The big dollar muggings in Washington these days are not done with pistols. The sophisticated weapons of choice are “sole source contracting,” lobbyists, and insiders. And the victims are not tourists, but taxpayers.
Large multinationals game the system using the revolving door between government and the private sector, with the help of aggressive lobbying. There are so many examples, but one is the fourth largest privately- owned company in the United States, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, which originated as one of the biggest accounting companies in America.
Federal contracting is big business, governed by dozens of federal statutes enacted by Congress, explained in dozens of legal volumes that can be found in every law library across the nation. Federal policy as provided in that governing law is based on the concept of “competitive bidding,” because as the most rudimentary economics shows, better results in terms of price and quality are obtained by competition rather than by monopoly.
But if a company is a crony favored by contacts, friends, or relatives of company employees, or of lobbyists working for the company, that company can get “sole-source contracts” or even sole source grants, not subject to any competition. The money flows just when the contact, friend or relative working inside of some contracting government agency signs on the dotted line, giving away some share of the federal government’s trillions in annual spending.