That’s the 2012 U.S. federal budget deficit — the difference between how much our government spent over the past year and how much it took in — announced just last week by the Congressional Budget Office.
Whoever wins the White House this fall will have to work with Congress to figure out how to reduce the deficit. That will require cutting expenses, increasing revenues or creating some combination of the two.
The federal budget affects everyone in some way, but as we prepare to cover the political fight over the budget, reporters in Public Insight Network newsrooms want to know where it touches your life the most.
So we ask: If you were pleading your budget case to the next president and Congress, what personal stories would you tell about how the budget affects you, your family or your work? What services do you personally use and depend on? What taxes hit you the hardest?
>> Your story: What part of the federal budget matters most to you?