28% of Federal Contract Funds Go to Just 10 Companies…All Make Weapons Systems

Monday, June 11, 2012
If this is the age of budget cutbacks and government austerity, someone ought to tell the Pentagon and its weapons contractors, because they haven’t gotten the memo about shared sacrifice. According to a summary of the top federal contractors produced by the Federal Procurement Data System, the Defense Department gave out $372.8 billion (70%) of the $532.6 billion in government contract spending in fiscal year 2011, with just 10 arms makers accounting for 28% of all contracting dollars, up from 25% a year before, and the top 5 accounting for 20.8%.
This top heavy pattern, in which companies that have fattened themselves for years on the government teat push and shove to crowd out the runts, is even more egregious when one examines the top five providers of military hardware. Lockheed-Martin, which has been the largest government contractor every year since 1995, collected $42.9 billion, an increase of $7.1 billion over 2010 and almost double the haul of Boeing ($22.1 billion), and far ahead of General Dynamics ($19 billion), Raytheon ($14.4 billion) and Northrop Grumman ($12.8 billion). Put another way, Lockheed-Martin got 11.5% of defense contract dollars and 8% of all contract funds. Boeing also saw an increase of $2.7 billion.
Although the budget deal reached between President Obama and Congress last year contemplates across the board cuts at the end of 2012 that would greatly reduce the haul of these weapons makers, Republican leaders in Congress are vowing to exempt the Defense Department and its contractors.
-Matt Bewig
To Learn More:
Top 100 Contractors Report Fiscal Year 2011 (Federal Procurement Data System)
Agency Contract Spending Down 3.5 percent, Study of Top 200 Says (by Charles S. Clark, Government Executive)


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