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. Jean

    I hoped he slammed Barney Frank for that 12 million or billion he slipped to a bank in Massachusetts.

    Barney Frank commented he caused the problems so it was only fair to help.

    Wake up America!

    January 23, 2009 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  2. HouseDiva

    darn right President Obama....crack some skulls!

    taxpayers have been getting the short end of the stick FAAAAAAR too long.

    I hope Obama start throwing corporate crooks in prison with the violent criminals....no more club fed. for them. they both kill, rape and steal...only one wears a white collar and the other wears a blue one they belong in the same pace for that....and they deserve the same sentence times too and don't hold back on capital punishment..after all..money IS capital.

    No more slaps on the wrist and bonuses for these criminals....Clean house Obama!! get our house in order! lock up the scumbag CEOs and high executives..give them hell!

    January 23, 2009 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  3. David Z

    The bail out package agreement should have required participating banks and other lending institutions to have a solid consumer debt relief element factored into the debt relief agreement equation. In other words, consumers should have been given a solid three to five thousand dollar debt relief benefit from all lenders and banks participating in the funding relief economic stimulus package deal. It does not make good sense to give the source that caused this entire problem to begin with a hefty reward, while leaving the indebted consumer still holding the huge debt bag to the irresponsable lended. If the government wants to help the economy get a jump start, then make a straight way! Enough with the crooked one sided politics.

    January 23, 2009 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  4. Brian LaMothe

    Listen it should not be the focus 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."
    A regular person like myself would go to JAIL if found that I have Misappropriated the Funds like these individuals have done. Lets have more confidence in the fact that these people WILL be procecuted to the letter of the Law , and pay for their actions. That will show confidence to the People

    January 23, 2009 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  5. Bob from Pittsburgh

    Go and get them Obama..!!

    Don't let them rape and pillage this country no more..

    January 23, 2009 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  6. Virginia

    Where's the oversight-I thought that was to be put into place immediately after the bailout was approved? Let's get on with that part of it, and don't spend the rest until this part is accounted for, penney for penny!

    January 23, 2009 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  7. hopeinsight

    He's out of the gate and off to a great start! We (they) need accountability!

    January 23, 2009 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  8. Lisa M

    I believe that any bank that already got money needs to show us exactly where it went and how that helped the mortgage crisis.

    If they can't they need to give the money back NOW and they get no more.

    No more handouts to the already rich.

    January 23, 2009 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  9. WELCOME TO THE OBAMA SHOW!!!!!!!!!!!!


    January 23, 2009 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  10. Joyce in Indiana

    The first rule I would like to see enacted is that CEOs who receive bailout money OR WHOSE COMPANIES BENEFIT FROM GOVERNMENT CONTRACTS may not receive salaries, benefits, and/or bonuses that exceed 10 times the value of the salaries, benefits, and bonuses of their lowest-paid workers.

    January 23, 2009 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  11. wendell

    executive order alert!!!!!! using taxpayer money to fund overseas abortion (that's baby killing to all you liberal dunces) just signed by obama.... of course you want see this news on cnn but it just happened

    January 23, 2009 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  12. mary, colorado

    President Obama should demand the companies who have misused the bailout money should not only be required to pay it back but be charged interest as well. The idea of more transparency in the banking industry since the bail-out money was distributed and misused is a no-brainer. Apparently the banking industry has still not learned the idea of morals and honesty and should be punished much as one would an errant child. It seems the more money they have the more they want. The greedy people at the top should have NO bonuses of any kind until their required repayment and help to the people who truly need it have had their lives put back into order. In fact, their salaries should be scaled down to a more reasonable level. I doubt seriously if ANYONE is worth the salaries and bonuses in the millions of dollars they are used to collecting. The banking industry needs a good crack on the fingers for reaching for so much beyond what they need. One can only use so much of their income, the rest is just an ego trip. Having 6 and 8 luxury homes, yachts, etc, is ridiculous. One can only live in one house at a time. These ego-bloated people should be brought down to earth with the rest of us.

    I'm hoping that this serious problem will be addressed ASAP since this country is run on its financial assets, but as it is now, they are slowly dwindling away and will extinct if the banking industry is not brought up short and given reasonable ultimatums. Our economy is at stake, and the banking industry needs a good housecleaning, and put back on a sensible plane.

    January 23, 2009 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  13. ANGIE

    well once again it shows bush to be the BIG DUMB BELL.

