In so many ways, Romney is a blank-slate candidate: He has no strong ideological filter; his issue priorities are determined more or less by poll testing; his policy plans are frequently vague or incomplete, intentionally designed to leave him flexibility to adjust his position down the road.
But there's at least one issue on which he's made a very clear commitment: defense spending. And he wants it to go up. Way up. The defense budget is already scheduled to increase from current spending levels. Yet Romney wants it to rise higher, faster. In fact, he wants to set a floor for defense spending relative to the size of the economy: Romney says the defense spending should consume at least 4 percent of America's total GDP.
In 2013 alone, Romney's defense spending minimum would result in a hike of about $96 billion. As Khimm notes, "That's about a 17 percent increase over 2012 spending levels—nearly the same amount by which the public wants to decrease the defense budget, according to the Stimson Center's recent study."