Federal government data show that in 2011, Washington outlays totaled $3.6 trillion, while receipts came to $2.3 trillion. Of the receipts, $1.1 trillion came by way of individual income taxes. The spread between the two figures means the federal government was running a deficit of $1.3 trillion.
What should the government do to close the gap, or should it even do anything? The U.S. financial situation is at the center of the 2012 elections, specifically the race for the White House between President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney. So we want to give you a chance to weigh in with your thoughts on spending and the U.S. economy.