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. Dan

    Nice approach by Obama, quite a marked contrast from the "what, me worry?" attitude of the previous administration.

    January 23, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  2. jared

    THESE people should be jailed. this is what comes out when the republican party are at the controls of the reins. and the majority of the people, the have and have mores set back and say . why make waves about it . "iam doing alright'. its the people like this that set back and say and do nothing, you are the ones who are the most threat to this democracy. that set back and allowed republicans and democrats to run this country in the ground. as FDR PUT IT boehener /pelosi you are responsible you unscruplous MONEY CHANGERS. now you hypocrites want to get tuff after the fact.

    January 23, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  3. Andre from NJ

    Who is going to denounce the government for squandering 700 million by giving it to these people? Or are we just passing the buck on this one?

    January 23, 2009 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  4. Steel Curtain

    Excuse me . But I remember the Republicans getting blasted by Pelosi and Reid for voting AGAINST the first bailout.

    You dems are such hypocrites.

    January 23, 2009 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  5. Venia PA

    Oh come on Obama, don't be such a spoiled sport, Bush and the rethuglicans had to bail out their wall street buddies before you took office and actually made those companies accountable for the money.

    January 23, 2009 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  6. david goldman

    MR.PRESIDENT YOU NEED TO DO MORE THAN SLAM THEM.

    January 23, 2009 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  7. babs68

    You know what ? I think that it is horrible that executives have no regards to the American peoples money. This is sad...WIll it ever change? GREED...plain and simple!

    January 23, 2009 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  8. Eric of Reseda

    JEEZ! What in the Lord's name does it take for these companies to learn?!? New solution! END ALL BAILOUTS! PERIOD! Take the one trillion dollars and divide it up amongst each household in this country based on need. Simple to do, people have to go to a Federal Office with tax returns and 3 – 6 months bank and financial statements, hire some trained personnel to review (More jobs!), and then award appropriate monies. Tell people this is it and use the money wisely. TRUE trickle up economics and guaranteed, manufacturing and service orgs will see a boom in business, adn the collected tax revenue will be a boon for governement. Either this, or continue to watch OUR money pilfered by Citicgroup, B of A, AIG, and others.

    January 23, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  9. LGriff

    President's in the past has receive money for renovation as well. Don't get too stupid of yourself.......

    January 23, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  10. john

    Take charge mr president.. dont be a coward like bush

    January 23, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  11. James

    Of course they are going to waste what to them is "free money". Which is why taxpayers should not hand over free money to private companies. Money is fungible which why even if they are required to use their "free money" in certain ways, they can always waste other money. Which is why the taxpayers should not be involved in this mess.

    January 23, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  12. ...

    blah blah blah

    January 23, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  13. Dayahka

    These people should be condemned, not just slammed. Half of these CEOs should be in jail and the other half on some chain gang in Arkansas working on building bridges. These robbers rob their own banks, then "borrow" money from the country and continue robbing. No one has any confidence in banks–or the people running them. And after the whole scale looting of the Bush people, particularly Paulson, people want to see some governmental action to stop–not curb, stop–this stuff.

    January 23, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  14. babs68

    Worriedmom

    I agree..we need to watch these crooks like bad bullies at the playgrounds. Unbelievable!

    January 23, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  15. NEWSLINK

    This is why 85% of Americans think that we Need the Bail-out. Bottom-up Mr. President . Remember?

    January 23, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  16. Venia PA

    Robin Robb – so the trillions bush has squandered of yours and my money doesn't faze you but the less than 100,00 for the White House does? You definitely sound like a rethuglican, thank GOD you guys are a dying breed. This country couldn't take you guys for much longer.

    January 23, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  17. Sharon, Rockford, IL

    It is my understanding that renovations in the personal residence at the White House are personal. And even if they weren't, $100,000 compared to $80+ thousand for a rug in the oval office. Which is a better use of money. The White House is beautiful but very old. I expect there to be renovation expenses there from time to time.

    January 23, 2009 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  18. capnmike

    How about making some arrests for Fraud???!!!

    January 23, 2009 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  19. Dont blame me

    Why didn't the Democratically controlled Congress ( Pelosi and Reid ) put the controls in place that a lot of Republicans and Democrats were pushing for in the 1st place??????

    January 23, 2009 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  20. Ray Fisher

    An audit and investigation of all bailout activities is in order and should be instituted immediately. Time is of the essence as we are losing precious funds by the day. Before long, our nation will be running entirely on vouchers!!! We must account for everey dime and jail those who defraud our government!!!

    January 23, 2009 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  21. Gary Lynn

    Apparently contributing large sums to the Obama Inauguration WAS seen an an appropriate way to spend the fund.

    January 23, 2009 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  22. Nick

    Ha, ha, and ha. Where has Obama been while Congress gives itself a raise every year and otherwise blows the taxpayer's dollars? And now he's pointing fingers? Shame on him – get the government house in order and then you'll be fit to point out the failings of private business. If Congress had done this properly there would have been specific rules regarding the use of "bailout" funds, and if a company chooses to use non-bailout funds for pruposes approved by the board that becomes the business of the shareholders, not government.

    January 23, 2009 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  23. Nelson Colorado Springs Co.

    Thank you President Obama It's about time someone put some oversight on the $700 billion federal bailout package. If the banks and companies (receiving) taxpayer assistance (and) then going out and renovating bathrooms or offices or in other ways not managing those dollars appropriately." The banks and companies should be told they have to pay the money back ASAP like now or The Goverment will GARNISH their property and money for the money.

    January 23, 2009 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  24. BigDogg

    Who has been squandering taxpayers money all his political life...OBAMA!
    He will be ALL talk and NO action.

    January 23, 2009 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  25. Paul

    A new charge should be leveled at these US traitors

    ECONOMIC TREASON.

    Therefore we can move beyond the wrist slapping of white collar crime, and offer real punishment, one which could include the death penalty.

    January 23, 2009 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
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