Your Tax Dollars at Work

"The U.S. government is a marketplace too rich to ignore," writes Jeffrey Birnbaum. "For the past few years, federal discretionary spending has grown by more than 10 percent a year... In particular, security spending has taken off." PR and lobby firms have certainly noticed: "Fleishman-Hillard Inc just opened a marketing department... Cassidy & Associates Inc has also beefed up what amounts to a sales force... And lobbying powerhouse Patton Boggs LLP increasingly is applying its expertise to sell its clients' products directly to - or with the help of - Uncle Sam." Not to mention "one of the most experienced companies in the field," Jefferson Consulting Group, which has brokered major health care and pharmaceutical deals.