By Susan Shaer

Are you clued in to the current slashing and burning going on in Washington, DC? The new Congress is trying to settle on a federal budget that should have been voted on last fall. President Obama unveiled his idea for the next budget on Monday. How do you think they are setting priorities? After all, our federal budget shows what we value, doesn’t it? What we care about as a country? So what does our president’s budget care about?

President Obama’s federal budget for our next fiscal year revealed that almost all of Secretary of Defense Gates’ recommended Pentagon “cuts” (really restructuring and a reduction in the rate of increase) will be consumed by increased war spending. The total Pentagon budget planned for 2012-2016 shows virtually no change between this year and last year's projections.

This year, President Obama does face an incredibly steep challenge –growing deficits and debt. The fall election made it clear that fiscal conservatives, Tea Party candidates, and backers demand deep spending cuts to address this. Despite promises from President Obama that everything would be considered for cuts – this is not true for the Pentagon.

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