By Jeremy Herb
Presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney would spend $2 trillion more than the current Pentagon budget over the next decade, according to an analysis of his proposal to tie the Defense budget to the gross domestic product.
Travis Sharp, a Center for a New American Security analyst, found Romney’s Defense Department would have a budget that spends $2.1 trillion more than the current plan over the next 10 years if the Pentagon budget was based on 4 percent of GDP, as Romney has proposed.
Romney has criticized President Obama for budget cuts to the Pentagon, which is planning to reduce its budgets by $487 billion over the next decade. He’s also blamed Obama for the threat of sequestration, an automatic cut of $500 billion scheduled to take effect in January 2013.
Romney has called for adding 100,000 troops to the military and increasing shipbuilding, and he has attacked Obama for shrinking the Navy and Air Force.
The size of the Pentagon spending plan has become a political issue this year amid the current budget cut proposal and sequestration. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), a potential vice presidential pick, proposed a House Republican budget that would reverse sequestration and roll back some of the proposed $487 billion cut at the expense of deeper cuts to non-defense discretionary spending.
Democrats have attacked his plan as unfair and unbalanced, and House Democrats plan to unveil their own sequester alternative. Ryan’s sequester replacement is moving in the House this week but is unlikely to get traction in the Senate.
Sharp told CNN Money that the Pentagon could ramp up
spending to Romney’s target, but he also questioned whether it was worth the cost.
“Romney's plan might reduce military risk in some areas,” he said. “But you can never eliminate all the risk — no matter how much you spend.”