In a long trend piece on the rise of "the trophy basement" in today's Wall Street Journal, Talking Points Memo points out this little gem: Mitt Romney's new mansion (which, he pointed out last year, will only technically double the size of his old mansion, not quadruple it) will include a 3,600-square-foot basement. That's already enough to make your jaw drop, but it may drop even further when you consider that number is 600 square feet more than the entire old mansion—which Romney is tearing down in order to make room for the new mansion, huge basement and all.
The old, single-story California beach house was 3,000 square feet; its replacement will be 7,400 square feet. (Click for more on why Romney says the size will only be doubled.) An architect on the project wouldn't comment on Romney specifically, but told the Journal that in his experience, clients often want to be discreet about just how big their home is, which they can do "by pushing things underground." (In case you hadn't heard, Romney made a lot of money and isn't planning to apologize for it.)