Originally published on Wed February 15, 2012 11:07 am
U.S. soldiers are expected to be in Afghanistan for a couple more years. But already there's a debate about future U.S. security needs worldwide. Here, soldiers examine the site of a suicide bombing in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar on Jan. 19.
Credit AFP/Getty Images
U.S. troops have already left Iraq, the war in Afghanistan is winding down, and there hasn't been a major terrorist attack on U.S. soil since 2001.
So is America now safe enough to scale back its emphasis on security? Or are the potential threats no less dangerous — just less obvious?
These questions are not just philosophical, but practical. They're also the underpinning of the current argument about what the level of defense spending should be.
President Obama laid out his proposed federal budget for 2013 at a community college in Virginia on Monday. The $ 3.8 trillion plan calls for new government spending, including stimulus-style spending on roads. It also seeks to achieve $4 trillion in deficit reduction over the next decade
The spending plan would save a projected $364 billion from the Medicare and Medicaid. But as NPR's Julie Rovner reports, none of the proposals for those savings are new.
It goes without saying that the men who are vying for the Republican presidential nomination found serious flaws with the budget plan President Obama released Monday. But it got us thinking that this might also be a good time to dig into the budget plans offered by the GOP candidates.
The U.S. economy is improving, even though Americans keep having to look over their shoulders at Europe. The state of the economy affects everything in American politics right now, from the presidential election to the budget that the White House lays out today.
NPR's Cokie Roberts has some analysis, as she does the most Mondays. Cokie, good morning.
COKIE ROBERTS, BYLINE: Hi, Steve.
INSKEEP: OK, so what does the president's budget tell us?