I think you have to go back to the last time we had a surplus and go from there. What has happened since then.
* Healthcare costs are through the roof - causing medicare costs to go through the roof.
* Bush tax cuts for nearly 12 years.
* Wallstreet deregulation, causing Wallstreet greed, causing financial recession.
* War, War War
* Companies sending manufacturing jobs overseas.
Simple - we have to get these healthcare costs down. Medicare is a good program, but $50K for a visit to the ER to have an MRI is inexcusable. Stop fighting wars we can't afford. Stop deregulating Wallstreet so they can F us over only to slap them on the hand and give them a big kiss afterwards. Stop giving insane tax cuts to wealthy business and don't allow them a tax break when they ship jobs over seas. I think we all clearly saw that not taxing the wealthy companies doesn't = job creation. What happened during our recession? They were still getting their tax breaks but they didn't create any jobs, instead they cut jobs. The rich always make sure they themselves are paid first, paid handsomely and then what's left over trickles down. American benefits and wages for normal working folks are some of the worst in any civilized country. The wealth gap in this country is growing and growing and growing.