A tweet from Bill Scher, who's following the GOP running mate:
Ryan just said we can have a "debt-free nation just like our parents." False: US had debt every year except 1835 & 1836 bit.ly/SICPE3— billscher (@billscher) August 20, 2012
There's nothing surprising about this right-wing nostalgia for a debt-free past that never actually happened. Wingers have a similar nostalgia for the low-tax world of our parents -- forgetting that most of us had parents who passed most of their lives in an FDR and post-FDR world with high marginal tax rates for the wealthy, and somehow America still managed to be the economic leader of the industrial world and Ward and June and Wally and the Beaver weren't forced to beg in the streets of Mayfield.
Glenn Beck's TV show used to generate this sort of right-wing cognitive dissonance on a regular basis: life had gone to hell in a handbasket since we were kids thanks to liberal economic policies, yet everything really went astray during Woodrow Wilson's administration, or maybe Teddy Roosevelt's (all that Progressivism!).
In any case, like Philip K. Dick androids, right-wingers have implanted memories of a debt-free, low-tax America that they've never actually experienced.