Bailout Watch 434: GM, Chrysler Spend $7M on Lobbying for More Bailout Bucks
Talk about ROI… The Washington Post reports that General Motors and Chrysler are using $7M of their $17.4B federal “loan” to lobby for their next snootful of bailout bucks.
In the last three months of 2008, just as slumping auto sales pushed the two Detroit carmakers closer to bankruptcy, GM spent about $3.9 million on lobbying, according to a review of its most recent disclosure forms. Chrysler and its parent company, Cerberus Capital Management, reported spending about $3.4 million.
The Post forgets to account for the lobbying parity between the artist formerly known as the world’s largest automaker and the Crisis Corporation. Lest we forget, Cerberus has another huge mouth to feed at your expense: GMAC. Which received a $6B bailout and a last minute waiver of the Fed’s rules for bank incorporation. And how, pray tell, do the automakers’ owners justify using your money to get more of your money?
“There is significant, ongoing demand from legislators and government officials for education and information on Chrysler, its operations, products and future plans, including promoting advanced technology that responds to the nation’s energy needs,” said Chrysler spokeswoman Linda Becker. “The expenses reported included a number of activities at the local, state and federal levels of government on a wide range of issues.”
It is probably the most heavily regulated industry in the country,” GM spokesman Greg Martin said. “Lobbying is legally protected speech. It’s a transparent, effective way for us to have a voice in multiple policy issues that impact our business and employees.The reports, which must be filed quarterly, do not detail the exact amounts spent on specific issues, drawing questions from some critics about whether they are using the loans to lobby against the taxpayers’ interest…
Martin added, “Companies should not be required to forfeit their legal rights if they receive federal funding.”
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