Conservative think-tank American Enterprise Institute did a study on the budgets of the last 9 administrations (LBJ to present) and wrote an article proclaiming "President Reagan, Champion Budget-Cutter".
"Yea! Reagan! He was soooo good!" You get the idea.
Sadly, the AEI buried the lede. You have to go to the bottom of the article to find out who was the biggest spender since LBJ. Here’s the graphic for Change in Real Spending for Each Presidential Term since LBJ:
Okay. So the next time some neo-con Bush supporter says that Bush had to run a huge deficit because he was fighting a war, please direct him to the above chart. Specifically, the column marked non-defense discretionary. Then, when they get that dog-hearing-a-high-pitched-whistle look, explain to them what non-defense discretionary is.
You also might want to show them this:
There you go. Bush 43 — drunk on spending and booze.