Mitt Romney’s $2 Trillion Defense Increase Explained

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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.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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