Contractors That Defraud the Government the Most Also Spend the Most on Lobbying

crony capitalism c c

It should be noted that when a contractor defrauds “the government” that company is really defrauding the taxpayers. And despite what some may believe, it’s not like the government is wholly unaware when big time sketchiness is going on. It’s understood to a large degree. It’s part of doing business for both regulators and the “regulated.” The numbers are so big. Sure, someone is going to scrape some of the cream. (This is the assumption.) It’s government contracting after all. That’s kind of the deal.

What we see here is not just companies acting badly and then being caught by a virtuous government. We see a complex crony system of back scratches, winks and nods. No angles. Lots of villains.

(From The Intercept)

Boeing, an aircraft manufacturing firm that supplies the government with military equipment, has paid over $1.4 billion in penalties since 1995, according to POGO. Boeing’s misdeeds include overbilling the government on the KC-10 aerial refueling tanker, falsifying invoices, and an assortment of environmental crimes such as contaminating local waterways and spilling jet fuel. POGO has identified over 60 resolved instances of Boeing committing fraud or violating the law, topped only by Exxon Mobil, Lockheed Martin and BP.

But that doesn’t mean Boeing has fallen out of favor with lawmakers. Boeing spends a lot of money to make sure that doesn’t happen.

The firm ranks as the second biggest spender on lobbying Congress this year among individual companies — over $16 million for just the first nine months of 2015. Boeing also spent $1.9 million on campaign contributions to local and federal candidates last year.

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