Republicans in power balloon the deficit with tax cuts to the rich every time they're in power. The great inventor of fiscal responsibility, Ronald Reagan, began this and it will never end. It's impossible to convince the press that the Republicans are full of shit about deficits, and it's only slightly less impossible to convince most Democrats of it.
The Republicans claim to be the austerians, and the Democrats actually are. The rich get nice things, nobody else does, and then we wonder why voters aren't happy. And, no, that voters don't necessarily vote logically about this stuff doesn't refute that fact. What they hear is one side saying that true austerity is the path, and the other side saying that austerity light is. Not enough nice things come with either, so better to go with the true austerity than the fake austerity.