    January 23, 2009 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  14. yellow dog democrat

    the first bail-out took everyone by surprise – and was passed "post-haste" and now you see all the "waste"!

    I believe that the President & our Representatives in Congress and the Senate – will have to not only show what the money will be used for and the net results from each proposal but a continued accounting that is "transparent" to all tax payers – what is the outlay what are the expected results and "pay-back"?

    January 23, 2009 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  15. sandy

    I hope there are some responsible guidelines set for the rest of this bail out money. These guys on wall st are so used to the "fineries" that they just assume the money given them is just that, "theirs" to do with as they see fit. ENOUGH ALREADY! We, THE AMERICAN PEOPLE, have had enough. As long as these leaches remain on Wall St., it will be the same old, same old. Get rid of all the big shots and bring in new blood.

    January 23, 2009 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  16. DanDare

    Same old dribble... this has been going on for decades! Where was Bush... Bush gave hand outs... blah blah blah... get over it and offer concrete suggestions on what can be done. Because congress did not want to hand out blank checks now Pelosi says, dont look at the amount that it adds to defecit... look at the good! its all speculation with out more regulation.

    January 23, 2009 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  17. GP

    Once again the American people have been sold down the river. Good riddance to Bush, fire Paulsen, and go after the money. If it wasn't used as intended, get it back. We bail the banks out, and they charge usary rates on their credit card services. Something has to change in this country or we will be at the bottom of the barrel. This arrogant wall street bunch should be held accountable. The Bush administration was totally ball- less. He flys back to texas and thinks well I have down a good job, this guy should be prosecuted for a barrel full of his illegal hijinks. And Clinton had a cigar, BJ, a blue stained dress, and got impeached. People of America.. wake up!

    January 23, 2009 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  18. Sammy

    Wasn't Geithner the architect of this plan? And he's the best we have.
    Between this and his tax "mistakes" maybe you better show him the door, BO.

    January 23, 2009 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  19. Simpliticus

    Bush,Cheney, and Paulson have reversed the role of Robin Hood. Rather than to take money from the rich and give it to the poor, these have taken the money from the poor and moderately poor and given it to teh rich. The paradigm basically has been the same ever since these guys came into office. Taking teh taxes off of the wealthy basically placed it upon lower tiers of the taxed public. Now, the giving of TARP funds to the banks to allow these to either merge or acquire or to simply hoard this cash in place of spreading it about onlt reinforces the need to accommodate the rich at the expense of the poor. Remember, Paulson was going to buy up toxic assets before he turned about and simply gave the money away to favorable interests, meaning Goldman Sachs, Chase, and those who he wanted to !

    January 23, 2009 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  20. Just say NO Mr President

    For those banks, auto companies, and insurance companies getting bailout funds and then mis spending the monies, just cut them off from any additional funding, and make them account for every dollar given to date. Mr Obama has to get tough or he is just one of the many problems sitting in offices in DC

    January 23, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  21. AndyL

    Yeah and he is going to give them another trillion. When he was referring to change, I did not think he meant the few coins all of us are going to be left with in our pockets once the goverment is finished screwing us over.

    January 23, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  22. jamieS

    Obama needs to stop making photo opps, especially with the nutcase Pelsi , stop worrying about HIS balckberry, which he should'nt even have time to look at and get down to making his ludicrous promises happen. His treasury guy doesn't pay taxes, his under sec of defense still gets money from Raytrheon, he already won't answer questions from the very press that sucked hois toes to get him elected.

    It is a desperate down hill ride for real americans who work hard and pay our bills, so socialist eliteists can take it and give it to people who are not even trying!

    January 23, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  23. Pot calling the kettle Black

    Mr. Obama, how can you call out anyone? You are trying to appoint a crook as our Secretary of the Treasury! Whether it was a mistake or not we don't need someone who can't handle their own finances as our Secretary of the Treasury. Please Senate vote no on Giethner!!

    January 23, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  24. Alan

    Yeah I guess spending $150,000,000 on an inauguration is NOT sqandering. The bailout itself is squandering. All of this is nothing compared to what we will see the next eight years.

    January 23, 2009 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  25. Kathy

    How about Bush and Paulson not wanting ANY oversight to how they were going to spend the money???? Where is the outrage??

    Robin Robb – There are NO plans to renovate the White House, unless it is to bring the computers up to the 21rst Century after we had a president who used "The Google"!!!

    January 23, 2009 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
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