Origins of the Deficit: Bruce Bartlett uses part of this quote, but the whole thing (via Nexis) is even more damning:
From The Hill, Feb. 5, 2003: As President Bush sent his budget to Capitol Hill Monday, a split opened among congressional Republicans between those who are still deficit hawks and an increasing number, including top leaders, who no longer see deficits as the touchstone of fiscal probity. Confronted with projected deficits until fiscal 2007, senior GOP lawmakers are backing away from long-standing rhetoric about the government’s duty to live within its means. The switch – whether from conviction, circumstance, or both – is bringing charges of hypocrisy from Democrats.
Some lawmakers view the existence of deficits as a useful tool to keep spending down.
“I came to the House as a real deficit hawk, but I am no longer a deficit hawk,” said Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.). “I’ll tell you why. I had to spend the surpluses. Deficits make it easier to say no.”
Nobody cares about the deficit, least of all the people making the loudest noise.