I'm not really impressed with this article, I can't trust the numbers in it. From the article.
"Leonhardt observed that since 2000, the year that Bill Clinton bequeathed George Bush with an $800 billion surplus"
That sounds like there was a surplus of $800 billion in 2000. However, from their source it says, "The story of today’s deficits starts in January 2001, as President Bill Clinton was leaving office. The Congressional Budget Office estimated then that the government would run an average annual surplus of more than $800 billion a year from 2009 to 2012."
So it was a 2001 estimate of a 2009 surplus, not a surplus from 2000.
BTW, if Clinton did run a budget surplus any year of his office what did he do with it? It wasn't used to pay down the debt which has increased every year since I've been a voter. It's more likely it was Washington fun with numbers where a smaller increase in spending than planned is called a spending cut and continuing current tax rates is called a tax cut.
Destroying the myth of the Clinton surpluses. | The Silent Majority
Granted, we came closer to balancing the budget under President Clinton than anyone before or since. I will give him credit for that.