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. Brandon (Wilmington, NC)

    Go get the sorry scums Obama!!

    January 23, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  2. E B

    He should be pissed, like so many of us Americans out here trying to make ends meet. This should not happen under his watch, if he is to show real leadership.

    January 23, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  3. Leza

    I agree that there should be transparency. It is completely unfair that taxpayers have to shoulder the burden of the bailout, let alone renovate a company bathroom.

    It's just ridiculous!!!

    January 23, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  4. bobby g

    your suppose to set up oversight before you do something not after it has already happened. How did these congressmen and women get college degrees?

    January 23, 2009 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  5. karen-Phoenix

    YEA!!!! Thank you PRESIDENT OBAMA!!!!

    January 23, 2009 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  6. Phil Newton in Murpy, Oregon

    What about looking BACK and getting some of our tax dollars BACK from these thieves?

    I didn't sign up to remodel some bank's toilet.

    January 23, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  7. yer mom

    READY!

    FIRE!

    AIM!

    January 23, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  8. Dee

    i THINK THESE GUYS WHO HAVE USED THE MONEY FOR DECORATING AND BONUSES SHOULD BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR THERE ACTIONS. ANY MONEY THAT THEY USED FROM THIS BAIL OUT FOR THESE PURPOSES SHOULD BE GIVEN BACK AND CHARGES BROUGHT AGAINST THEM. THEY HAVE NO RIGHT TO SPEND THIS MONEY IN THIS FASHION. OUR GOVERNMENT SHOULD GO AFTER THEM AND PUT THEM AWAY FOR A COUPLE OF YEARS. MAYBE THIS WOULD BRING THEM BACK TO A LITTLE REALITY.

    January 23, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  9. Cje

    I see new Bank of America's being built at this moment in my city! What's the deal, if they need help in bailouts why do they keep opening up new ones?
    Richardson, TX

    January 23, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  10. Really Pissed Off

    This whole bailout process is a legalized thievery from American Citizens.

    There isn't a damn thing we can do about it, Congress sold us out. That first round of money is long gone. And what did it do to improve the situation? Not a damn thing.

    How the hell are we allowing decisions to be made with the bailout money (e.g. our money) by people who have such incredible conflicts of interest?

    January 23, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  11. Kristy

    I think that information should be made public, since it's our money and we'd like to know which companies are mispending it.

    January 23, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  12. Michael

    This is why we should have never given the bailout to begin with. It's like giving your grown child money and then trying to tell them how to spend it....a bad habit to get into.

    January 23, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  13. worriedmom

    I think any money we give to bail out anyone, that company should have to publish a report for all to view of ever expenditure it has with our money. After all, it is our money and we should know how our money is being spent. These low lifes that take the money and spend it on unncessary items should be fired immediately with no severance pays or bonuses!

    January 23, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  14. Robin Robb

    Just curious, who will be footing the bill for the $100,000 renovations to the white house? May not seem like that much money, but do the taxpayers get an itemized list of renovations and reasons why they will be necessary for the Obama's to reside there?

    January 23, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  15. S Callahan

    He's right to dennounce the companies that allowed the misuse.....
    nearly 90,000 for a pair of drapes.........at taxpayer expense!

    January 23, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  16. Joe - Wilmington, DE

    Welcome to 21st century Wall Street, Mr. President, where shameless, unabashed greed and avarice reign.

    January 23, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  17. Ray Fisher

    I think its time for a bank holiday to get the ground rules straight, reset the regulatory rules, seat our new treasury secretary, coordinate with the fed, and begin President Obama's Recovery and Reinvestment plan. We cannot continue running around in circles throwing money without accountability and without a plan. We must have patience while acting swiftly. A bank holiday followed by the launchof the recovery plan would be the process of stabilizing our nation while new actions are in progess.

    January 23, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  18. Mari

    Honestly! After Bush & Paulson told us that we, the People HAD to bail out the Wall Street Crooks, or face dire consequences! WHY are we surprised with the SAME CROOKS taking advantage!

    We need Congress to ACT AND ACT NOW, to impose new regulations and to give the SEC power to police the Wall Street banks and firms that received our hard earned money!

    Where was Bush, our leader when the money was handed out? WHY did he NOT LEAD and demand accountability?

    January 23, 2009 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  19. Sheri

    The companies should be forced to return the monies. There should be no more "moving forward" until all monies are accounted for. Thousands of americans emailed their congressmen voicing their opinion that the bailout was not a prudent move. No one listened, as usual, now, here we are.............................

    January 23, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  20. Nelson Colorado Springs Co.

    Thank you President Obama It's about time someone put some oversight the $700 billion given to bank and companies (receiving) taxpayer assistance (and) then going out and renovating bathrooms or offices or in other ways not managing those dollars appropriately." Make them pay the money ASAP. I say give them one week to come up with the money or garnish property and money.

    January 23, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  21. Dan

    It is this readers opinion that the funds should not have been given first then a concern raised how they are spent. These companies should have to submit a detailed debt report on what they will spend the money on and then wait for approval for the funds to be released, not to them but, to the payees of said debt. Also, this reckless release of funds was a final blow to Americans by George Bush on his way out the door, after all it was these same c.e.o.s that mismanaged the funds in the first place so why give them more money to to mismanage?

    January 23, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  22. Nannie Bouroughs - Milwaukee, WI

    Well, yes, let us all belabor and cry about the obvious.

    While most of these companies can certainly lay claim to MY BAD, the most obvious fact is and was, that once these companies receive taxpayer monies, there isn't a damn thing President Obama or Congress or anyone else can do about how they spend it.

    Put another way: there is no way to enforce any type of OVERSIGHT and no mechanism to FORCE or ENFORCE it... it is just a taxpayer gift to the corrupt and greedy financial institutions and automobile companies...

    Rather than hearing our New President simply CRY ABOUT THAT, I’d like to see him actually FIX IT!

    Now that would be CHANGE!

    January 23, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  23. Steel Curtain

    I see where Obama is ready to sign legislation granting funding for abortions to international organzations.

    Let the infanticide begin. Change you should have believed in before you voted.

    January 23, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  24. Patty b.

    I feel... as a tax paying citizen, that companies receiving any bailout funds, and spending them irresponsibly, should be required to return funds with interest immediately. If they go down, so be it.

    I also believe that this should not be "free money". I believe that the tax payers should become partners with said companies, owning shares proportionate with bailout.

    January 23, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  25. Socialism Bites

    Is that it??? He's just going to point his finger and say don't do that again? Where is the outrage, where are the criminal charges against these people! Wake up America, we are getting screwed!

    January 23, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
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