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. JJ12345

    Mari January 23rd, 2009 11:47 am ET

    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?
    ___________________________________________________
    I agree however, you think Congress is the answer. Where was Congress when the money was handed out?

    January 23, 2009 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  2. Boston Irish

    That picture of Pelosi really shows how smug she is. She looks like she is going to take credit for everything that goes right (not much) and will be ready to blame the Republicans for all HER mistakes.

    January 23, 2009 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  3. Larry from RI

    These CEO's are lucky that they aren't facing the same fate as the 5 people just convicted in China over the tainted milk scandal, 3 got life in prison and 2 get a single bullet to the head!

    Perhaps we should adopt such measures for all corrupt CEO's in this country – that would go a long way towards keeping these corporate pigs greed in check.

    January 23, 2009 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  4. Bill

    Obama is and was part of it.... one of the biggest pigs at the fannie mae trough ... and his nominee for treasury was already stealing by not paying his taxes get real Obama isnt God just another crooked snake politician that turned a 6 digit job into a multi million dollar opportunity.

    January 23, 2009 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  5. Joe in NJ

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

    That's right, keep blaming Bush for everything. How about the House Democrats who voted for the bailout? Why didn't they demand accountability?

    January 23, 2009 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  6. Jackie in Dallas

    Well, my earlier comment disappeared into the digital ether...

    Robin Robb:
    EVERY President is allotted a stipend to make the private quarters of the White House into a home. Bush spent his TWICE. Mostly, it is spent on paint, curtains, furniture, and such. President Obama is not getting anything out of the ordinary, and I believe I heard it reported, the First Lady did not spend it all.

    To address another rumor I've heard spouted on blogs, unlike what the right would like you to believe, the taxpayers are not paying for Sasha and Malia's schooling separately. That money is coming out of President Obama's salary. Just like the schooling for the Bush twins, Chelsea Clinton, and Amy Carter (all of whom spent at least some of their time in private schools). I believe that the choice for the Obama girls to attend the private school revolved around two issues: security and personalized curriculum. The school they are attending has a significant number of children from the government in it, and has a much more easily controlled perimeter for security, and as both of the Obama girls are significantly ahead of children their own age, personalized curricula is created for them to progress at their own pace.

    January 23, 2009 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  7. Dixie

    These companies should be made to give back the remaing money and face an in-detail tax audit by the irs.

    January 23, 2009 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  8. bob in LA

    How about cancelling their sponsorships of bowl games, TV shows and other events.
    We all know them and don't need ego ads to remind us who they are.
    Save the bucks- save the economy.

    January 23, 2009 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  9. Linda

    What about how much money that was spent on the inaguration of President Obama??? Isn't this the kettle calling the pot black?? Did you watch George Bush's speech when he returned home to Texas? He said that when he walked out of the Oval Office for the last time, he was proud of the decisions he made. He made some very unpopular decisions but everyone has to agree that for the last 7 years, we have not been the victim of terrorist attacks here or abroad. And why won't any of you that are against the Iraq war listening to our Military men who are actually fighting the war? They want to continue what they are doing, because they have seen the difference we have made. I think that George Bush should have been very proud of what he did for our country.

    January 23, 2009 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  10. Idealist

    Whatever happened to all the talk about FBI investigations??

    Also, why is no one talking about GW threatening martial law unless the original bailout bill was passed by the House???

    What else is being covered up?!!

    January 23, 2009 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  11. Alan

    I can stand it no longer reading the posts from idiots. It was the Congress that was supposed to oversee the money. Once again, you are blaming Bush for something that you know nothing about.

    Idiots!!

    January 23, 2009 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  12. Dianna Dixon

    why cant we make them pay it back? Or just have their talented accountants adjust thing around and have THEM pay for their toilets , not us! I know if the goverment wants money from me, they just take it out of my bank, before I even know it!

    January 23, 2009 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  13. Proud American

    They should be forced to pay it back in 7 days or the government should take over the banks and it's corp. leaders should be charged, tried, and sent to prison.

    January 23, 2009 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  14. Shari, NY

    There is one word which comes to mind with regard to ALL involved – RETRIBUTION. It will come.

