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Clinton was president in 2000. The deficit is not a problem. Government surpluses are unsustainable. As I said, lower oil prices at the beginning of Clinton's term as president helped out a lot. But the boom was also fueled by unsustainable private sector leveraging allowed in part by a financial sector totally run amok. All of that blew up in 2000, which is what motivated the BUSH II tax cuts in 2001. Problem with those tax cuts were they relied on trickle down nonsense. If you give more money to those with the highest propensity to save, it necessitates a larger government deficit than otherwise. BUSH II expansion was fueled in small part by the tax cuts on the lower end, more government spending, and even more private sector leveraging by an even more bloated and fraudulent financial sector. 1/3 to 2/5 of American home loans issued in 2006 were what the industry termed behind close doors to be liar's loans. And it was the lenders, not the borrowers, who put the lies in liar's loans. All that additional lending helped fuel spending, which led to tax revenues that drove the government's deficit below 2% of GDP in 2007. Then you had massive increases in the price of oil, as well as the FED raising interest rates in 2006, the discovery of all the insanely bad junk mortgage securities on the books of banks and investors around the world, the massive collapse of Lehman brothers, and the economy total;y imploded in the worst recession since the Great Depression.
From the 90s on regulators kept turning a blind eye to the deterioration of lending standards, and started judging bank capital requirements not by actual equity (paid-in assets), but by projections on the value of mortgages being issued. That's where mark-to-market accounting comes from. Bank regulators figured if banks could sell the mortgages they were making to investors, that everything must be fine, because the market knows all, blah, blah, blah.
See my posts all over this website about government deficits, banking, and finance, or better yet read Warren Mosler's free book "The Seven Deadly Innocent Frauds of Economic Policy
." It's easy to read for non-econ types.
I was a die-hard Democrat and it took me several years to accept Warren's prophetic understanding of the monetary system. I met the man in June of 2012, as I invited him to speak with Occupy Dallas, and he obliged. Today, he remains my mentor and my hero.