Overseas Civilian Contractors

News and issues relating to Civilian Contractors working Overseas

Conflict of interest: Contractors and their political spending

By Robert Reich  Marketplace,  Wednesday, June 1, 2011

It is no secret that companies spend money lobbying Congress. But there’s a new wrinkle to the relationship between corporations and federal money.

Robert Reich Robert Reich

Tess Vigeland: President Obama met with Congressional Republicans at the White House today. The agenda: coming to an agreement on the government’s ability to borrow. The debt ceiling. The big sticking point is whether spending cuts will be attached to that legislation.

But commentator Robert Reich wants another policy topic front and center. And he says, it too, has a lot to do with your taxpayer dollars.


Robert Reich: President Obama is mulling an executive order requiring that big government contractors disclose their political spending. He should stop their political spending altogether.

Take Lockheed Martin, the nation’s largest contractor. The company has received nearly $20 billion in federal contracts so far this year. It’s already spent more than $4 million lobbying Congress.

Lockheed has also been spending more than $3 million a year on political contributions to members of Congress that vote its way. And an undisclosed amount to the Aerospace Industries Association to lobby for a bigger Defense budget.

But wait a minute. You and I and other taxpayers are Lockheed’s biggest customer. As such, we are financing this political activity. It’s one of the most insidious conflicts of interest in American politics.

And Lockheed is hardly unique. The 10 biggest government contractors are all defense contractors. Every one of them gets most of its revenues from the federal government. And everyone uses a portion of that money to lobby for even more Defense contracts.

Please read the entire interview here

June 1, 2011 - Posted by | Civilian Contractors, Contractor Oversight, Follow the Money, Government Contractor | , , ,

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