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. Reggie

    @ Robin Robb

    White House renovations are always footed by private donations. During the 1960s when the White House was undergoing major renovations, Jackie Kennedy had to ask for more and more money from donors just to keep some of the historical things there. It's a good system.

    January 23, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  2. Eric in Texas

    Correct Michael.

    The government's stupidity never ceases to amaze me. You give someone money who has already proven that they cannot be responsible and trusted and then you're surprised they used the money foolishly?

    Helloooooooo......Earth to DC, if they were money smart they wouldn't have needed the bailout in the first place.

    New idea. Vote everyone out of DC and start all over.

    January 23, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  3. SOL

    Why dont we stop them from contributing moneis to campaign if they take taxpayer monies

    January 23, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  4. Suzi

    It was reported that Bush added a one sentence clause to the bailout legislation that prohibited oversight except for one specific instance. It's not wonder that his buddies used the money unwisely - in the same manner that caused the problem in the first place.

    President Obama has said all along that we needed oversight and he will make make sure that it happens. He's also going to focus on bailouts that help us, not the rich.

    God bless you, President Obama and thank you!

    January 23, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  5. Idealist

    What happened to all the FBI investigations?

    Why is no one talking about GW's threats of martial law unless the bailout bill was passed? This was confirmed by Rep. Brad Sherman (go ahead & google it).

    What else ISN'T being talked about??!!!

    January 23, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  6. Jazz

    I hope that now we can see why we are in trouble. Nobody wants to lend anyone money because they wan to keep it for their own company and employees.

    January 23, 2009 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  7. Tony

    This is why President Bush did NOT want to give money to the Big Three auto companies. He knew what would happen. When the Dems voted to give this to them, they should have provided oversight and gotten an itemized list of what the money was being spent on.

    Oh wait, that would require some forethought, which Bush seemed to have, not them.

    January 23, 2009 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  8. Eric in Texas

    GP, Clinton didn't get impeached.

    He finished his presidency.

    January 23, 2009 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  9. Dave, Chandler AZ

    This coming from a Man who just spent $100k on redecorating the white house, $150M on his Inauguration, who appoints someone who cant keep track of his taxes (Geithner), and who has capped other white house staff's pay if already over 100k BUT WONT ANSWER if that applies to himself (and Biden).

    Change? Yeah right.

    January 23, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  10. tired of corporate politics

    And the punishment is to be sprayed with more money. Sick.

    If I spend and waste a lot of money can I get more money as a punishment too? Where do I sign up for that?

    Most americans want this to stop. We will have to see if Obama listens to the people or to corporate friends.

    January 23, 2009 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  11. walleye

    FOR EVERY DOLLAR THAT THEY SPEND, I WANT TO SEE RECEIPTS NEXT TIME.

    January 23, 2009 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  12. NJObama08+

    robin robb:

    those funds actually come out of another budget that has nothing do with us. that is another committee that holds the budget for the white house for those renovations. While I'm sure past taxpayer money is still the funds, either way it doesn't effect us presently.

    Give the man a chance. he's day 4 as President. I think he's put his best foot forward so far. Let him have his fair chance to prove (or not) himself.

    January 23, 2009 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  13. Idealist

    "What happened to all the FBI investigations?

    Why is no one talking about GW's threats of martial law unless the bailout bill was passed? This was confirmed by Rep. Brad Sherman (go ahead & google it).

    What else ISN'T being talked about??!!!"

    AND WHY AREN'T MY COMMENTS SHOWING UP – EVEN "PENDING MODERATION"???????????

    January 23, 2009 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  14. Jackie in Dallas

    JamieS
    Please learn to spell. It is Pelosi, and he has to work with her as Majority Leader in the House.

    President Obama has already done more significant work in less than a week than most Presidents accomplish in their first month. For one, he had almost all of his staff and Cabinet selected, and some approved, although he will have to go back and choose another one or two. Presidents Bush and Clinton spent about three months getting their cabinets and staffing done. Obama's already signed executive orders to return this country to following the Geneva Convention, and ordered that the detainees in Gitmo get due process of law, which most have been denied for up to seven years. He's submitted an economic stimulus package to the Congress. He's met with the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the U.S. military, and the Security Council.

    You have no idea how much ANY President has to do each day. A typical day is scheduled to the MINUTE in order to do everything they need to do. And part of the President's job is public appearances.

    January 23, 2009 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  15. Obama 2.0

    It is apalling and the President should see about throwing some of these people in jail. The others would quikly get the drift!

    January 23, 2009 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  16. Jim

    Bailout is a media term. These are loans. Last time I looked you can use loans as you wish. Oh yeah, how much is Obama going to spend on redecorating?

    January 23, 2009 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  17. Ray Fisher

    I think its time for a national perp walk offering reduced sentences for those who turn themselves in and plead guilty. Full restitution and lifetime ban on dealing with money must be mandatory. Government leaders must be banned from office forever without pensions!!! These things must be accomplished to preserve our nation!!!

    January 23, 2009 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  18. Eric in Texas

    Mari, see my below comment. Bush and Paulson didn't lead the charge. Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic congress did that. But they all went against the overall outcry from the American people. These companies took OUR money, squandered theirs and now wants more of ours.

    January 23, 2009 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  19. AZ Fireman

    Don't slam Obama....He is the one that has to clean it up...All this Crap is the Doing of the Corrupt nature of the BUSH administration. If your going to say anything negative, point it in Bush and DICK cheney's way!! Those are the real crooks!!

    January 23, 2009 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  20. Pat Canada

    I beg to differ all the crooks have left the White House. I am confident the Economic Package and Solutions Obama and Congress initiate will impose stringent accountabilty and will be devised to protect and benefit the iinterests of the American people.

    January 23, 2009 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  21. Mike, Syracuse NY

    ANGIE January 23rd, 2009 12:00 pm ET
    well once again it shows bush to be the BIG DUMB BELL.

    It was Pelosi and Reid that psuhed this bailout without any accountability or safeguards. Most Republicans opposed it. In hindsight who was right?

    January 23, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  22. Smarty

    Obamas didn't ask for $100k for WH. This is built in within the protocols of the WH.
    We should have asked Laura Bush why she ordered china for $250,000
    Atleast we can understand in showing up the WH for dignitaries from 240 country heads.
    But these beggars who asked for a bailout, have no shame when they spend on drapes, bathrooms, perks, resorts & on dinners.
    Congress should immediately order a probe FBA investigations. When they come back for seconds, break their hands or put them in Gitmo..

    January 23, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  23. nom deplume, esq.

    Would that be the same ill-conceived and unstructured bailout that he voted for as a Senator, and helped jawbone to passage over the objections of Republicans and conservative Democrats?

    Or do the CNNsors and Chris Matthews think that this point is a little too incendiary?

    January 23, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  24. S.M

    Perhaps when President Obama and Congress pass the bil and it is signed, they should include in that bill that those CEOs should be prosecuted to the fulliest extent of the law and their assets seized by the government.

    I also think that the authorities should allow the American people to pay these crooks a visit in jail to express verbally how they feel being taken for a ride.

    January 23, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  25. Say goodnight

    Teddy Roosevelt not only said it best,he slapped the rich tycoons and took the scum head on.

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