It’s the best game in town. Get taxpayer bailout billions and spend some of the spare cash on lobbyists to press Congressional Reps and Senators into giving more money and ending onerous conditions like limiting executive compensation.
There oughta be a law…
From the Washington Post:
Major recipients of federal bailout money spent more than $10 million to lobby lawmakers in the first three months of 2009, including arguing against pay limits for corporate executives, according to newly filed disclosure records.
The biggest spenders among major financial firms and automakers included General Motors, which spent nearly $1 million a month on lobbying so far this year, and Citigroup and J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., which together spent more than $2.5 million in their efforts to sway lawmakers and Obama administration officials on a wide range of financial issues.
The new statistics revive objections from public-interest groups and some lawmakers who argue it is improper for companies to be lobbying against stricter oversight and other regulations at the same time that they are benefiting from the government’s massive Troubled Assets Relief Program, or TARP.
“Taxpayers are subsidizing a legislative agenda that is inimical to their interests and offensive to what the whole TARP program is about,” said William Patterson, executive director of CtW Investment Group, an activist group affiliated with a coalition of labor unions. “It’s business as usual with taxpayers picking up the bill.”