Mystery solved: companies rake in about $28 for every dollar spent lobbying Capitol Hill, BusinessWeek reports. According to the numbers, it's military contractors that get the most spending "earmarks" slipped into bills by lawmakers. But recent scandals over the system have prompted Bush and Pelosi to call for cuts in the Hill’s pork process – a slash that analysts say is only temporary.
Critics cry foul over a broken system, saying the White House should prioritize spending and call for competitive bids. "The lion's share of these projects is about politics and jobs, rather than real needs,” says a tax watchdog. But the Hill is under greater pressure than ever: More than 4,500 entities hired lobbyists last year, up from 1,447 in 1998.