The Washington Times - January 24, 2009, 09:33AM

Quite a few of the companies that have received bailout money from the federal government apparently have been using some of the money to lobby the government for more money, the New York Times is reporting.

Companies that have received billions of bailout dollars since October, such as Citigroup and General Motors, have paid millions for lobbying Washington, with some actually increasing their spending on lobbyists.

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Taking bailout money doesn’t end the right to lobby Washington, bankers say.  But some lawmakers are taking a different view.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, California Democrat, says it’s “completely unacceptable” that taxpayers’ dollars intended for stabilizing the economy are ending up in “the bank accounts of lobbying firms.”  She backing legislation to ban the use of bailout money for lobbying.

Bailed-out companies: “Hey, it’s our money now.  We can do with it what we want.  And we want some more!”  Federal government: “Um, OK?”

It’s like that old saying, “Give a man a fish today — and tomorrow he will lobby you for more.”

Technically, lobbying firms are a part of the economy, so giving them federal money helps everybody, right?

It’s a little odd how “federal funds” become “taxpayer dollars” when things go wrong.