I've produced four different graphs below, all showing the same data but with slightly different adjustments. All data is calendar years, not fiscal years. Amazingly, the increase in our debt in Q3 of 2013 was less than $9 billion, in part due to the Treasury's efforts to avoid hitting the debt ceiling. The four graphs are:
1: Quarterly deficits vs GDP
2: Quarterly deficits, nominal
3: Quarterly deficits, inflation adjusted
4: Quarterly deficits, inflation adjusted per citizen
It's a lot of data, but the trend is rather obvious - vote Republican if you love exploding deficits, and Democratic if you love balanced budgets. This general trend holds true not only for the years on the graph, but all the way back to the post-war era. The last Republican president to oversee a reduction in the deficit was Eisenhower. The last Democratic president to oversee an indisputable rise in the deficit was FDR, and I think he deserves a pass due to WWII. Carter is the odd man out here. The deficit was largely unchanged during his term in office and whether it was a slight increase or a slight decrease depends on your measure. Also note that our projected deficit going forward is consistent with it approximately halving from its current level by the time Obama leaves office.
So when members of one particular party gripe about "fiscal responsibility", just show them these graphs, and remind them of how they have less than zero credibility on the matter.
Similar data can be found at AngryBearBlog here.