Those budgets are all vast. But it's when you compare them with other programs and agencies that the differences slip into orders of magnitude, particularly when compared with what the president is proposing to spend on programs his liberal base cherishes:
The Black Budget Is...
1.6 times larger than The National Institutes of Health budget: Obama is asking Congress for $31.3 billion in 2014 for the National Institutes of Health, the federal government's premier medical-research organization.
1.9 times larger than the Justice Department's budget: The Obama administration has proposed a fiscal 2014 budget of $27.6 billion for the Justice Department. Justice does, however, get a 6 percent taste of the black budget. Still, the 2013 CIA budget alone is equal to more than half of the department's total 2014 request.
5 times larger than the Head Start budget: Obama's proposed 2014 budget for the Health and Human Services Department requests $9.6 billion for Head Start, an early-education program aimed at infants and toddlers from low-income backgrounds.
6 times larger than the budget for high-speed and other passenger-rail programs: The Transportation Department's 2014 request includes an average of $8 billion per year over the next five years for freight, high-speed, and intercity passenger rail, part of the administration's aim to give four of five Americans access to the nation's high-speed rail network within 25 years.
20 times larger than the National Park Service budget: The 2014 Interior Department budget request includes $2.6 billion for the National Park Service, the agency in charge of protecting the nation's 400-plus national parks and managing 84 million acres of public land.
31 times larger than the Securities and Exchange Commission budget: Obama is asking for $1.674 billion for the SEC, an independent board in charge enforcing many of the anti-financial-fraud and — since 2010 — partially overseeing the regulatory overhaul mandated by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Law.
34 times larger than the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service budget: The 2014 Interior request includes $1.55 billion for the Fish and Wildlife Service, the agency tasked with protecting most of the 1484 domestic species on the Endangered Species List, as well as managing 500-plus National Wildlife Refuges.
106 times larger than the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau budget: The CFPB — the Elizabeth Warren-designed consumer watchdog — says it plans to spend $497 million in 2014. The agency, which was born out of Dodd-Frank and charged with protecting consumers from predatory lending and other threats, has been a political flashpoint since it was created in 2010 and is a frequent feature of Obama's stump speeches on protecting the middle class.
But there's always a bigger fish...
But big though the "black budget" is, it can't stack up to the giants of federal spending: entitlements and defense.
The Congressional Budget Office projects the U.S. will shell out more than $500 billion to fund Medicare in 2014, along with another $300 billion or so for Medicaid.
The Defense Department's fiscal 2013 base budget request was for $525.4 billion, and — due to continuing budget resolutions — the department ended up netting $527.5 billion. And that doesn't include funding for Operation Enduring Freedom, which spent $86.5 billion in FY 2013, mostly in Afghanistan.