The New York Times ran an article in its Sunday edition about how, under the Bush administration, government contracting with private companies has soared. (A link to the article is in this entry's title.) The trend of using government contractors instead of government employees has long existed. It picked up steam under the Clinton administration when the rules regarding such contracting were streamlined. Under Bush, though, the practice has become much more widespread because of this administration's philosophy that using private contractors is always more efficient than using government employees.
The article notes that these companies are contributing millions to politicians running for Federal office. Which leads to this question: why don't Democrats advocate for a law that would prohibit an employee of any company, or his or her spouse, from making certain political contributions? Such a law would help ensure that contractors are chosen for competence and not political influence.