While the Bush tax cuts and wars increased the deficit further, they also helped get us out of recession. Other forms of stimulus would have been more effective in boosting the economy and less deadly than the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, but the tax cuts and war did help boost the economy. If the choice was the Bush tax cuts or nothing, in the context of the recession, the tax cuts were almost certainly better for the economy than doing nothing.
Since we can identify a monster myth for both parties, we should have the basis for a deal. Suppose the Republicans agree to stop touting tax cuts as a way to send growth soaring and the Democrats agree to stop saying that Clinton's balanced budgets gave us the economic boom of the late 1990s. This deal might mean throwing out a lot of tired old campaign slogans, but it will lead to a much more honest debate on economic policy.