THE PLANK MAY 4, 2007
The Hill takes a look at where the various presidential candidates stand on military spending. Among Dems, only Dennis Kucinich and Bill Richardson have said they would actually cut the Pentagon's budget. Most of the rest plan to expand the end-strength of the Army and Marine Corps (for what purpose, though, no one seems to know). Some, like Chris Dodd and John Edwards, are already warning that pulling out of Iraq won't actually free up money in the budget, since, to quote Edwards, "Undoing the damage that George Bush has done to our military will require substantial costs."
On the Republican side, everyone this side of Ron Paul agrees that $800 billion a year isn't nearly enough. Mitt Romney, in particular, has pledged to peg the Pentagon's budget to at least 4 percent of GDP, because hey, picking an arbitrary number and sticking with it is what leadership's all about. (Or, more likely, he's following this Heritage Foundation playbook, which, tellingly, describes China as a "looming threat.")