GM and Chrysler Get 6,666% Return on 2009 Lobbying Investment

Washington lobbyists' 2009 spending levels became final today, and the Detroit Free Press was the first to tally auto industry data from the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics.

The big news: Car makers, suppliers, and dealers spent 10 percent less last year on federal influence than they did in 2008, despite reaping big returns from the government's bailout efforts.

To put it in perspective, GM and Chrysler spent a total of $12 million on lobbying through their in-house teams and other private firms, even as they secured a total of $80 billion in loans -- or a 6,666 percent return on their  investment -- from an Obama administration that knew both companies were overly reliant on gas-guzzlers to stay afloat.