Percentage Change from 2013: 0.5 percent increase
Discretionary Spending: $615.3 billion
Mandatory Spending: $67.6 billion
Highlights: The Pentagon is proposing savings mainly through ending or shrinking certain weapons programs, shaving health care benefits and reducing military construction. It also would slow the pace of military pay raises. Spending would otherwise be largely the same in all major categories as in 2013.
The budget proposal calls on Congress to approve a round of domestic military base closings in 2015, which would cost an estimated $2.4 billion in the short run but save an unspecified amount over the long term.
Although the U.S. is winding down its role in Afghanistan, the Pentagon faces enormous costs of pulling out its troops. The 2014 budget includes a "placeholder" figure of $88.5 billion for war costs, although that number is expected to be revised down slightly once the White House makes more decisions about the pace of 2014 troop withdrawals. The budget assumes that the U.S. will have 34,000 troops in Afghanistan at the end of the budget year in September, down from the current 63,000.
Total Spending: $56.7 billion
Percentage Change from 2013: 10.8 percent decrease
Discretionary Spending: $71.2 billion
Mandatory Spending: $0
Highlights: Obama's proposed education budget calls for expanded programs for young people before they reach kindergarten and offered Congress two options to consider: a $750 million preschool program for 4-year-old students from four-member families earning $47,100 or less; or a more expansive $2 billion option that would provide universal access to pre-school programs, with incentives for states to offer programs for all families. The proposal requires that up to 5 percent of those funds be used to measure student achievement and collect data.
The president's preschool plan would be paid for by a higher tax on tobacco, which the administration said would raise $78 billion over a decade by almost doubling the federal tax on cigarettes to $1.95 per pack.
During its first years, federal tax dollars would cover 90 percent of the costs and states would pick up the balance for these preschool programs, said Carmel Martin, the Education Department's policy chief. However, the federal share would shrink to 25 percent in coming years and states would be left to pick up 75 percent of the costs.
The budget also sets aside $11.8 billion to help local districts keep teachers on staff while the economy returns to pre-recession levels.
Obama's budget also would move student loan interest rates away from Congress' control and peg them to market rates. That shift is a nod to concerns that student borrowing is set in a vacuum by politicians and not by the economy. Interest rates on new Stafford student loans were set to double, from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent, on July 1. Consumer advocates worried that could cost students who take new student loans at the maximum levels some $5,000 over the life of the loan. Obama's budget would let new borrowers dodge that rate hike for now, but could open students to higher rates if the markets change in the future.
Obama's budget also includes $1 billion in funds for a college affordability initiative, which would give money to states in exchange for keeping costs down and investing in improving results, similar to the Race to the Top competition the department used to spur innovation in primary and secondary education.
The maximum Pell Grant amount would increase to $5,645 for each student each year and some 112,000 new students would be added to federal work study programs.
While the budget only asks Congress for the $56.7 billion, the Education Department stands to spend closer to $71.2 billion. That difference — $14.5 billion — is the amount the agency collects from student loan interest, fees and other sources, letting the Education Department ask for less than it spends.