Mitt Romney’s $2 Trillion Defense Increase Explained

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis and more, subscribe to Mother Jones' newsletters.

President Obama says that Mitt Romney wants to increase defense spending by $2 trillion over the next ten years, something that Romney didn’t deny in last week’s debate. But although I’ve heard this before, I never really knew where that number came from. Today, via Steve Benen, I learned that it comes from defense budget analyst Travis Sharp, and it’s based on a pretty simple extrapolation of Romney’s desire to increase the Pentagon budget to 4% of GDP. Here it is:

Romney’s an amazing guy, no? When it comes to things that bust the deficit, he’s got lots of big ticket items he’s happy to share with us. He wants to cut tax rates by $5 trillion. He wants to increase defense spending by $2 trillion. He wants to eliminate Obama’s $716 billion in reduced Medicare payments to hospitals.

But when it comes to things that would cut the deficit, he’s suddenly Mr. Small Ball. He’ll defund PBS. He’ll eliminate some tax deductions but won’t say which ones. He’ll cap Medicare growth, but then backs away from that. Has he ever even come close to owning a spending cut that would be anything other than peanuts compared to the budget busters he’s already hung his hat on? Aside from his quiet determination to slash medical care for poor people and the elderly — aka Medicaid —I can’t think of one.

Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.