Pentagon Profiteers: Executive Compensation In The Arms Industry
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of Forbes
Posted: July 23rd, 2023
Funding for the Department of Defense and related work on nuclear weapons at the Department of Energy will reach more than $850 billion in Fiscal Year 2023, far higher than spending at the height of the Cold War or the peak years of the Korean and Vietnam conflicts. While advocates of spending these enormous sums often argue that the money is needed to "support the troops," more than half of the Pentagon's yearly budget goes to private contractors, many of whom are making hefty profits at taxpayer expense while producing flawed products at exorbitant prices. One telling example of how these companies waste taxpayer dollars is how much they pay their top executives. In 2021 ... the CEOs of the top five contractors received compensation ranging from $18 million to $23 million each, including James Taiclet of Lockheed Martin, $18.1 million; David Calhoun of Boeing, $21.1 million; Gregory Hayes of Raytheon, $21.8 million; Phebe Novakovic of General Dynamics, $23.5 million; and Kathy Warden of Northrop Grumman, $19.9 million. Since these firms receive a large share of their revenue from U.S. government contracts, much of this excessive executive compensation is essentially subsidized by the taxpayers. Defense executives wouldn't be able to earn multi-million dollar salaries if their companies weren't grabbing billions in Pentagon contract awards. In addition to campaign contributions, the industry spent over $100 million on lobbying in just the first three quarters of 2022.