So you’ve seen how “privatization” has been sweeping through government, so that now everything from prisons to warfare is “privatized”. Among the effects of this is increased corruption. If Senator Boondoggle has a bill on his desk authorizing the Department of Buncombe to spend $20 billion on something dumb, who’s gonna give him money to influence his vote? The Buncombe Federal Employees Union maybe, the people who hope to be on the receiving end of the Buncombe Department’s spending maybe.
But if you privatize the Department of Buncombe into the government contractor Buncombe Incorporated, it can lobby the government directly for more money by using the money it got from the government in the first place! Now we’re talking. That’s only one step removed from being able to fund your next campaign directly from the U.S. Treasury.
The most successful contractors are not necessarily those doing the best work, but those who have mastered the special skill of selling to Uncle Sam. The top 20 service contractors have spent nearly $300 million on lobbying and have donated $23 million to political campaigns. “We’ve created huge behemoths that are doing 90 or 95 percent of their business with the government,” said Peter W. Singer, who wrote a book on military outsourcing. “They’re not really companies, they’re quasi agencies.” Indeed, the biggest federal contractor, Lockheed Martin, which has spent $53 million on lobbying and $6 million on donations , gets more federal money each year than the Departments of Justice or Energy.