Credible sources believed that if the Clinton tax policy on the rich, and on large corporations, were allowed to continue, the national debt would be completely paid by 2013. However, the George W. Bush administration, in concert with Republican congressional members, repealed the Clinton taxes, engaged in two unfunded wars and passed an unfunded prescription drug bill causing the national debt to expand about $8 trillion.
The Bush administration determined that to compensate for the lack of revenue we should borrow the needed revenue money from nations like China and Japan. Now instead of pursuing a zero national debt in 2013, our country has amassed a $16 trillion debt.
The Republicans currently believe that all that is necessary to remedy our existing national debt is to substantially reduce, and or eliminate, entitlements.