“Beltway bandits” describes a private business or political entity that operates inside the Beltway, the interstate highway that encircles Washington, D.C.
More specifically, the term refers to government contractors, lobbyists, and other companies and organizations that have significant influence over the policymaking and decision-making processes of the federal government.
Beltway bandits are seen as companies that have significant influence over the government and that use that influence to secure contracts, grants, and other benefits for themselves.
Examples of Beltway bandits include large government contractors, as well as consulting firms, lobbying firms, and law firms that specialize in government relations.
Other examples include companies that provide services such as IT support, security, and engineering to the government, as well as firms that specialize in lobbying for specific industries, such as defense, healthcare, or energy.
These entities are often seen as being more interested in their own financial interests than in serving the public good. In one sense, they are similar to grifters.
The term “bandit” implies that these organizations are exploiting the government for their own gain, taking advantage of their relationships and connections to secure government contracts and funding.
They are often accused of engaging in insider dealing and of using their influence over the government to secure contracts and grants that might not be available to other businesses or organizations.
Additionally, they are seen as driving up the cost of government contracts, as they charge higher fees for their services and use their connections to secure higher levels of funding than their competitors.
By having such a significant influence over the government, they are seen as distorting the political process and undermining the public’s trust in government.
They are often accused of using their connections and influence to shape government policies and regulations in ways that benefit their own interests, rather than the interests of the public.
Examples of “Beltway bandits” in a sentence:
- The Beltway Bandits are infamous for their close relationships with government officials, which they use to secure lucrative contracts and grants.
- The term “Beltway Bandits” has become synonymous with political corruption and the exploitation of the government for personal gain.
- Despite criticism, the Beltway Bandits maintain that they play a necessary role in the government contracting process and provide valuable services to the government.
Taegan Goddard is the creator of the Political Dictionary.
Goddard spent more than a decade on Wall Street as managing director and chief operating officer of a prominent investment firm in New York City. Previously, he also served as a policy adviser to a U.S. Senator and Governor.
Goddard is also co-author of You Won – Now What?: How Americans Can Make Democracy Work from City Hall to the White House, a political management book hailed by prominent journalists and politicians from both parties.
His essays on politics and public policy have appeared in dozens of newspapers and magazines across the country.
Goddard earned degrees from Vassar College and Harvard University.
He lives in New York with his wife and three sons.