Those who are familiar with this blog know that my knew on-line playground is opensecrets.org. So after my blog yesterday regarding slashing the military budget I thought I would take my own advice for an explanation and follow the money. Below are the top five military defense contractors. The graphs show how much the they spent on lobbying in the last decade. Beneath each graph you will find the amount each company and their subsidiaries has received in defense contracts during the 2007 fiscal year. The contracts information comes directly from the Department of Defense in 2007.
A total of $309,405,669,905 was spent on defense contracts in 2007 (that’s reported expenditures. There may be contracts, which for “national security” reasons, cannot be reported). That’s over half of the military budget.
I think it’s also significant that thirty-five of the top fifty contractors received over a billion dollars in contracts for 2007.
It may also be interesting to note that three of the top five defense contractors are listed among Opensecrets.org’s list of Heavy Hitters, that is the top 100 campaign contributors since 1990. All three made over $10 billion in 2007 alone!
So slashing the military budget, a sensible idea as proposed, would also slash the profit margin of these major defense contractors. Just how much influence do such contractors have in policy decisions? Alas, that’s beyond the ability of this blog to answer definitively, but not beyond any reasonable person’s ability to surmise.