Oliver North
WASHINGTON -- We finally know how President Barack Obama wants us to handle our nation's crippling national debt. If we can believe his words, the president intends to ignore the monster under the bed -- Social Security entitlements -- while he raises taxes and cuts deeply into our nation's defense. Haven't we heard this song before?

On April 13, more than a week after Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., provided a detailed "Choice of Two Futures" blueprint for how the GOP would reduce our disastrous deficit, Obama showed up late at George Washington University to describe how he now wants to fix the problem he failed to address in his fiscal year 2012 federal budget proposal. The geniuses at the White House decided to call the president's address "The Country We Believe In." Set aside the grammatical anomaly of ending the title with a preposition.

Politicians, economists and lobbyists of every stripe and persuasion already have begun dissecting who among us will have to pay more in taxes and how much it will be. "Experts" and pundits are doing their best to defend which model will best serve the purposes of their respective constituencies on the left and right. What the competing analysts seem to have missed is the stark difference in how our elected officials view the federal government's most crucial responsibility: national defense.

Ryan's 73-page "Path to Prosperity" proffers a detailed analysis supported by voluminous Congressional Budget Office numbers on how we arrived at our current fiscal mess -- and a reasonable rationale for determining how we should address catastrophic deficits that would bankrupt our children. His plan includes comprehensive legislative proposals for changes in current federal health care, retirement security, job training policies and other "entitlements."

Ryan wisely avoids suggesting specific changes in national defense programs necessary to protect the American people from current adversaries and deter likely threats in the future. Instead, he urges defense spending be determined as the Framers of our Constitution intended -- by Congress -- and that our legislators do so within a binding cap on overall spending based on a percentage of gross domestic product.

Conversely, Obama's plan for "winning the future," though devoid of any essential CBO data, takes any changes in Social Security off the table for the foreseeable future. The president did, however, offer the usual progressive panacea for solving our disastrous deficit: Congress must make what he calls "the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans" pay more -- much more -- in taxes, and we must spend less -- much less -- on national security.

Oliver North

Oliver North is a nationally syndicated columnist, the host of War Stories on the Fox News Channel, the author of the new novel Heroes Proved and the co-founder of Freedom Alliance, an organization that provides college scholarships to the children of U.S. military personnel killed or permanently disabled in the line of duty. Join Oliver North in Israel by going to www.olivernorthisrael.com.