Didn't the Clinton administration spend the time from 1992-2000 paying down the deficit? The debt ballooned out of control thanks to Dubya's tax cuts combined with the "war" on terror.
When the Republican Party was founded, it was as the party of abolition. After the Civil War, under the leadership of President Grant, the Republicans shifted the emphasis of the party to that of fiscal responsibility.
True conservatives should be up in arms over this.