If nearly doubling the Pentagon budget over the past decade (not counting the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq) isn’t sufficient, GOP front-runner Mitt Romney has a solution: lock in defense spending at 4% of gross domestic product. That way, within a decade, we’ll have our first $1 trillion annual defense budget as we spend 42% more annually than the Reagan Administration averaged (if the nation doesn’t go bankrupt first).
Christopher Preble at the Cato Institute wonders what threats warrant this kind of spending. But there is a more fundamental question, too: why should the U.S. bolt its defense budget number to its economy, instead of to its enemies? What a way to kill innovation. Think of it as a fiscal IV – drip, drip, drip – for an ailing political mindset unable, and unwilling, to do anything more about the U.S. military than force feed it.