A deeper historical view of how America came to this

In this period of the voting cycle it is easy to forget the conditions that brought our country to its tragic and embarrassing condition, in which half our country is near or below the poverty line.  As a public most of us Americans are forgetful of things that took place in even the recent past.  Most Americans forget that Bill Clinton left the country with a budget surplus.  A surplus?  We are a long way from that now.  How did we get to this place?  Here are two assessments by Republicans.

Christopher Buckley [son of Wm F. Buckley] on NOW 3/3/06:
President Bush has now borrowed more money than all other Presidents combined. The spending that he has enacted is amazing. It amazes me that he calls himself “conservative.””

Francis Fukuyama in 2008: 
It is hard to imagine a more disastrous presidency than that of George W. Bush. It was bad enough that he launched an unnecessary war and undermined the standing of the United States throughout the world in his first term. But in the waning days of his administration, he is presiding over a collapse of the American financial system and broader economy that will have consequences for years to come. As a general rule, democracies don’t work well if voters do not hold political parties accountable for failure. While John McCain is trying desperately to pretend that he never had anything to do with the Republican Party, I think it would be a travesty to reward the Republicans for failure on such a grand scale.”