They keep coming back to me as Republicans return to worrying about borrowing:

"Deficits Don't Matter."

Those were Dick Cheney's words, according to the man they were addressed to, former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill. The exact same words came back at me in mid-2001 when I asked a senior Bush administration why the president was spending and borrowing and cutting taxes with such abandon so soon. It is good to see the GOP pretending to be fiscally conservative again, but could any of them - just one or two apart from Ron Paul - concede that Bush and Cheney are the ones responsible for our current fiscal nightmare? They drove us so deep into the ditch that we have almost no fiscal lee-way to counter the kind of crisis they stumbled into at the end of their term. If we had retaied the fiscal health of the Clinton-Gingrich years into the new millennium, our range of possible actions right now would be far less dire.