This has to be short, and sweet. It's about that imposing quadratic graphic of ascending debt that Republicans point to (Paul Ryan today).
The bulk of that debt was put in place by the policies of the past, not the policy we're weighing today. The graphic below, adapted (color coded) from an original NY Times graphic, shows in red the debt $$$ produced by Bush policies, then in red-and-blue (think purple) the debt launched by Bush-Obama (Paulson, etc.) policies, and finally in blue the debt placed by Obama's policies since inauguration, mostly for job creation.
The technicolor image is color coded from the original, from June 9 of last year; that one was monochromatic. It accompanied an article by David Leonhardt with the title "Sea of Red Ink Was Years in the Making".
I doubt the moans from Republicans about debt are sincere. They eagerly pushed through the debt expanding programs shown above whenever Tom DeLay had the votes. The $900B over 10 yrs (= $90 B per year) bill on the House floor today to revamp health care access, is not deficit-expanding vs. current policy expense, that is, vs. doing nothing at all. That simple point gets lost in the noisy theatrics.
The policies of 2001-2008 ballooned debt without finding a way of paying for it — for 8 long years. If people wonder why this initiative needs to be paid for first for 3 years, before the benefits come in, they can look back at that 8-year binging period for the answer.