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If current policies were to stay in place, including low tax rates, the deficit forecast is dire.

Under the president's budget, higher taxes on the wealthy and military cuts would shrink deficits.

The House Republican plan from Rep. Paul Ryan slashes more through deep cuts to non-entitlement spending. Ryan would also cut tax rates. Details are scarce, but he says fewer loopholes and an optimistic economic growth forecast will make up the difference.

By Susie Poppick @Money - Last updated May 14 2012: 12:24 PM ET
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The budget: Is Uncle Sam just an insurance company?

Democrats and Republicans are arguing fiercely over the proper size of the government. Money magazine looks at the facts -- how much we're spending and what we're spending it on.

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