The Khaki Elephant No One Wants To Touch

I was having a discussion with my mother the other day concerning military spending and when it really began to explode. She thought WWI. I was no so sure since it was low until FDR was in office and I know he increased it considerably prior to our entry into WWII.  From just before WWII until the present military IE defense spending has been one of the biggest parts – if not THE biggest part of the budget.

I’m sure you have seen these chart before but I’ll bet you have not really looked at which companies get this governmental largesse. Well here is a site that shows the top 100 defense contractors and how much they get. I put together a list of the top 10.

Company Defense Revenue Civilian Revenue Employees
Lockheed Martin Corp. $11,903,592,828.00 $4,796,995,501.00 136,000
Northrop Grumman Corp. $9,324,359,858.00 $1,821,173,639.00 120,000
Boeing Co. $8,188,884,907.00 $2,273,741,289.00 157,100
Raytheon Co. $6,186,922,361.00 $540,310,194.00 75,000
General Dynamics Corp. $4,729,812,847.00 $702,070,138.00 91,200
KBR Inc. $4,545,379,747.00 $61,077.00 50,000
Science App Intl. $4,107,508,779.00 $1,366,973,804.00 45,000
L-3 Communications Corp $3,656,361,430.00 $520,263,253.00 66,000
Booz Allen Hamilton $545,907.00 $3,352,298,432.00 22,000
Computer Sciences Corp. $2,220,715,093.00 $1,072,563,293.00 94,000

Now we see why the defense budget is such a sacred cow. Or rather the khaki elephant in the bedroom. Eliminate their cushy contracts and a number of these companies would be in deep financial trouble. And here is another site that adds even more perspective in this situation. So no, I do not think Medicare or Medicaid or Social Security has as much to do with our economic problems as this does. Yet it’s become like having a tiger by the tail. Can’t hold on and can’t let go.


5 thoughts on “The Khaki Elephant No One Wants To Touch

  1. I’ve looked at these global military expenditure numbers more times than I can remember. These exact ones. Each time it makes me upset and depressed and enraged.

    All the assholes in Washington can THINK to do is to kill each other. Lot of good that is doing anyone. What dumbfucks.

    Our economy is totally dependent upon weapons of war. Has been for a very long time.

    I wonder what this world would be like if we worked this hard at peace?

    We’ll probably never know.

    1. cmaukonen

      One thing that is conveniently forgotten is how many people were employed by the military either directly or indirectly during the cold war. And how many were needed as support personnel for all the military bases. Plus how many were needed for the space program.

      Government spending is what keeps the economy humming and it’s been this way since before WWII. The private sector simply cannot do it. The only thing a Free Market can do is eat itself alive.

      1. Sure.

        But wouldn’t you rather government have found a way to employ persons and spend our money in a peaceful way?

        It’s no big challenge to kill.

        The challenge is in controlling yourself and not killing.

        Anybody can be pissed and go off on a rant smashing people in the face.

        It takes real effort and real work to do something beautiful and productive.

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