A former aide to President George W. Bush is defending the former president's budget proposals as a war of words erupts over how to manage massive government financing.
On the day President Obama and his team released a budget outline for fiscal year 2010, former Bush Deputy Press Secretary Tony Fratto said the $3.55 trillion spending plan is over the top.
"Trying to mask huge spending increases under the cloak of 'fiscal responsibility' is the height of audacity," Fratto told FOX News on Thursday.
Fratto also took issue with Obama's criticisms of the way the Bush budgets were offered.
The Obama administration is selling its budget as "an open and honest accounting."
"For too long, our budget has not told the whole truth about how precious tax dollars are spent," Obama told reporters on Thursday.
"And that kind of dishonest accounting is not how you run your family budgets at home; it's not how your government should run its budgets, either," said Obama.
Obama has included in his spending request $130 billion for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan on top of the $534 billion to fund the Defense Department.
Fratto said the Bush administration had good reason to separate the supplementals from the annual budget.
"Putting temporary war spending in supplemental budgets was done to avoid permanently baking those appropriations into the Defense Department's baseline budget. That's good budgeting, not a 'gimmick,'" Fratto said.
"Our budgets were honest, open and transparent. Every dime spent was presented, debated, voted on and counted," he added.
Mike Emanuel currently serves as chief congressional correspondent for FOX News Channel (FNC). He joined FNC in 1997 as a Los Angeles-based correspondent.