    January 23, 2009 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  15. Matt

    Obama is the head of the Executive Branch and should execute the law. These companies and their executives, committed fraud upon the American taxpayers (at the very least) and should be investigated and punished accordingly, irrespective of whether their stupid, selfish and arrogant behavior with the first $350B has made it necessary to release some of the second $350B to them. In fact, if their behavior with the first $350B is part of the reason why the second $350B is an unfortunate necessity, then that's all the more reason to jail some of these jerks.

    January 23, 2009 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  16. Vegas

    The best way to save the economy is not to give the taxpayer dollars to the same people/companies that contributed to the mess we're in.

    Give it back to the TAXPAYERS so we can pay our mortgages, credit card debt, and other bills as well as purchase new things we need.

    WE THE PEOPLE are the best stewards of our tax dollars. Wall Street and the Banks have definitely proven that they are not!

    January 23, 2009 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  17. Deann

    Why can they not be held accountable NOW for that, under FRAUD... They should pay it back, or go to jail.. Obama can do that NOW.. while he SEES IT>> if

    January 23, 2009 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  18. Nobama Noway

    GEE, I THINK IT WAS SARAH PALIN WHO SAID THAT OBAMA PALS AROUND WITH TERRORISTS.
    i GUESS SHE IS RIGHT!! FIRST THING HE DID WAS GIVE RIGHTS TO TERRORISTS. FORGET THE AMERICAN PEOPLE, LETS DO A LITTLE GOOD FOR HIS PALS FIRST.

    ALL YOU KOOLAID DRINKERS ARE GETTING WHAT YOU VOTED FOR, BUT OF COURSE YOU JUST VOTED BLACK AND CELEBRITY, NOT FOR A PRESIDENT, NOT FOR THE JOB.

    January 23, 2009 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  19. Nelson Colorado Springs Co.

    Thank you Mr. President Obama it's about time someone want to 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." They should be made to pay it back or GARNISH their property and money.

    January 23, 2009 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  20. Heather

    I wonder if the slam extends to those bailed out on wall street who turned around and donated $50,000 to his inauguration. Just what I wanted to help pay for.

    January 23, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  21. Matt

    @ jamieS

    If you spent more time paying attention instead of decorating the bubble in which you live with lies, you'd know that in his first week as POTUS, Obama has already started making his promises a reality by signing executive orders, e.g., for the closing of Gitmo. Wake up and smell the reality...you can't just ignore the facts in order to slam him.

    January 23, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  22. ohio man

    @ Robin Robb

    Did You ever ask to see who flip the bill for any New In coming Prez? ...would you want the same bed sheets as Bill Clinton or the same couch Bush Had .. i mean think B 4 you speak .. IF you move into any home you change it to your likes not leave as the last person had it .. so your comment should have been left in your thoughts were the rest of the BS is ... but we love you

    January 23, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  23. bill

    GO GET 'EM OBAMA!!!!!!!!!!!!! WHY ARE TAX DOLLARS GOING TO STOCK HOLDERS AND NOT BEING USED TO LOAN MONEY?!!!!

    January 23, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  24. jeff jones

    Are you kidding me. What a joke this administration is and the government in general. What the government did is criminal. Taking taxpayer dollars and giving them to corporations. We the people ought to revolt against our government and overthrow it. A little revolution now and then is a healthy thing. Hey idiots who run the government. From the big idiot at the top to the little idiots underneath him. I got some advice... reduce taxes and let us keep our money...you jerks

    January 23, 2009 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  25. Tom (MN)

    The idea of the bailout in principle was well founded in curving our recession. While some may not be a fan of big government, even before the bailout we saw multiple incidents of this same sort of corruption that occurs in many large companies especially as CEOS left or buyouts occurred.
    As such I think this is less of a problem with the bail out regulations and illustrates the larger problem of needing to reform corporate law and its national and international oversight.
    Though I wouldn't assume that the Bush administration would have done a better job, they did a great job with creating and merging accountability in existing programs, but they were not known for creating new accountability. In any event hindsight is blurred by preference and I look forward to seeing what Obama does with the current situation.

    January 23, 2009 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
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