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. Seriously?

    These companies make me sick. Every single one of them that has abused the monies given to them should NEVER, EVER again receive a single dime from the government. Ever again. Forever. It's also incomprehensible why no restrictions were put on the money in the first place. And a final thought – the CEO's of these companies should go to prison – for theft.

    January 23, 2009 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  2. mary, colorado

    The banking industry should be required to return the bail-out money with 10% interest added. This legal thievery by people at the top of the industry who are making more money than they will ever use should be required to make amends for the people they have robbed, albeit legally. NO ONE is worth the millions of dollars in salaries and bonuses they currently enjoy. No one needs 5 and 6 homes, one can only be in one at a time. It's all ego trips for these greedy people whose concept is such they will never have enough. Whatever their credentials are, if they are state or federally licensed, negate their credentials. Take away everything they have so they will know how the people they robbed feel. Maybe they will comprehend.

    January 23, 2009 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  3. Go Get'em

    Can we get some of those bonuses that Merrill Lynch guy STOLE back? I've always thought banks were crooked, and now I have proof.

    January 23, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  4. jlynch

    Pot, Jamie, Andy. Get over it. He won, and, apparently it's still sour grapes for you. YOUR choice for President was the one who gave them the money....so SHUT UP. REALLY. SHUT UP. He's made it safely to Texas, where hopefully, he will never be heard from again.

    Oh yeah, I'm pretty sure there were LOTS of photo opps for President Bush, but I don't see that being an issue for you....the best one, I recall, was when someone hurled shoes at him!

    January 23, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  5. xcusme

    The took the money and continue to do what they wanted to at our expense. They should be made to return every bit within 90 days.

    As for all of the negative things being said about President Obama, I hope it makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside. Because you are harsh and ugly on the outside. He is not Barack or Obama he is President Obama and the more you ignore using the word PRESIDENT it reaffirms that you know he is. So continue with the remarks it changes nothing. And for those who want him to fail how American are you. If he fails American fails but you hatred is more important that success of our nation. I bet you don't believe in God either.

    January 23, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  6. Jean

    Did he slammed Barney Frank for giving OneUnited bank of Massachusetts 12 million dollars.

    January 23, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  7. xcusme


    January 23, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  8. Doug

    Washington who bails out Wall street with Geithner as the lead architect has learned nothing. The Plan to throw more money will get similar results, the only difference is How Much ? and When ?
    Transparency is ridiculous as a new Gov't Policy, it is just more eyewash after the fact.

    January 23, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  9. Jean

    Did he slammed B a r n e y F r a n k for giving OneUnited bank of Massachusetts 12 million dollars.

    January 23, 2009 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  10. Doug

    Look at the so-called "Real American" worms coming out of the woodwork to complain about photo ops and who's doing this and that. Please STFU! Your guy lost and your previous genius representative acting as the President was a complete unaccomplished FAILURE! All of the bail out fiasco was nothing more than payouts for all of the cronies. Should we list them? Non Bid contracts, Secret Energy Commissions Disappearing Funds paid to Iraqi Contractors and the list goes on. But not for John & Jane Moron, "The Real Americans"
    Hopefully, this administration & congress will now have the courage to fully investigate the fleasing of america. You people are the same morons who voted for exactly everything that has happened over the last 8 years! Your rights & the constitution widdled away, out of control spending and shattered economy, Bin Laden STILL @ large, the encroachment of Socialism (Yeah, you can't pin that one on the O) and all of the crap that is going on prior to Obama being sworn in. SO AGAIN STFU!

    January 23, 2009 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  11. nom deplume, esq.

    Would that be the same ill-conceived, unstructured bailout that he voted for as a Senator and castigated the Republicans and conservative dems for not supporting?

    January 23, 2009 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  12. Brad

    Gee – imagine that – the federal government wasting taxpayer money yet again! They gave away billions of taxpayer dollars and didn't set ground rules by which they would hold the recipients responsible for using the money properly. So what do they want to do now? Spend billions more of our money. Congratulations to the Democratic Congress! You stuck it to the taxpayers again! In the end though they get what they want – nationalization of industries – way to go comrades!

    January 23, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  13. Quit Hattin'

    I cannot believe you SORE LOSERS are still bashing our wonderful President Barack Obama. We didn't keep our hatred when Bush stole the Whitehouse, not once, but TWICE!!!!! We sucked it up and just kept going. SO sit down and mind your manners.

    So what!!! if they're revamping the white house. What President doesn't. The only reason the cost of these renovations are advertised is because of disgruntled people like you.

    "Mari", thanks for hitting it on the nose. That's exactly what needs to happen!! OVERSIGHT, OVERSIGHT, OVERSIGHT!!!! You guys are quick to bash President Barack Obama after only a few days as President, but look at all the goofs of the past 8 years and then some!!!!!!!

    January 23, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  14. Justin from New Haven,CT

    Now you'd think Obama would get a clue and know why most of the public opposes the bailout.

    January 23, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  15. interesting

    Looks like all 18% of Americans who disapprove of the job Obama's doing post their comments here.

    January 23, 2009 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  16. Jean

    Barney saves a bank

    January 23, 2009 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  17. Jean

    Barney saves a bank 12 million

    January 23, 2009 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  18. JS

    If you have a complaint about the way Obama is doing business then go to whitehouse.gov and let him know how you feel. Telling CNN is counter productive. This President has stated that he wants to here from us. So speak up and start emailing him with your concerns and ideas.

    January 23, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  19. Nelson Colorado Springs Co.


    January 23, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  20. Snake eyes


    January 23, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  21. Former Republican

    anyone still using bank of america should have their heads examined. I cut off any relationship with bank america 5 years ago when they stole from me. Fire bank of america people. go to a small community bank, and you will be surprised at the superior service.

    January 23, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  22. katiec

    The bailout money should never have been allowed to be spent without strigent restrictions, oversight. How this was allowed to happen is beyond me.
    There must be some way those who misused our taxpayer money can be brought up on criminal charges. Isn't this fraud?

    January 23, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  23. Shanel

    Robin, although it is a large amount of money in our eyesight, the renovations are an entitlement to him and his family. It comes with the job.

    People like the Obama's, who were raised with little don't have a problem downsizing to make due, so he probably would have moved in the whitehouse regardless of the rennovations.

    January 23, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  24. Kathy

    This is the only time I've ever agreed with BO> I'm sure it will most likely be the last. He really has no business though talking to them about waste. 150 million for the innauguration??? I'm sure glad my tax dollars aren't being wasted......:) We're in for a long hard ride...

    January 23, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  25. John from Minneapolis

    People, he has been in office for 2 days. Cut him a little slack....wow. Please show some patience. We are all in this together. We still have a deep hole to climb out of, and it's not going to happen in the next week.

    January 23, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
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