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Welcome to MATH Magazine’s Numbers in the News! Each week we'll post a math question based on a current news story. Read and solve the question.

If you like, enter your answer in the Comments section. The first person to answer the question correctly has the honor of being our “Winner of the Week.” (We’ll reveal that person, and the correct answer, in that question’s Comments the following week.)

What are you waiting for? Start solving!


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Big Budget

Every year, the President has to develop the federal budget, the total amount of money the government will spend in a year. The money, which comes from taxpayers' dollars, is divided among different government departments and programs. It's used for all sorts of services that benefit the public, such as college scholarships, building highways, Medicare (health insurance for people 65 and older), Medicaid (health insurance for those who can't afford it), Social Security (income and benefits to the eldery and disabled), etc.

Monday morning, President Barack Obama revealed his $3.729 trillion budget proposal for 2012. Congress still has to debate and suggest changes before approving the budget. President Obama and Congress hope to reduce the deficit, the difference between the amount of money the government spends and the amount it brings in. Some of the top items in the budget proposal are Social Security ($761 billion), Department of Defense ($553 billion), Medicare ($485 billion), Medicaid ($269 billion), and Department of Transportation ($128 billion). How much is left for all the other departments and programs, including Education, Energy, Agriculture, and NASA?

You can see the complete budget here.

There will be $1,533,000,000 ($1.533 trillion) left for the other departments.

The caption contest for this photo is closed.