In Donald Trump’s recent speech in Saudi Arabia, he stated the following:
“King Salman, I thank you for the creation of this great moment in history, and for your massive investment in America, its industry and its jobs. I also thank you for investing in the future of this part of the world.”
This speech was given after Saudi Arabia signed a deal to purchase $110 billion worth of arms effective immediately and $350 billion over ten years. While it’s interesting to see that President Trump thanked Saudi King Salman for his contribution to American industry and jobs, there is a group of people that should receive even greater thanks for their contribution to the U.S. defense industry – American taxpayers.
On the Federal Procurement Data System website, we can access an annual listing of the top 100 contractors when measured using government-wide spending data. Looking through this data, we can see just how much the American military-industrial complex should be thanking U.S. taxpayers for their beneficence. Let’s look at who has benefited over the past three years with 2015 being the latest year for which data is available:
The biggest recipient, Lockheed Martin, received contracts worth $36.26 billion or 8.3 percent of total federal contract spending.
2.) 2014: In total, there were $235.933 billion in contracts across all federal government departments. Again, the top five vendors were defence contractors and were recipients of $90.074 billion worth of contracts or 38.2 percent of all federal contract spending. Here is a bar graph showing the total size of the contracts for the top five contractors:
3.) 2013: In total, there were $255.638 billion in contracts across all federal government departments. Once again, the top five vendors were defence contractors and were recipients of $102.453 billion worth of contracts or 40.1 percent of all federal contract spending. Here is a bar graph showing the total size of the contracts for the top five contractors:
Let’s drill down a bit into the 2015 data, focussing on the contracts given to Lockheed Martin by various parts of the Department of Defense showing the total size of all contracts granted as well as the percentage of spending for that category:
Navy – $15.524 billion (18.4%)
Army – $4.039 billion (5.6%)
Air Force – $7.394 billion (14%)
Defense Threat Reduction – $40.228 million (4.2%)
Defense Microelectronices – $32.472 million (6.4%)
Defense Information – $367.726 million (7.4%)
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency – $198.726 million (19.7%)
Missile Defense – $935.529 million (19.9%)
Special Operations – $656.413 (22.5%)
Even Homeland Security jumped onto the Lockheed Martin bandwagon, granting contradicts worth $327.036 million in 2015.
As you can clearly see from the data shown in this posting, the American military-industrial complex and the President of the United States should not be thanking the Saudi Royal Family for their “investment in America, its industry and its jobs” rather, they should be thanking the taxpayers of the United States who have sunk trillions of dollars into their businesses over the decades, particularly since the endless War on Terror began in 2001. In particular, the 97,000 employees at Lockheed Martin should be thankful that the Department of Defense has chosen the products that they manufacture to arm the U.S. military. And, just in case you thought that I’d forgotten the company’s named executive officers, here are a few more corner office dwellers from Lockheed Martin that should be thankful to U.S. taxpayers:
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