Two drastically different visions for America's fiscal future
are taking shape in Washington. Last week President Obama released his budget proposal for 2012, which includes some spending cuts, but also includes tax reforms and investments which the president claims are necessary to keep America's standing in the world. Also last week, House Republicans
passed a spending bill, or "continuing resolution" in Congressional parlance, which would continue funding the government through the end of the fiscal year, which runs through September. That bill would cut $61 billion from the federal budget's discretionary, nonmilitary spending. Technically, the proposals are unrelated. Obama's budget covers fiscal year 2012, which will begin this October, while the Republican budget covers funding for the government from March 4 until Sept. 30. But taken together the two documents highlight the differences in spending priorities between the administration and congressional Republicans. Here are 10 areas where we expect to see the biggest clashes in the fight over how to fund the federal government in 2011 and beyond.