Competitive Bidding Falls Off in Bush Years
Originally Posted by SDW2001
War economy: So the only parts of the economy that have been good in the last six years are weapons manufacture and oil?
Friday, May 11, 2007; A17
The value of federal contracts awarded without competitive bidding has soared since President Bush took office in 2000, according to a new study to be released Monday by the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank.
Federal contracting grew from $203 billion in fiscal 2000 to $377 billion by fiscal 2005. During the same period, the value of federal contracts awarded without competitive bidding more than doubled, from $67 billion to $145 billion, the study found. At the same time, government oversight of contracting has weakened, according to the study's author, Scott Lilly, a senior fellow at the center and a former House Democratic aide.
For example, the Defense Department is responsible for 80 percent of the overall federal contract growth during the five years under study. But the number of federal civilians employed by the department declined by about 2,000 in the same period. As a result, contractors have increasingly stepped in to fill the void -- to help the government decide its needs, draft contracts awarded to other private firms and then monitor their performance, the study found.
Federal contracts are big money -- they represent about 3 percent of U.S. gross domestic product, about the same amount as the automotive industry. And because a growing chunk of that money is being handed to private companies without competitive bidding, it raises questions about whether taxpayers are getting the best deal and whether the contracting process has grown corrupt, Lilly said.
"There are clear indications that serious contract abuse has become a widespread problem affecting programs and agencies across the entire government and involving tens of billions of dollars in federal funds annually," according to the study.
-- Lyndsey Layton
Look, for almost thirty years we've been hearing about how the liberals under our beds were going to steal our money in the night and spend it on social programs!. Creeping communism! Welfare mothers and their crack babies who don't want to work! ...and so on, and on. Well, we were too clever for them...we gave our hundreds of billions to the nice men who hold stock in Halliburton, so they could keep it safe in their offshore bank accounts.
Oh and that oil in Iraq?Billions in Oil Missing in Iraq, U.S. Study Says
"Between 100,000 and 300,000 barrels a day of Iraq's declared oil production over the past four years is unaccounted for and could have been siphoned off through corruption or smuggling, according to a draft American government report,"
I know the financial/energy markets decry infrastructure costs and security risks, but that to be expected. I think that this example fits just as well with everything else we all now know about Iraq, that it was an opportunistic decision of a few businessmen who see only the business side of the whole thing. And when I say businessmen, I don't mean your small business owner.
We're talking about the likes of Enron and WorldCom CEOs.
Running the Country.Iraq War Will Cost More-than-$2-Trillion
"Two scholars, one a Nobel Prize winner, revisit their estimate of the true cost of the Iraq war – and find that $2 trillion was too low. They consider not only the current and future budgetary costs, but the economic impact of lives lost, jobs interrupted and oil prices driven higher by political uncertainty in the Middle East."