How Would You Spend $3.9 Trillion?

U.S. Federal Budget

The federal budget tome, circa 2011. Photo: chbrenchly on Flickr.

President Obama released a $3.9 trillion budget proposal for fiscal year 2015 on Tuesday. Since much of that money will come directly from U.S. taxpayers, we looked at how Obama's proposal stacks up against the policy priorities of the American people.

Overall, the president's proposal addresses many of Americans' top priorities, such as job creation, education, and closing corporate tax loopholes. However, it fails to listen to the majority of Americans who do not approve of devoting an astonishing 57 percent of discretionary spending to the military.

Here are the top five things you need to know:

1. The budget contains $549 billion for military programs, a more than 5 percent increase relative to 2014. That's not even including war funding, which totaled $85 billion in 2014 and has not yet been released for 2015.

What Americans Want: Fifty-eight percent of Americans would support substantial reductions in military spending, according to research.

2. The proposal would raise $37 billion in 2015 by tightening tax breaks for wealthy taxpayers, plus $43 billion over ten years by limiting the ability for corporations to deduct interest expenses for their overseas operations.

What Americans Want: A recent survey shows two-thirds of American voters support a budget plan that would close corporate tax loopholes and limit tax breaks for the wealthy.

3. The budget would expand the Earned Income Tax Credit to benefit an estimated 13.5 million additional low-income Americans at a cost of $60 billion over 10 years.

What Americans Want: Forty-nine percent of Americans prioritize policies that help low-income households.

4. The budget requests $66 billion over 10 years to expand pre-kindergarten education and Head Start under the president's Preschool for All initiative.

What Americans Want: Improving the educational system is cited as a top priority by sixty-nine percent of Americans, according to a recent poll.

5.  The proposal would run a deficit of $561 billion in 2015, or about 3.1 percent of the economy, as compared to the 2.8 percent average over the last 50 years.   

What Americans Want: Sixty-three percent of Americans say reducing the budget deficit should be a top priority for Congress and the president this year, down from 72 percent who thought so last year.

NPP's team is watching how the government spends your tax dollars, and as the 2015 budgeting season progresses we'll be dogging Congress and the media to pay attention to what you want. Take action by writing a letter to the editor or contacting your Congressperson. Join us on Facebook and Twitter for more tools and tips to make your priorities heard!