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February 4th, 2009
06:00 PM ET

Should government limit executive pay?

From CNN's Jack Cafferty:

President Obama is promising to take "the air out of golden parachutes” by capping how much executives whose companies are getting bailout money can earn.

The president wants to cap how much executives whose companies received bailout money can earn.

The president set a $500,000 cap on senior executive pay at those institutions that are in the worst shape and get money from the government in the future.

Mr. Obama highlighted last year's handout of $18 billion in Wall Street bonuses – something he called "shameful"... saying that's the kind of disregard that brought about our current crisis.

Under his plan, companies that want to pay their executives more will have to do it through shares of stock that can't be sold until the companies pay back the government.

There's more. The new rules also require that shareholders have more say about how much the executives get paid. And, companies will have to show more transparency when it comes to costs for things like holiday parties and office renovations. The president also promised more reforms to come, as his administration cracks down on a quote "reckless culture."

This all is starting to sound a bit like socialism. We either have a "free enterprise" system or we don't. Granted abuses by certain CEOs have invited this, but where are we going when the government starts dictating how much people are allowed to earn?

Here’s my question to you: Should the government dictate executive compensation at companies that get bailout money?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Ralph from Yakima, Washington writes:
Absolutely. First the banks take "our" deposits and waste "our" money saying it's "their" money. Then they take "our" tax money and spend it as if it is "their" money. Just take over the banks, nationalize them. Put these bums on the unemployment line. Enough is enough.

Rae from Indiana writes:
If I apply for a loan and don't like the terms, I am free to not take the loan. These companies have the same ability. It is the right thing to do.

Michael writes:
We need to stop with the half measures. Either let them fail or nationalize them, turn them around and sell them off in a few years. This country cannot take action or even talk about major issues without euphemisms and compromises that end up giving us the worst of both worlds: socialism for the rich and capitalism for the poor.

Matt from Minneapolis writes:
Jack, The government gives billions out in any ordinary year to publicly traded companies and privately owned alike. Whether it be loans, paying for parts of big stadiums, or tax credits to attract businesses to build in our cities, we still give them billions. Why should we restrict the pay of CEOs we “bail out" if we don't restrict the pay of A-Rod or Bill Gates? Just a thought.

Andy from Lynn, Mass. writes:
The government has every right to dictate how its money will be spent. In fact, I vote for the most stringent controls on the bailout money so that every penny is accounted for. The crass arrogance displayed by the captains of business sickens me.

Betty from West Virginia writes:
Yes! Just ask anybody on welfare and they will tell you that the government tells you what you can and can't do. When these companies take money from the government, they are on welfare!


Filed under: Bailout • US Economy
soundoff (372 Responses)
  1. Venia PA

    Absolutely when they accept Government money it should be under the Governments terms, not the companies. Also on another similar note why is it that the Republicans wholeheartedly supported the corporate welfare (or bailout) for wall street but are balking at a plan to help the American economy and middle class???

    February 4, 2009 at 2:10 pm |
  2. David,San Bernardino,CA.

    The government can try and limit executive,but the crooks on top will just figure out a loophole.

    February 4, 2009 at 2:10 pm |
  3. arlene in iowa

    yes..very much so since they can't seem to control themselves. I would love to see them live off ssdisability like i have to.

    February 4, 2009 at 2:11 pm |
  4. Wisdom

    Sure...
    But stay out of the business of those that don't

    February 4, 2009 at 2:11 pm |
  5. Larry from Georgetown, Texas

    This is called good business and especially since they are asking for a loan from all of us that are able to pay taxes and although paying them may be painful most of us pay them and are gald that we live in this country. Yes, they should be limited. Maybe if Paulson and Bush had not been in charge during the first TARP fiasco then we would already be seeing results but just like the elimination of most regulations, they gave the money to their big money friends without any conditions. I think it is wonderful and long overdue.

    February 4, 2009 at 2:14 pm |
  6. Michael Haimson

    We need to stop with the half measures.

    Either let them fail or nationalize them, turn them around and sell them off in a few years.

    This country cannot take action or even talk about major issues without euphemisms and compromises that end up giving us the worst of both worlds: socialism for the rich and capitalism for the poor.

    February 4, 2009 at 2:16 pm |
  7. Kate Idaho

    As long as they are using my money, youbetter believe it!!!!!!!!

    February 4, 2009 at 2:16 pm |
  8. Susan Geear Medford Or

    Let's see the CEO of JP Morgan says that they need huge salaries to attract experienced executives to run these failing companies. Aren't these the same guys that ran these companies into the ground??? My 25 year old son would be happy to work for $400,00.00. I don't see how he could do any worse.

