President Obama on Tuesday sent his final annual budget proposal to a hostile Republican-led Congress, rejecting the lame-duck label to declare that his plan “is about looking forward,” with new initiatives that include $19 billion for a broad cybersecurity plan. The budget for fiscal year 2017, which starts Oct. 1, would top $4 trillion, although just over one-quarter of that is the so-called discretionary spending for domestic and military programs that the president and Congress dicker over each year. The rest is for mandatory spending, chiefly interest on the federal debt and the Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid benefits that are expanding automatically as the population ages.
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Sheila Samples is an Oklahoma writer and a former civilian US Army Public Information Officer. She is a Managing Editor for OpEd News, and a regular contributor for a variety of Internet sites.