New figures showing a dramatically higher deficit are pouring fuel on the fire of partisan economic debate.
The White House budget office is forecasting Uncle Sam will end the current fiscal year another $455 billion in the red. The forecast is 50-percent worse than just five months ago.
Democrats pin part of the blame on President Bush's tax cuts. North Dakota Senator Kent Conrad says the Bush administration is sending America "right over a fiscal cliff."
But White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan calls the deficit "manageable." He says it may be a record in dollar terms but is still modest as a share of the US economy.
And he says the main reasons for the red ink are the costs of the war on terror -- and the recession that struck just after Bush took office.