A chart from the New York Times showing where the current deficit comes from. I have altered the colors so that Bush’s deficit is shown in red, Obama’s in blue. It is worthy to note two things: first, that most of what we see here has taken place over a relatively short period of time, over the last year or so. Second, that the lion’s share of Obama’s deficit consists of actions needed to fight off Bush’s recession. When you subtract continuing costs incurred by Bush policies (like the recession and the Middle East wars), Obama’s contribution is limited to that tiny arrow at the bottom right.
In any case, if you ever encounter a tea-bagging wingnut screaming that he wants to secede from the union because Obama is creating a deficit that’ll cripple us, show him this chart. He’ll ignore it, of course, or otherwise claim it’s irrelevant (or Clinton’s fault), but others in the room will see him for the idjit he is.
Once we get out of the current recession, expect to see us do something that Bush could not do: rise up out of this deficit.