Argument: Democrats have a better record of balancing budgets
"Why I'm a Democrat." Time. June 12th, 2007: "I'm a Democrat because we understand how to balance budgets. At the Federal level, Democrats were responsible for the largest surplus in American history. At the state level, we understand that roads, hospitals, and transit come with a cost, and we're still willing to pay that cost."
Michael Kinsley. "Politicians lie, numbers don't." slate.com. September 16th, 2008: "If you're wondering why a formerly honorable man like John McCain would build his presidential campaign around issues that are simultaneously beside-the-point, trivial, and dishonest (sex education for kindergartners, lipstick on pigs), the numbers presented here may help to solve that mystery. Since the conventions ended, McCain has mired the presidential race in dishonest trivia because he doesn't want it to focus on what voters say is the most important issue this year: the economy. [...] There is no secret about any of this. The figures below are all from the annual Economic Report of the President, and the analysis is primitive. Nevertheless, what these numbers show almost beyond doubt is that Democrats are better at virtually every economic task that is important to Republicans." [see article for more].
Larry Bartels. "Why the economy fares much better under Democrats." Christian Science Monitor. October 21st, 2010: "The bottom line: During the past 60 years, Democrats have presided over much less unemployment and much more robust income growth.Prefer a broader historical comparison? In the past three decades, since the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries oil price shocks of the mid-1970s and the Republican turn toward "supply side" economics, the average unemployment rate under Republican presidents has been 6.7 percent – substantially higher than the 5.5 percent average under Democratic presidents. (The official unemployment rate takes no account of people who have given up looking for work or taken substantial pay cuts to stay in the labor force.) Over an even broader time period, since the late 1940s, unemployment has averaged 4.8 percent under Democratic presidents but 6.3 percent – almost one-third higher – under Republican presidents."