As an economic power, the U.S. government is a juggernaut without equal. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the U.S. government spent $4.0 trillion in 2017. While the largest shares of the federal government’s annual expenditures go towards benefit programs like Social Security and Medicaid, hundreds of billions of federal dollars also end up in the coffers of just a handful of companies in the private sector.
Through its various agencies and departments, the federal government has millions of contractual obligations with private companies, both domestic and foreign. The companies and organizations benefiting from federal dollars run the gamut from drug makers to universities and research companies. However, those benefiting the most are almost exclusively health care providers and defense contractors – many of which claim Uncle Sam as their biggest customer.
24/7 Wall St. reviewed contract data from the Federal Procurement Data System to identify the companies making the most from the federal government. The government paid 30 companies at least $1.9 billion each in 2016. Four companies on this list were each awarded federal contracts worth over $13.4 billion – more than the entire budget for the Environmental Protection Agency or the Department of the Interior.