During most of the past half-century, the federal government's spending deficit was held below $300 billion a year - often far below that. Sometimes there actually were budget surpluses.
Changes began during the spend-happy years of former President George W. Bush. During the 2003 fiscal year the deficit topped $300 billion for the first time in history.
But it has been on President Barack Obama's watch that the real explosion in borrowing occurred.
Recently the Treasury Department reported this year's deficit is on track to top $1 trillion for the third consecutive year. It appears the deficit this year will be around $1.3 trillion.
Before Obama went to the White House, during the 2008 fiscal year, the deficit totalled $458 billion. The following year it was $1.4 trillion and the year after that, more than $1.5 trillion.
In other words, the Obama years - backed by a Congress controlled much of the time by liberal Democrats - added about $1 trillion a year to the deficit.
Lower revenue as a result of the recession cannot be blamed for the change. Government spending has skyrocketed under Obama. In 2008, total government outlays were slightly less than $3 trillion. They have increased by about $800 billion.
Obama and the likes of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi are fond of blaming Bush for the nation's deficit crisis. That just doesn't add up.
Yes, it was bad before Obama - but now it is much worse.