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Ear to the Ground

Post-Bailout, Lobbying Continues

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Posted on Jan 23, 2009
General Motors Lobby
nation.co.ke

General Motors, for example, spent $3.3 million on lobbying in the fourth quarter, while receiving $13.4 billion in bailout money.

Without skipping a beat, once-troubled financial entities are continuing to spend big to lobby Congress as they pocket billions in TARP bailout money. The lobbying is defended by the bail-outted firms as a “transparent and effective way” to be heard on policy issues.

The Wall Street Journal:

Troubled financial institutions and the Detroit auto makers continue to spend heavily on lobbying Congress while accepting billions of dollars in U.S. government money, reports to Congress suggest.

General Motors Corp. spent $3.3 million on lobbying in the fourth quarter of 2008, a period that coincides with the government committing $13.4 billion to the ailing auto maker under the Treasury’s Troubled Asset Relief Program. In all of 2008, GM spent $13.1 million on lobbying, down from $14.3 million in 2007. GM’s reported lobbying expenses for 2008 were only slightly less than combined spending by Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler LLC.

“Lobbying is the transparent and effective way that GM has its voice heard on critical policy issues…that companies should not be required to forfeit if they receive federal funding,” said GM spokesman Greg A. Martin, who added that no funds lent from the Treasury would be used for lobbying.

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By Matt, January 28, 2009 at 3:22 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I agree, Felicity. This is ridiculous. We’re paying these companies to lobby for themselves. I’ve set up a petition to tell Congress to bring an end to this so we can at least channel our disgust into a solution: http://snipr.com/itsgottastop

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By BlueEagle, January 24, 2009 at 7:47 pm Link to this comment

Oh look the mother has milk! Well then… let’s go suck on the nipple.

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By dihey, January 24, 2009 at 1:08 pm Link to this comment

Mr. Obama has repeatedly asked for “better ideas”. Here is one. Instead of giving tax breaks buy 5 million cars from American auto makers over the next two years and devise strategies to get these to deserving families or individuals for free or for a small fee. Or else give these to state, county, and city agencies. Perhaps this will not create many new jobs but it will preserve existing jobs and rehire layoffs. Also the US car makers will not need to beg for more bailout money.

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By felicity, January 24, 2009 at 10:13 am Link to this comment

Sky Captain - First I’ve heard that car manufacturers caused this ‘financial mess.’

Financial entities are the culprits and their movers and shakers - who in my mind are guilty of fraud - are not only getting away scot-free, and not only laughing in their champagne at what they got away with, they apparently feel their victims aren’t worth an apology.

Sorry my comment wasn’t written clearly enough.

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By Sky Captain, January 23, 2009 at 4:28 pm Link to this comment

felicity:

Do you want to see people employed, or unemployed? If so, you should keep your mouth shut and at least support the bailout of Ford, Chrysler, and GM. Nobody’s asking you to support the cars they make, just to keep people employed.

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By felicity, January 23, 2009 at 2:35 pm Link to this comment

In Alice in Wonderland speak, it’s curiouser and curiouser that the bad actors who caused this financial mess have yet to speak out and ‘explain’ or perhaps justify their actions?

I can only think that, to quote Gatsby’s friend Nick Carroway’s comment when walking away in disgust from the mega-rich Tom Buchanans, “They’re careless people.”  They go through their lives destroying people and they could care less.

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