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. Arkansas Guy

    Where was this outstanding OVERSIGHT on the spending.. This new revolution in accountability of taxpayers funds?

    If there was oversight... How did it happen?

    January 23, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  2. Brook Mantia

    Go get 'em, President Obama!!! I know you are much too gracious to give those corner-office crooks what they deserve, but I think they ought to all be marched down the middle of Wall Street wearing sandwich boards that say "I'm the Greedy Pig that Stole Your Money," and then tar and feather them and hang them in gibbets in front of the Stock Exchange. But if you just send them to prison I will accept that.

    January 23, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  3. Ghost

    Forget talking bout it, Mr. President. You are the federal govt. Dig into this guys' collective behinds and get that money back. Or screw it, charge them double the interest that they charge us. Let the banks pay us for a change.

    January 23, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  4. Give me a break!

    That's MY President (oh...and he's yours, too, haters). Go get 'em.!! Bush let all those fancy CEO's have our money w/o strings...I say the money should be attached to chains and anchors. That's OUR money that's being used to redecorate offices and bathrooms. Everyone should be outraged!

    January 23, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  5. Tom

    Obama's inaguration cost well over 100 million dollars of taxpayers money. Bushes second inaguration cost approximately 40 million. I like Obama, but he does not "Walk the talk".

    January 23, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  6. Melissa

    Give the man a chance. Bush messed us all up and now people are trying to act like Obama did this mess. People stop being so hateful and let the man govern. Do you really think he's the first President that had renovations to the White House? You are just looking for a reason to criticize. This is why our country is in the trouble we are in nationwide because of our arrogance and hate!

    January 23, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  7. martha

    C'mon – the guy has been president for 3 days and you can blame him for all this?

    I am a female democrat who voted for Obama, but agree that we should be able to much better than Nancy Pelosi – she is terrible! Harry Reid is better, but not much. Wish we could call on the best and the brightest available.

    The Treasury Secretary nominee sure has significant baggage, but if he is as uniquely qualified as reported to be, it seems we'll have to settle for slapping his wrist, accepting his back taxes and apologies and having him get to work. If we expect perfection from everyone, we'll have no one working in Washington.

    January 23, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  8. proudliberal-independent

    investigate and prosecute them. you are now the top cop. wrist slapping just wont do.

    January 23, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  9. Beate

    Passing reforms now to prevent this from happening again is all fine and good. But I want that money to be forced out of those corrupt institutions and returned to us, the tax payers.
    Make them pay us back!

    January 23, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  10. AEK

    Now, if we just had an United Stated Attorney General to investigate this!?!?!?

    January 23, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  11. scdemocrat

    Robbin Rob why don't you just leave the country for the next 4 to hopefully 8 years and take some of your fellow haters with you? You do know that EVERY President, including your fantasy man Bush redecorates part of the White House to make it feel more like home. You do know the President lives in the White House don't you? If you hate the President so much, and he scares you as much as you all say he does, I suggest you try out another country.

    January 23, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  12. mk

    Matt " January 23rd, 2009 12:11 pm ET

    "Obama is the head of the Executive Branch and should execute the law"
    I agree totally. We should begin by prosecuting the war criminals who just left office.

    January 23, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  13. Marko

    Over time it has shown, that when big business is asked to act responsibly, they do not.

    January 23, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  14. Barb

    Mr. President–I ask for the position to oversee the budgets for the various departments (defense, agriculture, health, etc) and let me at them with a sharp pencil. There would be no more $600.00 toilet seats, no more items that the defense department does not want but is manufactured in a congressman's district), no more duplication of the same expense. no more freebee's, no more research to determine the make up of a apes urine, no more road's to no where. Need I go on. We need someone in the accounting division that is going to really scruitinize what is really being spent. As the AA for a small NH town, if bill was paid and I was going by that business I stopped and paid it. Saved the town postage more then once. Close doors when buildings are zoned for heating. If it can be fixed cheaper then buying a new one, why not.

    WE NEED SOMEONE IN THE GOVERNMENT THAT IS CONSCIOUS OF WHAT A DOLLAR CAN BUY.

    January 23, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  15. Outspoken

    Hey B.O.:
    The people you should be condemning are the bought 'n' paid for" members of congress that gave them the money to begin with.

    January 23, 2009 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  16. johnny the boy

    Blah Blah Blah.....

    Where's the change I was hearing about?

    A democratic Congress approved this non-sense and now everyone is holding photo-ops.

    Blah Blah Blah.....

    Three days and change; when will the water turn to wine?

    Blah Blah Blah.......

    January 23, 2009 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  17. bryan hepper

    I believe the time for bickering is long past. I think we need to allow a certain amount of leeway for our new President. I did not vote for him, but the country needs to focus on fixing issues. As far as people not paying taxes, I support the comment that the Treasury Secretary should not have been appointed. This again presents the American people with a perception of an " ELITE GOVERNMENTAL RULING CLASS". People are hurting and most likely throwing another 800 BILLION towards the banks and building roads is not going to increase peoples spendable income or get the unemeployed back to work. Americans feel broke and very unsure about the future. Most Americans are not in favor of our Govenrment throwing our money and our decendents money away.

    January 23, 2009 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  18. obama-mama

    They should be made to pay every penny back....What a bunch of selfish jerks.

    January 23, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  19. Putin still invading Alaskan airspace between Palin's ears

    That's because George Bush didn't know the meaning of oversight. He thought it meant tilting his head downward while looking over the top of his reading glasses. See, he could do two things at one time!

    January 23, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  20. mamasboy

    GIVE THE MONEY TO THE PEOPLE IT'S THE ONLY WAY IT WILL WORK. TRICKLE DOWN IS IN THE PAST IT'S TIME TO TRICKLE UP................................................................................................................

    January 23, 2009 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  21. JJ in Chula Vista, CA

    Robin Robb January 23rd, 2009 11:45 am ET

    Just curious, who will be footing the bill for the $100,000 renovations to the white house? May not seem like that much money, but do the taxpayers get an itemized list of renovations and reasons why they will be necessary for the Obama's to reside there?
    ________________________

    The taxpayers will foot the bill, just as is tradition. Every president before him has made renovations to the White House before him, and future presidents will make renovations to the residence. Why? Because every 4 years things become rundown or a new technology has to be installed, and a rejuvination needs to take place. And, you're asking why it'll be necessary for the Obamas to reside there? I think that question is pretty easy to answer....

    January 23, 2009 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  22. robert g parker

    where does it figure you give bail out money to banks, they tell you it's none of your business where it went! And then want more.

    January 23, 2009 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  23. Georgia Voter

    Hey Pot, you just called yourself on it and therefore, you shouldn't be listened to. How many mistakes have you made in your life?

    January 23, 2009 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  24. obama-mama

    interesting January 23rd, 2009 12:32 pm ET

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

    the man has only been in office a week and has done more than retarded bush....Isn't that interesting.

    January 23, 2009 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  25. Eykis

    Since we are closing Gitmo to the detainees, we should put the war ciminals and Wall Street in their place. I think the military would be happy to guard those thugs rather than traipse all of the Middle East where we are not welcome....yeppers...good use of Gitmo!

    January 23, 2009 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
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