    February 4, 2009 at 2:16 pm |
  9. Wen Thomas Gill

    Yes, compensation should be restricted until bail-out money is repaid. If both the House & the Senate agree to this why not at least approve this as a separate bill now while waiting for agreement on other items in Stimulus Package. Is this too simple minded?

    Wen Thomas Gill
    Alpharetta, GA

    February 4, 2009 at 2:17 pm |
  10. Glen in Laurel, Maryland

    Why is this an issue after the fact? Any company asking for a bailout should have been required to detail their intended compensation before they got a "yes," a "no" or even a "maybe."
    These compensation packages are a tiny percentage of the bailout money, but they certainly look bad and the skewed incentives they represent are probably a part of the problem.

    February 4, 2009 at 2:17 pm |
  11. Pat_Pinehurst NC

    Absolutely executive pay should be limited on every company who gets bailout money until it is paid back and it should be retroactive as well. The most abusive companies are those who already got money. " Laughing all the way to the bank" would sum up their arrogance and lack of compassion for their own customers.

    February 4, 2009 at 2:18 pm |
  12. Don

    Your darn right Jack! These guys have the nerve to ask the private sector for money because the Wall street big wigs blew it on having a good time, overblown bonuses, and rediculous extravagance. They are lucky that the CEO's who led their companies downfall aren't asked for their resignations outright.

    If you ask me for money and I know that you have the means, that tells me that there is either an emergancy or you spent your money on something that is irrelevent to the cause... duh.

    It's about time the true crooks are exposed...

    February 4, 2009 at 2:19 pm |
  13. Jay in Nashville

    Yes government should limit compensation for those firms accepting government bailouts. Bad performance should not be rewarded. If these terms are not acceptable to these firms then they should find bailout money elsewhere.

    February 4, 2009 at 2:22 pm |
  14. Russ in Johnston, IA

    You bet! Should have been done last year.

    February 4, 2009 at 2:22 pm |
  15. Gary of El Centro, Ca

    Federal money always comes with strings attached. It shouldn't be any different for these bankers.......if you take the cash, you play by the rules that the feds lay out for you just like anybody else. If you don't like the rules, don't take the cash......simple as that.

    February 4, 2009 at 2:23 pm |
  16. Bill - Vancouver, BC

    It is surprising that it is necessary at this stage to impose restrictions on CEO pay. In the UK , CEOs were fired as a condition of many of the bailouts. What makes these bunglers so indispensable?

    February 4, 2009 at 2:23 pm |
  17. Rex in Portland, Ore.

    The gubmint got no bidnez giving them my money in the first place.

    February 4, 2009 at 2:25 pm |
  18. Anna

    Yes. It's apparent the big boys in these high priced offices can't control themselves. If we taxpayers are kind enough (like we had a choice) to bail them out, then they could at least have the decency to not flaunt their wealth in our faces. I personally think the upper levels of these corportations (I feel the same way about senators and representatives) should make the average income of workers all over the United States. (Congress folk should make the average of their state). These people and their families don't have the first clue of what it's like to have to choose between meds for the kids and food for those same kids. Maybe for a little while, they should go without. Like Rumsfeld. Take the bus.

    February 4, 2009 at 2:25 pm |
  19. Larry, Ohio

    Jack,if you get in bed with government, you should expect to walk funny the next day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 4, 2009 at 2:27 pm |
  20. Tom, Avon, Me, The Heart of Democracy

    If Jesus is right and, "It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the gates of Heaven." Government is morally obliged to try and save these guys from themselves.

    If Jesus is wrong, I'm not going to tell Him.

    February 4, 2009 at 2:28 pm |
  21. Jason S.

    Yes the Government should dictate the compensation at companies that get bailout money.

    A $500,0000 cap? Sounds to me like they are still being rewarded for failure!
    Why not remove these executives from their positions, and make them live off their savings as many other Americans are having to do in these times. Or better yet demote them, and If they insist on having to work in the finance field based on their prior executive experience make them all bank tellers and pay them accordingly.

    Thank you please drive thru..

    February 4, 2009 at 2:29 pm |
  22. Tom in Desoto Texas

    Since the taxpayers are paying their salaries via the government yes, limiting their income is reasonable. If they made a profit that would be another matter but taxpayers money used to reward them for losing millions makes no sense. Then there's various trips some have take at the taxpayers expense when the tax payers cannot take the same trip. Those who think it's not enough ought to work at a job for hourly pay, and it won't be a thousands per hour.

