President Barack Obama's Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 budget request to Congress was released today -- a full month late. While the request has virtually no chance of going anywhere, the plan is telling as to the administration's priorities for the year ahead and for drawing distinctions between the GOP and Democratic parties ahead of the November elections. The budget calls for $3.9 trillion in spending for FY 2015. This would result in a $564-billion budget deficit, which equates to roughly 3.1% of the nation's gross domestic product (GDP).
The proposal calls for $56 billion in new stimulus spending above the discretionary budget cap, $302 billion in infrastructure spending over four years as well as a number of tax breaks for lower-income workers. Obama's budget calls for this stimulus spending to be offset with increased taxes for corporations and high-income individuals.
Of note, the president also proposed a $14-billion cut to farm subsides for crop insurance over the next decade to help offset some of the cost. By contrast, the farm bill passed several weeks ago increases crop insurance funding.
On the export front, the president's budget would add $15 million to speedup efforts to remove unfair trade practices and trade barriers that are roadblocks for U.S. exports. He also requested $20 million for the SelectUSA agency that is tasked with drawing foreign investment to the U.S.
The president's budget proposes reforms to the International Food Aid Program that would permit more funding flexibility that would enable the purchase of food near crisis areas or allow for cash transfers or vouchers.
In his budget, the president also requests a four-year plan costing $302 billion to repair roads and bridges and to fund transit projects.
The proposed budget would provide $7.890 billion to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for FY 2015, which would be down $309.9 million from the agency's FY 2014 enacted level. Of this total, the president requests that $1.03 billion be put toward climate change and air quality efforts, a $41-million increase from levels enacted in FY 2014. EPA says it will use FY 2015 to "focus on making progress in communities across the country on priority areas including climate change and air quality, toxics and chemical safety and clean water."