America’s Defense Contractors Profits, Pay and Killing Humans

Photo: Sgt Amanda Campbell

As I have done in the past, I would like to take a look at the compensation packages for America's top defense contractors, an issue that should be of importance to all American taxpayers given that it is their tax dollars that are supporting this industry.

According to Defense News, in 2018, when measured in terms of defense revenue, the 20 largest defense contractors in the world were:

You will notice that, of the top 20 defense contractors, 12 were American, 6 were European and 2 were Russian.

Now, let's look at the compensation packages for the top three American defense contractors as found in their annual proxy statements:

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1.) Lockheed Martin:  Here is a table showing how the company's sales and profits have grown over the past three years:

In 2018, 70 percent of the company's net sales were sourced from the United States Government.

Here's a table showing the compensation packages for Lockheed Martin's Named Executive Officers for 2018:

2.) Raytheon:  Here is a table showing the company's financial results have shown improvement over the past three years:

Note that in 2018, 68 percent of Raytheon's total net sales were sourced from the United States Government, up from 67 percent in 2016 and 2017. Raytheon's total net sales of $27.058 billion for the full year 2018 were up 6.7 percent on a year-over-year basis.

Here is a table showing the compensation packages for Raytheon's Named Executive Officers for 2018:

3.) Northrop Grumman: Here is a table showing how the company's sales and profits have grown over the past three years:

In 2018, 82 percent of the company's sales were sourced from the United States Government, down from 85 percent in 2017 and 84 percent in 2016.

Here is a table showing the compensation packages for Northrop Grumman's Named Executive Officers for 2018:

As you can see, in all three cases, sales in 2018 were up by between 6.7 percent and 15.7 percent on a year-over-year basis. The compensation packages of the Chief Executive Officers of the four companies averaged $22.776 million or 300 times the size of the median family income in the United States ($75,938 in 2017).  It is also quite clear, particularly in the case of Northrop Grumman, that if it were not for the unfettered generosity of America's taxpayers, these three companies would be much, much smaller than they currently are with sales being a fraction of what their current level.  God help the defense industry and its named executive officers if peace should break out!

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