May 9, 2012

Top 10 Fortune 500 Companies Spend 19 Times As Much On Lobbying As Bottom 10

ExxonMobil leads the Fortune 500 list and also is one of its biggest lobbying spenders.

Today, 2012’s Fortune 500 list was revealed. The list ranks the largest American corporations by revenue and profits, in an attempt to label the country’s most successful businesses.

In an America where Big Money buys access and power in our politics, it’s important to realize that the companies that top the Fortune 500 list not only have more market power, they have more political power.

We’ve done the research and compiled the 2012 lobbying data for both the top ten Fortune 500 companies and the bottom ten. The results are about what you’d expect. The top ten companies vastly outspent the bottom ten — 19:1 to be precise.

Here’s the lobbying totals for the top ten Fortune 500 companies, which spent $22,637,832 on disclosed lobbying so far this year:

1. ExxonMobil $4,170,000

2. Wal-Mart $1,510,000

3. Chevron $3,240,000

4. ConnocoPhillips $1,030,000

5. General Motors $2,660,000

6. General Electric $5,890,000

7. Berkshire Hathaway $2,276,832

8. Fannie Mae $0 (it was banned from lobbying)

9. Ford Motor Company $1,710,000

10. Hewlett Packard $1,690,000

And here’s the bottom ten, which spent a combined $1,177,779 on disclosed lobbying so far this year. As you can see, individual companies in the top ten like ExxonMobil and General Electric spent more on lobbying themselves than the bottom ten combined:

490. Metro PCS Communications $60,000

491. Alliant Techsystems $390,000

492. Celgene $250,000

493. MRC Global $0

494. Aleris $0

495. J.M. Smucker $0

496. Rockwell Collins $175,779

497. Erie Insurance Group $0

498. Nash-Finch $0

499. KeyCorp $152,000

500. Molina Healthcare $150,000

So when you look at the Fortune 500 list, remember that the companies that are at the top aren’t just masters of the free market — they’re corporations that know how to leverage their dollars to win special favors from the government  — ranging from subsidies for oil companies to being completely bailed out — with their immense lobbying budgets.