NPR : News

Filed Under:

Obama's $3.9 Trillion Budget Would Produce $564 Billion Deficit

As expected, President Obama on Tuesday unveiled a $3.9 trillion budget plan for fiscal 2015 that his number crunchers say would produce a $564 billion deficit.

The gap between spending and revenue, while large, would be down from more than $744 billion this fiscal year and a record $1.4 trillion in 2009 — a fiscal year that began when President George W. Bush was still in office. Since then, deficits during the Obama years have topped $1 trillion three times.

But as NPR's Tamara Keith said on Morning Edition, Obama's budget isn't likely to have much of an impact on Capitol Hill. Lawmakers last December reached a two-year spending deal. It's also an election year, so they aren't going to be eager to reopen budget talks. And as The Associated Press points out, "many of the proposals were in earlier budgets and were ignored."

Still, Tamara added, presidents are required to draw up budgets and they use them to frame their visions for the nation.

The Wall Street Journal says the blueprint is "peppered with new taxes on upper-income Americans and businesses, plus numerous spending initiatives aimed at bolstering education, research and low-income work programs."

Politico says it would "raise taxes on the rich, expand tax credits for the poor and middle class — though as of now, it merely serves as a White House wish list."

The Hill writes that "the central elements of the proposal are $56 billion in new stimulus spending above the discretionary budget cap in place for next year, $302 billion in infrastructure spending over four years and a series of tax breaks for lower-income workers. The initiatives would be fully paid for by increasing taxes on corporations and wealthy individuals."

Since peaking at just over 10 percent of GDP in fiscal year 2009, federal deficits have been shrinking in comparison to the size of the economy — a measure economists say is useful when gauging the effect of all that red ink. At $564 billion, the deficit would be about 3 percent of GDP.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit


'Tis The Season For Coming Attractions: What To Watch For At The Multiplex

NPR film critic Bob Mondello offers a selective preview of the likely blockbusters and Oscar contenders that Hollywood has in store for the end of the year.

Swapping The Street For The Orchard, City Dwellers Take Their Pick Of Fruit

Urban foragers don't just pick their meals from the trash, many eat only the finest, freshest produce — picked from city trees. The League of Urban Canners harvests fruit from trees to make jam.

Reconsidering The Pilgrims, Piety And America's Founding Principles

Conservatives who want to emphasize America's Christian roots embrace the story of the Pilgrims and the Mayflower Compact. But some historians say their role in the country's founding is overstated.

From Takeout To Breakups: Apps Can Deliver Anything, For A Price

Convenience is at an all-time premium — and a lot of smartphone apps promise to make many of the things we do every day easier. In a time-crunch or sheer laziness, how far will the apps take us?

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.