Reducing government deficits Mitt Romney's way would mean less money for health care for the poor and disabled and big cuts to nuts-and-bolts functions such as food inspection, border security and education.
Romney's also promising budget increases for the Pentagon, even above those sought by some GOP defense hawks. So that means the rest of the government would have to shrink even more. Nonmilitary programs would be cut below even those called for in the tightfisted House GOP budget passed last month.
Differences over the government's budget and spiraling deficits are among the starkest that separate Republican Romney and Democratic President Barack Obama.
Obama's budget generally avoids risk, with minimal cuts to Medicare and Medicaid, while socking wealthier people with tax increases - all to close trillion-dollar-plus deficits.