(CNN) - Sens. Barack Obama and John McCain used news that the United States’ budget deficit will hit a record high as an opportunity to criticize each other’s fiscal plans.
The White House on Monday projected a $482 billion deficit for the 2009 budget year. President Bush inherited a budget surplus when he took office in 2001 but has since posted a budget deficit every year.
The Obama campaign said the White House announcement is “an urgent reminder that our fiscal policies must change.”
“These have been years of unprecedented fiscal irresponsibility. That's an important issue in this election because Senator McCain is proposing to continue the same Bush economic policies that put our economy on this dangerous path and that will drive America even deeper into debt,” Jason Furman, Obama’s economic policy director, said in a statement.
Furman said Obama will “restore balance and fairness to our economy by cutting wasteful spending, shutting corporate loopholes and tax havens, and rolling back the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, while making health care affordable and putting a middle class tax cut in the pocket of 95% of workers and their families.”
McCain called the Bush administration’s announcement “another reminder of the dire fiscal condition of the federal government.”
“There is no more striking reminder of the need to reverse the profligate spending that has characterized this administration's fiscal policy,” he said in a statement.
McCain reiterated his commitment to balance the budget by the end of his first term and accused Obama of having an economic plan that “will not work.”
"Senator Obama will not commit to balancing our budget, does not propose to control spending, and has only one answer to every challenge: raise taxes … It is a plan that will not work for American workers,” he said.