Yes, President Obama was visibly annoyed yesterday in his first public comments on the 18 BILLION dollars that Wall Street gave out in bonuses at the end of 2008. Most will agree, however, that his measured response did not go far enough. No, there needs to be bold action in the face of such treasonous greed. I'm willing to give the President the benefit of the doubt, that as a loyal public servant he is merely waiting to hear from us, we the people.(After all, we are the ones we have been waiting for!) We need to speak out NOW in one clear voice, free of bitterness and divisiveness. We must offer words of wise counsel and aching conscience. RESOLVED: Firms that have taken Federal Bailout money cannot pay any bonuses for calendar year 2008. Wall Street must give the bonuses back!
A recent gut check survey confirms what we know to be the "American Ethos" a rugged individualism coupled with an innate sense of fairness. These bonuses are offensive on both fronts. Common sense would have dictated to most of us that if you are essential BANKRUPT you shouldn't be expecting a bonus. Apparently, the Robber-Barons of Wall Street have no sense at all, common or otherwise. It's like they got a no doc/ no money down mortgage in cash and decided to blow it all on a luxury junket to a spa. (Sorry, that was AIG) Or they got a endowment to rescue a failing financial institution and instead they bought a 50 million dollar private plane (sorry that was Citigroup) This pattern of abuse and lack of accountability must stop right here, right now. They must give the bonuses back.
I work for a non profit organization. We had no bonuses this year and we all understood why. My wife is an educator, just last week she was told (on MLK's day of service) that the entire regional school district will get no bonuses in 2009. My parents enter retirement with 1/2 the IRA that they had a year ago. Many of us are living through this and suffering greatly during The Great Global Economic Meltdown. This is the world we live in and Wall Street has to start reflecting Main Street. They must give the bonuses back.
Eighteen billion dollars. 18,000,000,000. Eighteen billion
bleeping dollars. According to Jonathan Alter of Newsweek that is more than double what the current stimulus package sets aside for mass transit. (He was great on Countdown yesterday) We need that money. No amount of talking, or negotiating, or understanding, or finger pointing, or finger wagging, or tongue lashing will right this wrong. The must give us back the money. They must give the bonuses back. President Obama - Wall Street must give the bonuses back...