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Federal deficit swells to $407 billion

WASHINGTON, Sept. 9 (UPI) -- Congressional budget reports indicate the U.S. federal deficit has grown to $407 billion.

By January, when the next president takes office, the deficit, which stood at $161 billion a year ago, was projected to reach a record $438 billion, The Washington Post reported Tuesday.

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The deficit is "more than $1 trillion worse than the budget surplus President Bush promised for 2008," Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama's Web site declared.

Republican candidate John McCain "wants to spend $3.2 trillion more than President Bush on tax cuts, most of which will go to the wealthiest corporations and big oil companies," the Web site said.

Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee Kent Conrad, D-N.D., said the deficit "means more borrowing from China, more borrowing from Japan and more borrowing from oil exporters like Saudi Arabia."

Jim Nussle, Bush's budget director, responded to the charges. The deficit "is the result of the slow economy and the bipartisan decision to enact a stimulus package," Nussle said in a statement.

He blamed Democrats for "seeking to add billions in extra spending to the regular appropriations bills."

White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said the Bush administration is "not necessarily considering" a second stimulus package, the Post reported.

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