Debate over the nature and scope of the federal government has taken on unusual prominence during the 2012 presidential elections. On the campaign trail, President Barack Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney have offered remarkably different visions of how they will manage a federal government facing tough budget decisions and other significant policy matters in the coming years.
We’ve put together a graphic that we hope will guide you on how each candidate wants to shape federal spending, personnel, defense, and pay and benefits. The information was gathered from published policy positions, speeches, media statements and -- in Obama’s case -- his first term record. We will update the graphic as more information becomes available.
Editor's note: Please click on the Romney tab to view his positions and the Obama tab to view his stances.
Eric Katz contributed to this report.