National Defense

Mitt Romney's Pentagon Profligacy


Mitt Romney has given speeches posed in front of giant banners that say "Cut The Spending." He has a entire page devoted on his website devoted to spending cuts.

Yet when it comes to defense spending, Romney won't abide by any cuts. Quite the opposite. Not only has he promised to reverse military spending reductions enacted under President Obama, Romney has insisited that there should actually be a floor on defense spending—a requirement that the country spend a minimum of four percent of the country's entire economy output on defense.

Maybe he thought printing up engraved invitations to military contractors asking them to send in their proposals for defense pork was a little too obvious? 

Romney makes his position on defense spending sound like he'd merely be making up for what he calls Obama's "failure" on the defense budget by reversing the reductions that occured under the president's watch. In fact, Romney's military spending minimum would actually represent a substantial hike in defense spending over the next decade compared to either the White House's baseline or the slightly reduced path called for by the budget sequester that came out of last year's debt deal. 

The Cato Institute's Christopher Preble has put together a graph comparing the projected Pentagon budget under the three scenarios: the White House Office of Management and Budget's proposal, the sequester, and Romney's minimum. Here's how it looks:

Preble wonders where Romney will "get the money to fund his Pentagon spending binge." Good luck figuring that one out. As I noted earlier today, Romney has also promised to balance the budget through a variety of unspecified cuts and other vague gimmicks. Given that the rest of his policy platforms have all the clarity and believability of intentionally blurred Bigfoot photos, I suspect that straightforward answer to Preble's query will not be forthcoming.