the Republican shibboleth has become a balanced budget as the only solution to our debt crisis. And they accuse President Obama of not believing in balancing the budget or believing we have a debt crisis. This ignores the fact that most of the current deficit is due to programs, wars and tax cuts put in place by the Republican administration just past, that the current Democratic administration has cut that deficit approximately in half or that the greatest growth in budget deficits and national debt has occurred under Republican not Democratic Presidents.
How can this be?
The plain fact of the matter is that the current Republican concern with a balanced budget is a scam. Republicans have never minded government spending...as long as the spending is on programs they like. Wars, for example. If you look at their current budget proposal, the cuts are all in social programs, education programs and essentially doing away with Medicare. While cutting these programs, they actually increase the military budget and give massive tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans. Indeed, the only way they are able to balance the budget is is by assuming the repeal of the Affordable Care Act...at least the parts that provide benefits while keeping the parts that cut Medicare and provide revenue.
They have, in essence, classically reversed Robin Hood's dictum...their budget steals from the poor and gives to the rich.
The Republican balanced budget scam isn't, in fact, about the deficit. It is about ideology...theirs. The R's hate Medicare, they hate programs benefiting anyone but the military or the wealthy. If they could include Social Security in the mix...and one suspects they'll find a way...they would take an axe to it as well even though it doesn't add a penny to the deficit.
In the recent election the R's proved they couldn't count. Their current budget proposal suggests that, even if they could add, they don't want to.