What gave the government the lowest revenues was a huge recession so there wasn't as much money to tax. Even property values took a tumble (arguably a huge part of what caused the recession ... over-inflated property prices in a top-heavy market with too many high-risk loans ... being traded as securities).
When the top 10% is paying over half the tax revenue in the country, and they make a lot of their money off of the market, business, and real-estate deals, it doesn't take much of a drop in their incomes to have a huge impact on revenues.
By spending way more money on way more things that the Federal Government was ever supposed to spend and relying on a small pool of the very wealthiest people to fund it, any dip in the economy is going to cause mind boggling deficits ... especially if you were deficit spending to begin with. Right now, for every $1 we spend, we are borrowing 40 cents, and we're spending 188 Million dollars an hour.
Our government does not plan for rainy days. It buys today's votes with the next generation's money. And maybe the next one's, too.
We do not have a revenue problem. We have a spending problem.