A government contractor’s entire business model is based on trying to convince the politicians in power to give it large sums of taxpayer money. It should be evident to everyone that the potential for corruption is as enormous as the possible profits.
Contractors clearly have a massive incentive to take some of the taxpayer money the politicians are directing to them and cycle some it back into the system as huge legal bribes campaign contributions to help advance the careers of the politicians that help funnel them billions of dollars. Of course, since running for office is so expensive in America, the politicians also have a huge incentive to take part.
In a sane world, realizing how corrupting this system is, we would outlaw companies whose business model relies on getting politicians to exchange contributions for more government money. Sadly almost no one is demanding that–but the Obama administration is at least thinking about making government contractors disclose their campaign spending. Of course, government contractors, using the Chamber of Commerce to hide who is actually funding the opposition to this policy, have declared all-out war on even this mild proposal. From the New York Times:
The lobbyist, R. Bruce Josten, said in an interview that the powerful business bloc “is not going to tolerate” what it saw as a “backdoor attempt” by the White House to silence private-sector opponents by disclosing their political spending.
“We will fight it through all available means,” Mr. Josten said. In a reference to the White House’s battle to depose Libya’s leader, Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, he said, “To quote what they say every day on Libya, all options are on the table.”
The legalized corruption is so systemic that government contractors are probably even using the taxpayer money they were given to fight this proposal that would at least allow us to know the scale of the corruption.
We don’t have a deficit problem. We don’t have a health care spending problem. We don’t have a military spending problem. We have a legalized corruption problem that causes the other problems.