This article was last updated on April 16, 2022
With the next edition of the never-ending budget ceiling story looming, I wanted to take a look at exactly who (since companies are people too) in Corporate America benefits from all of that debt accrual. Thanks to USA Spending, we can see exactly which companies have been the recipient of taxpayers’ beneficence and which government departments are spending the most.
Let’s start by looking at total government spending on contracts, grants, loans and other financial assistance going back to 2008:
It’s interesting to see how “other financial assistance” spending blossomed during the period between 2011 and 2013, hitting a peak of $2.953 trillion in fiscal 2013. If you are interested in even more detail on local federal government spending, you can click on this link and actually see the federal agency spending in your zip code.
Now, let’s look at federal government spending for fiscal 2017. Here are the top 25 spending government agencies thus far in 2017:
Here are the 25 companies that have received the largest total contracts so far in fiscal 2017:
You may have noticed that the defense and healthcare industries are very well represented. In fact, of the top ten contract recipients, nine are defense companies and one, McKesson Corporation, is a healthcare/pharmaceutical distributor.
Let’s take a more detailed look at the top three spending federal government agencies:
1.) Department of Health and Human Services: DHHS has awarded the highest dollar value of services at just under $1.01 trillion (including contracts, grants and other financial assistance) in fiscal 2017. Here are the top ten companies that benefitted from DHHS contracts:
Can we say “Big Pharma”?
Here are the states that have received the most awards from the Department of Health and Human Services:
2.) Social Security Administration: SSA has awarded a total of $740 billion in fiscal 2017. Here are the top ten companies that benefitted from SSA contracts:
Here are the states that have received the most awards from the Social Security Administration:
3.) Department of Defense: DoD has awarded at total of $177.63 billion in fiscal 2017. Here are the top ten companies that benefitted from DoD contracts:
Here is a breakdown of DoD spending by Department/Agency:
Here are the states that have received the most awards from the Department of Defense:
While we generally receive information on total government or total federal department spending, we rarely get a breakdown of exactly who benefits from the spending habits of Washington. When looking through the historical data, it is interesting to see that the same companies reappear in the top recipients category year after year, giving us a sense of how important federal government awards are to some sectors of Corporate America. Without federal government contracts and other financial assistance, I would suspect that the economy would be far less healthy than it is now.
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