I think that President Ronald Reagan was one of the most irresponsible spendthrifts in the history of our country. According to Wikipeida:
Spending during Reagan’s two terms (FY 1981–88) averaged 22.4% GDP, well above the 20.6% GDP average from 1971 to 2009. In addition, the public debt rose from 26% GDP in 1980 to 41% GDP by 1988. In dollar terms, the public debt rose from $712 billion in 1980 to $2.052 trillion in 1988, a roughly three-fold increase.
This of course was while there was no war to fund, or even any serious economic threat. Reagan’s Republicans hated poor people and welfare programs. The Republicans under Reagan drastically cut taxes led by OMB chief David Stockman. But then, Reagan turned out to be such a nice guy that he couldn’t make the cuts that the Republican budget cutters had planned on. As a result, budget deficits ballooned; Reagan’s irresponsibility plunged the nation into a swamp of debt, from which we still have not recovered.
Obama’s deficit spending will probably be worse than Reagan’s but mainly because Republican President George W. Bush left him with a massive financial meltdown, requiring more spending to avoid a second great depression. Obama has actually been paying Bush’s GOP debts.
The following is a chart from the Washington Post showing the huge increase in the debt under Reagan: