New study shows US lawmakers have as much as $196 million invested in defense companies
Why do you suppose the US spends as much on military hardware as the rest of the world put together?
From the Associated Press:
Members of the U.S.Congress have as much as $196 million (€126.2 million) collectively invested in companies doing business with the Defense Department, earning millions since the start of the Iraq war, according to a new study by a nonpartisan research group.I guess this explains why congress tolerates $295 billion in cost overruns on defense contracts.
The review of lawmakers' 2006 financial disclosure statements, by the Washington-based Center for Responsive Politics, suggests that members' holdings could pose a conflict of interest as they decide the fate of Iraq war spending. Several members who earned the most from defense contractors have plum committee or leadership assignments, including Democratic Sen. John Kerry, independent Sen. Joseph Lieberman and House Republican Whip Roy Blunt.
The study found that more Republicans than Democrats hold stock in defense companies, but that the Democrats who are invested had significantly more money at stake. In 2006, for example, Democrats held at least $3.7 million (€2.3 million) in military-related investments, compared to Republican investments of $577,500 (€372,000).
Overall, 151 members hold investments worth $78.7 million (€50.6 million) to $195.5 million (€125.9 million) in companies that receive defense contracts that are worth at least $5 million (€3.2 million). These investments earned them anywhere between $15.8 million (€10.1 million) and $62 million (€39.9 million) between 2004 and 2006, the center concludes.
(cross posted at Liberal Avenger, via appletree)