CBNNews.com - WASHINGTON - Whether its Barack Obama or John McCain, the next President will have to face a record budget deficit of nearly a half trillion dollars.
According to new White House projections, the federal deficit will hit a record high of $482 billion in budget year 2009.
Click the player to get Pat Robertson's analysis following CBN News Correspondent Melissa Charbonneau's report.
That's nearly $70 billion higher than the last record deficit of $413 billion in 2004. And it doesn't include the tens of billions of dollars spent on the Iraq war.
What's contributing to the exploding deficit?
Experts say a slumping economy, the mortgage crisis, soaring energy costs are factors - along with the stimulus check sent to 130 million American household meant to get the economy back on track.
"The primary reasons for larger deficits in 2008 and 2009 are because of the bipartisan growth packages, stimulus checks and slower economic growth," Office of Management and Budget Director Jim Nussle said.
McCain blames the soaring deficit on "profligate spending" by the Bush administration. He's promises to balance the budget, while renewing bush tax cuts, and lowering the cost of energy.
"Senator Obama opposes offshore drilling, he oppose reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel, he opposes storage of spent nuclear fuel, so he is the "Dr. No" of America's energy future," McCain charged.
Obama says alternative energy is the answer.
Meeting with economic advisors Monday, Obama called for a new round of economic stimulus, a rollback of Bush tax cuts, and more spending on health care and education.
"There were some irresponsible decisions that were made on Wall Street and in Washington in last few years," Obama said. "I think we learned an essential truth that in the long run we can't have a thriving Wall Street if we don't have a thriving Main Street."
Both candidates are being forced to refine their economic policies in light of looming record deficits.
It serves as a stark reminder of what the next President must be ready to handle from his first day in the Oval Office.