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The Top 10 Contractors of 2011: All Military. Gaining More of Your Tax Dollars. Connected.

Last year, I shared with you the Top 10 federal contractors of 2010. Last week the Federal Procurement Data System released a new wave of information for 2011. Let’s compare the two years:

Top 10 Federal Contractors of 2010:
1. Lockheed Martin Corp.: $35,828,421,340.83 in contracts

2. Boeing: $19,486,294,255.83 in contracts

3. Northrop Grumman Corp.: $16,797,921,451.22 in contracts

4. General Dynamics Corp.: $15,249,055,811.75 in contracts

5. Raytheon: $15,245,234,506.52 in contracts

6. United Technologies Corp.: $7,721,459,648.98 in contracts

7. L-3 Communications: $7,445,106,575.43 in contracts

8. Oshkosh Corp.: $7,243,489,906.25 in contracts

9. SAIC Inc.: $6,796,280,361.66 in contracts

10. BAE Systems: $6,561,185,112.84 in contracts

Top 10 Federal Contractors of 2011:
1. Lockheed Martin Corp.: $42,446,866,959.53 in contracts

2. Boeing: $21,599,245,643.25 in contracts

3. General Dynamics Corp.: $19,442,764,028.59 in contracts

4. Northrop Grumman Corp.: $15,020,080,455.00 in contracts

5. Raytheon: $14,771,086,834.84 in contracts

6. United Technologies Corp.: $7,908,114,454.95 in contracts

7. SAIC Inc.: $7,378,984,631.81 in contracts

8. L-3 Communications: $7,357,742,515.71 in contracts

9. BAE Systems: $6,876,349,891.22 in contracts

10. Oshkosh Corp.: $4,942,070,285.97 in contracts

As in 2010, the top 10 federal contractors of 2011 were all military contractors (Oshkosh Corp. is not the company that makes those B’gosh overalls; it is a military transport manufacturer). The names of the top-ten players remained the same from year to year. Both the dollar amount going to the top ten contractors and the share of all federal contract dollars received by the top ten increased from 2010 to 2011:

Two federal contracting graphs: dollar amount of federal contracts awarded to the top 10 contractors in 2010-2011 and the percent of all federal contracting dollars awarded to the top ten contractors, 2010-2011

In the year 2011, the ten corporations listed above deployed 125 different lobbying firms, deployed to Capitol Hill along with their own in-house corporate lobbyists. What’s striking isn’t just the large number of lobbying firms hired by these military contractors; what’s really striking is that the military contractors, who according to classic economic theory should be in competition with one another, are actually in practical collaboration, hiring many of the same firms among them to advocate for policy change.

The figure you see below is a sociogram displaying the extent of joint lobbyist hires by the top 10 federal contractor corporations. Patterns in the underlying data, generated from lobbying disclosures filed for activity during the year 2011, are represented by drawing a line between two military contractors if they both hired the services of at least one lobbying firm in 2011. The number drawn above each line indicates the number of lobbying firms those two contractors hired in common.

Sociogram Figure: Number of Lobbying Firms Hired in Common by the Top 10 Federal Contractors of 2011

As the figure shows, the sharing of lobbying firms by top military contractors is quite common. The density of the military contractor lobbying network is 91.1%; in other words, 41 out of the 45 possible pairs of contractors who could potentially share lobbying firms actually do share lobbying firms. Five out of these ten military contractors — Raytheon, General Dynamics, SAIC, United Technologies and Lockheed Martin — share at least one lobbying firm in common with every other one of the military contractors. General Dynamics and Northrop Grumman have the largest number of shared lobbying firms: nine lobbying firms hired in common. General Dynamics shares at least five lobbying firms with each of five other military contractors on the top ten list: Northrop Grumman (9), Raytheon (7), Oshkosh (6), Boeing (6) and Lockheed Martin (5).

The lobbying firms hired in 2011 by more than one of the top 10 federal contractors are (with the number of hiring contractors in parenthesis):

Etherton and Associates, Inc. (7)
American Defense International (5)
Podesta Group (5)
Denny Miller Associates (4)
Innovative Federal Strategies (4)
Richard L. Collins & Company, Inc. (4)
Baker Donelson Bearman Caldwell & Berkowitz (3)
Ervin Technical Associates, Inc. (3)
FifeStrategies, LLC (3)
McBee Strategic Consulting (3)
Principled Strategies, LLC (3)
Robison International (3)
Shockey Scofield Solutions, LLC (3)
Stapleton & Associates, LLC (3)
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld (2)
Marshall Brachmann (2)
Breaux Lott Leadership Group (2)
C. Baker Consulting, Incorporated (2)
CG Technologies, Inc. (2)
Clark & Weinstock (2)
Commonwealth Consulting Corporation (2)
Flagship Government Relations, Inc. (2)
LHD & Associates, Inc. (2)
Monument Policy Group (2)
Diane O’Toole (2)
Park Strategies Washington Group, LLC (2)
PAW and Associates (2)
RPI Group, Inc. (2)
The Washington Tax Group LLC (2)
Van Scoyoc Associates (2)

Tightly connected. Acting jointly. Massively funded by your tax dollars. Working for war. This is what President Dwight D. Eisenhower was talking about when he warned the nation of a rising military-industrial complex. What Eisenhower predicted has come to pass.

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