Who raises government spending more - Democrats or Republicans? Oops... it's Republicans! Andrew Sullivan, center right editorialist, presents the following chart:
Nixon-Ford, Reagan, and Bush II all raised growth well over 2.5% per capita during their terms. Obama is under 1.5% and Clinton was under 1.0%.
Maybe it's a kind of Nixon-to-China syndrome, the liberal Dems couldn't reach out to China without being accused of appeasing Communists, but the anti-communist Nixon could. Perhaps it's the same here, the big spending Dems can't get much big spending done without being savaged for playing to type, but the cost cutting Reps can get away with budget murder.
It would be nice if either party would seriously address our very big deficit issue along the lines of Simpson-Bowles cost cutting and tax reform, but I expect the upcoming campaign will stick to ideological sound bites and play it safe. But after the election, I can't imagine the elected president not focusing on tax reform, cost cutting, and deficit reduction, regardless of which candidate wins.