Budget Cutters Could Target the Military

Hey, that's where the money is.

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How might the next president balance the budget? Well, let's look at just how much spending, adjusted for inflation, has increased for various government programs during the Bush years. (The numbers come from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.) Since 2001, defense and homeland security spending is up 9.1 percent; Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid 3.8 percent; and nondefense discretionary spending (education, transportation, scientific research) 1.3 percent. So look out, U.S. military. Barack Obama, for instance, has already talked about scaling back the Pentagon's modernization program and missile defense.

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