The sequester and the value of a good lobbyist — in one chart

February 25, 2013

Nobody's future is on the line this coming week more than government contractors, who would bear the brunt of the automatic cuts known as the sequester.

Which is precisely the reason why they spend so much money on lobbyists.

The chart below (from the Sunlight Foundation) is the best illustration for hiring a lobbyist that we could think of. It compares how much the top 10 government contractors spent on lobbying and political contributions in 2012 vs. how much they face in lost contracts if the sequester goes into effect (based on estimates).

Now we should emphasize that, if the sequester goes into effect, as appears very likely, that investment won't have paid off (at least unless they eventually replace these cuts with other ones). But given the stakes, is it any wonder that some of these contractors spend close to $15 million or even $20 million in a given year on lobbying and politics?

Indeed, they would be derelict if they didn't.

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.
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