When the GOP is out of power, they are deficit hawks, hoping to make political points against those "tax and spend" wasteful Dems. But, put them in office and they spend like, well, Democrats. Cheney once said "Reagan proved that deficits don't matter". And the Dems, not known for fiscal restraint, pretty much do the same thing.
So who is right? Well, here is some real common sense talk about deficits from Economist Robert Frank in today's NYT. His point is that, when the economy is in the dumper as it is now, a big deficit is a wise thing. When it is doing well, then it depends on what the money is spent. I'm sure everyone in DC will read this column and ignore it, as they usually do with good eco advice.