President Obama is said to be considering an executive order requiring federal contractors to disclose their political spending. He should sign it immediately.
But he should go further and ban all political spending by federal contractors that receive more than half their revenues from government.
Ever since the Supreme Court’s shameful Citizens United decision, big corporations have been funneling large amounts of cash – often secretly – into American politics.
Bad enough. When big government contractors do the funneling, American taxpayers foot the bill twice over: We pay their lobbying and campaign expenses. And when those efforts are successful, we pay for federal contracts we often don’t need.
This is especially true for defense contractors – the biggest federal contractors of all.
A study by St. Louis University political scientist Christopher Witko reveals a direct relationship between what a corporation spends on campaign contributions and the amount it receives back in government contracts.
A case in point is America’s largest contractor – Lockheed Martin. More than 80 percent of Lockheed’s revenues come from the U.S. government, mostly from the Defense Department.
Yet it’s hard to say American taxpayers have got a good deal from Lockheed.
Lockheed is the main contractor for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter – the single most expensive weapons program in history, and also one of the worst. It’s been plagued by so many engine failures and software glitches that Lockheed and its subcontractors practically had to start over this year.
Why do we keep throwing good money after bad?
Follow the money behind the money. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Lockheed’s Political Action Committee spent over $4 million on the 2014 election cycle, and has already donated over $1 million to candidates for 2016.
The top congressional recipient of Lockheed’s largesse is Mac Thornberry (R-Texas),
Originally appeared at: http://robertreich.org/post/123138820185
How to Disrupt the Military-Industrial-Congressional Complex is a story from: BitcoinWarrior.net