President Obama released his 2015 budget yesterday. But wait! Don’t yawn. There’s actually some pretty important stuff in there.
Yes, the budget includes a fair amount of number crunching, talk of “deficit reduction,” and jargon like “Chained CPI” that most Millennials don’t understand (or frankly need to understand—we’re talking about retirement security here). But if you take a second to read between the lines, the budget is very revealing.
Republicans in the House have already condemned the budget and assured the administration that it will never pass. Speaker Boehner even called it “irresponsible,” which shows you how excited Congress is to start working with the President.
But even though the budget will never be a reality, it tells us what the President’s priorities are for the next year. So here’s a quick breakdown.
Defense: Obama calls for a reduction in military spending by closing bases and shrinking the military to 440,000 troops (compared to a peak of 570,000 during the Iraq War).
Education: Remember when the President called for universal Pre-K education during his State of the Union address? Well, he’s still serious about that. He’s asking for $500 million to expand childhood education. On top of that, he wants to funnel more money into Race to the Top (an education program that gives grants to high schools).
Healthcare: No surprises here! The budget calls for full funding of the Affordable Care Act. Although it will be very difficult for the President to make this appeal to a Republican-led House, he claims that full funding of the ACA will reduce the deficit by $402 billion over the next ten years.
Expanding EITC: Whoa, acronyms! It’s okay, no need to panic yet. Here’s the gist: EITC (The Earned Income Tax Credit) is a program to support low-income workers. President Obama wants to expand the program, which he hopes will motivate more people to join the labor force.
The total budget package will cost about $3.9 trillion (FYI: that’s 12 zeros… as in 3,900,000,000,000) and includes $56 billion in new spending. The plan also includes raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans and closing corporate tax loopholes to fund these new programs.
So there you have it! President Obama’s 2015 budget breakdown. Now go Google “Chained CPI.”