January 23rd, 2009
11:25 AM ET
9 years ago

Obama slams companies for squandering bailout funds

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/23/art.obama.gi.jpg caption="President Barack Obama had harsh words Friday for companies that have engaged in lavish, frivolous spending."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Barack Obama had harsh words Friday for companies that have engaged in lavish, frivolous spending while receiving taxpayer dollars from the $700 billion federal bailout package.

Watch: Obama on the economy

During a White House meeting with the joint congressional leadership, the president said he had seen reports "over the last couple of days about companies (receiving) taxpayer assistance (and) then going out and renovating bathrooms or offices or in other ways not managing those dollars appropriately."

Moving forward, the president said, it would be necessary to pass reforms ensuring the kind of "oversight, transparency, accountability that's going to be required in order for the American people to confidence in what we're doing."

Related video: 'We have to do this right,' GOP leader says


Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (277 Responses)
  1. carol

    Good one Prez, you sort them out we have enough of this nonsense and it needs to be addressed.

    January 23, 2009 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  2. Rico

    Man I'm loving what President Obama has done already! The American people have truly elected the right man for the first time since 1996 Clinton re-election.

    Keep up the work Obama and you will be in office for 8 years.

    January 23, 2009 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  3. tigerakabj

    I heard that President Obama. These reprehensible CEOs who dare to use taxpayers money for their own personal benefit need to be publically humilated and subsequently indicted for thievery and recklessness.

    It is clear that wholesale changes must take place on white-collar crime so that this crap doesn't happen again.

    January 23, 2009 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  4. BB

    Why didn't the republicans demand accountability when the 1st pkg. went to their wall street buddies?

    January 23, 2009 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  5. magella

    How did this happen? I couldn't borrow $100 from my father without all kinds of strings and "oversight" attached. Absolutely, stunningly awful. There must be a way to get the money back, or to penalize the people spending it incorrectly.

    January 23, 2009 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  6. Obama Fan

    This IS disgusting- and the people responsible, CEO or whomever at these companies should be FIRED immediately!!!!

    January 23, 2009 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  7. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    Then why didn't the Bush admin IDIOTS have some RULES about how the money was to be used???? What about the company that used bailout money for management bonuses???

    January 23, 2009 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  8. Larry, Apex, North Carolina

    Go for it, President Obama!! Get rid of these greedy pigs and clean house!

    January 23, 2009 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  9. Jason

    This is why we should hate Pelosi, Barney and the rest of the Democrats. They should be removed from office. Period.

    January 23, 2009 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  10. Karen

    Any money from the feds to companies like Merrill and others, and was spent on bonuses and decorating offices should and must be returned. The people who received and spent these monies must be liable for returning the amounts. This should be a criminal act, stealing from the taxpayers to load their own coffers, or in Thain's case, wasting it on new trash cans. Those who authorized these expenditures must be held accountable under some kind of criminal act. It is time that those scumbags be held liable if we are to make sense of our lives at this time.

    January 23, 2009 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  11. ABG

    It is unbelievable that billions of dollars would be loaned to companies with zero oversight.

    The first requirement should be no loss of American jobs.

    Executives who caused the company's demise work for free, or better yet, go directly to jail!

    January 23, 2009 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  12. FAYE, NV

    Those CEo's and top notches should be sued and return some money or work back into the economy.

    January 23, 2009 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  13. Maggie SC

    That sounds like a very good idea, President Obama!! Let us all see that you mean to take it to the highest level and put all those greedy money spenders in their place.

    January 23, 2009 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  14. Maddie

    Give 'em hell – and don't give them any more money.

    January 23, 2009 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  15. kathy

    I think Obama is doing the right thing by calling out these companies who have for so long squandered money and lived high on the hop while the rest of the country...the hard working amercians struggled. I have confidence in his presidency~

    January 23, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  16. Denise

    It's about time!

    January 23, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  17. jl

    These people bilked many americans for millions and then when it all came crashing down on them, blamed the consumer (successfully, I might add) and begged for and got a government handout. It's pretty naieve to think they would suddenly grow some ethics and/or compassion.

    Also, why didn't anyone think of restricting these clowns BEFORE they received their welfare payment – Oops, I mean TARP money.

    January 23, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  18. texan

    Those frivolously spent $`s should be reduced from the appropriated future funds allocated.

    January 23, 2009 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  19. Jackie in Dallas

    Go 'Bama! As a middle-class taxpayer, I say AMEN brother! Don't forget the "retreat" to a spa for AIG executives. I'm sure that did a lot to help loosen the credit crunch.

    You know, I still think that the best solution and use of bailout money is to send each taxpayer making less than $250,000 a check for $100,000 (tax exempt) with couples filing jointly getting $150,000. In this economy, I don't think many of us would be squirreling it away; we'd be paying off (or at least down) our mortgages (helping the housing industry and mortgage lenders), buying new cars (helping the auto industry), buying stocks (helping Wall Street), and paying down or off credit card debt (helping banking, Wall Street, and credit companies).

    January 23, 2009 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  20. tYPO

    Typo, misprint call it what ever you want, but the word HAVE is missing. you figure out where its missing at.

    January 23, 2009 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  21. Debbie in Atlanta

    Someone needs to go to jail. I work everyday to pay my own way and cannot not even afford 2 ply toiletpaper much less a $1,400 trash can. We need to scream and shout unless someone does something about this sort of stuff. I just heard that the CEO at AT&T had a personal elevator put into AT&T's new building so he wouldn't have to ride with the rank and file. These CEOs need to go to jail.

    January 23, 2009 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  22. D. Bunker

    A wise plumber once said.

    'A royal flush beats a full house'. Think about it.

    January 23, 2009 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  23. Jon in CA

    This coming from a man who pushed almost $1 Billion in fivolous earmarks???

    Funny how an Obama become self-righteous when it wins him political points.

    January 23, 2009 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  24. Anonymous

    Is anyone surprised?

    January 23, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  25. ANAG LOS ANGELES, CA

    um okay thanks but can you elaborate on that!!!

    January 23, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
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