I’ll give you 44 guesses.

Click for full picture

For an official history of deficits (with an occasional surplus) in real dollars, see the OMB Historical Budget Tables.  (You can compare administrations.  I bet you are surprised by the Clinton  – Bush – Obama numbers.  Don’t forget Harding – Coolidge.)

Richard Rahn suggests here how revolutions develop:

In poor societies, there are always a few rich people; and in rich societies, there are always a few poor people. A successful society is characterized by fewer poor each year and more middle class and rich. Revolutions take place when the number of poor rises faster than the number of middle class and rich. The poor, being less educated and having more of a static view of the world, blame their increasing hardship and numbers on the rich.

The real villains are those in the political class who pandered to the voter by promising more in benefits to be paid for by others – “the evil rich.” But if the rich people are taxed too much, they opt out by moving or no longer being rich, and then the tax revenues fail to keep up with the increases in spending until finally, the debt burden slowly sinks the ship. This is precisely what is going on in the United States and most European countries at the moment.

I wasn’t worried about Rahn’s analysis until I saw this:

Cake, anyone?