There was an interesting story from Bloomberg on government spending per district last Friday which included the fact that two Colorado Congressional districts — CD-5 and CD-6 — are among those that receive the most federal money of any district in the country. From Bloomberg:
Sixty House members backed by the Tea Party, whose opposition to federal spending helped bring on an impasse over raising the U.S. debt ceiling, represent districts that last year received $43 billion in government contracts.
In 16 of those constituencies, spending exceeded $1 billion each — more than twice the median amount for all House districts, Bloomberg Government reported today. …
…The Colorado districts of Republicans Mike Coffman and Doug Lamborn received about $3 billion each in fiscal 2010, the most among those held by Tea Party Caucus members. Both voted for the Boehner plan. [Pols emphasis]
Defense contractors Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and ITT Corp. (ITT) have operations in those districts, Coffman’s 6th and Lamborn’s 5th, where the North American Aerospace Defense Command, the U.S. Air Force Academy and Fort Carson Army Base are located.
Both Coffman and Lamborn represent districts that receive in excess of $3 billion in government contracts (the median amount for a Congressional district is about $500 million), yet they rail relentlessly on the need for the government to cut spending. Those contracts mean a lot of jobs, however, which puts Coffman and Lamborn in a difficult spot between rhetoric and reality.
It’s a similar dynamic that played out with the FASTER vehicle registration debate in the Colorado legislature. The money collected through FASTER funds road projects that go to private companies providing local jobs — that’s why so many Republicans were careful not to really oppose FASTER in 2009, because a lot of local contractors would have suffered.