    February 4, 2009 at 2:30 pm |
  23. Jack in DC

    Jack, I am a big supporter of President Obama but this is socialism. The government should have no part in deciding how the private sector pays its employees. If the government does not like the way these companies are being run and compensating their employees, they should just hold off on providing any assistance but not dictate anything to these companies.

    Run the Government and NOT private businesses!

    February 4, 2009 at 2:30 pm |
  24. Tonya from Mississippi

    Yes if they get in the government welfare line then treat them like they treat other welfare recipients limit the amount of money they can make.

    February 4, 2009 at 2:31 pm |
  25. Tina (Fort Worth)

    Yes sir they should. From what they all made and especially the oil men could have rebuilt American roads. Why is the poor always have to carry the burden for the rich screw ups?

    February 4, 2009 at 2:32 pm |
  26. Mike S., New Orleans

    Yes Jack, absolutely. And luckily we now have a President who doesn't subscribe to 'trickle down' economics. If the fat cats want government bailout money, they need to go on a diet to get it.

    February 4, 2009 at 2:32 pm |
  27. karen-phoenix

    YES!!! Lets scream it from the roof tops!!! This is capitalism gone a muck!!!! President Obama is letting them have 100,000 more than he makes and if they pay us back(the tax payer) they can give themselves more!!! DID these idiots NOT learn this in kindergarten????

    February 4, 2009 at 2:33 pm |
  28. Jeremy

    Jack, I've heard CEOs and former CEOs complaining that executive pay limits would pull away smart people from their companies. In particular Jack Welch, the former CEO or GE, said, "These people didn’t choose to cure cancer. These people didn’t choose to do public service work…These people chose to make money."

    That is exactly the problem. Smart, ambitious people who could be doing useful things like curing cancer and providing public service have instead migrated to corporate management because they are enticed by money. How can Welch possibly think this is a good thing. Politics, medical research, law enforcement, and a variety of other careers cannot compete with the outrages salaries being offered to these CEOs.

    February 4, 2009 at 2:36 pm |
  29. lou

    I loaned my 'desperate' sister in law 1000 bucks and a couple weeks later I heard her talking about scheduling to get a pedicure. It made me mad knowing she had my money in her pocket while still participating in non necessary things. The same goes for this bail out. It rubs us the wrong way to see them frittering away our handout. I don't know if it is going to help or not, but it feels right to tell them there will be limits this time.

    February 4, 2009 at 2:36 pm |
  30. Greg in Cabot Arkansas

    Absolutely, they set the minimum wage for the past um-teen years to protect the working folks so they should set the maximum wage to protect those of us on Main street that are still working and paying taxes rather than keeping the Wall Street Wizards and Banking Executives on living Easy street.

    February 4, 2009 at 2:37 pm |
  31. Troy Smith

    Mississippi

    Yes. The gov't, really the taxpayers, are bailing you out. So we should get some say in how the money is spent. If you had run your business properly, this wouldn't be an issue.

    February 4, 2009 at 2:38 pm |
  32. Gigi

    You Betcha!!!
    As long as they continue to pay themselves first and want you and I and our children's, children to pay the bill for the bailout. You Betcha.
    Not only that limit what they can charge for interest. It should be no more than 4% on the money you and I borrow till that day THEY are in the black again. Let them feel the pinch that we have been living in. Now there is a stimulus package.

    February 4, 2009 at 2:38 pm |
  33. Werner Mac

    NO Jack, absolutely NOT, the government should dictate that new executives be put in place to replaced the bums that brought their companies down in the first place
    Werner – Miami

    February 4, 2009 at 2:38 pm |
  34. Ken in Seattle

    Absolutely. If these folks had an ounce of integrity, which none of them apparently do, they would all take a swan dive off the Empire State Building. And the boards of directors should join them. These directors collected millions and millions of dollars for supposedly guiding the operations of the financial institutions that caused the crisis we are in. They are as guilty as upper management and yet they have thus far gotten by unscathed. Every single director of a company receiving bail out money should become a household name, along with the disreputable jackals who run the day to day operations, so that all those suffering the effects of their managerial malfeasance will no who to blame. What a phenomenal collection scoundrels.

    February 4, 2009 at 2:39 pm |
  35. Donna Wisconsin

    Jack, this is a no-brainer. If a bank is going under and ask and take government money then why would it be alright to reward their top executieves failures? Don't take it! Let your bank fail and go get another job. Big deal. At least we aren't paying for all this balony. And why would I hire someone who helped another company go under? Go figure.

    February 4, 2009 at 2:40 pm |
  36. Lorna from TN

    ABSOLUTELY! These CEO's got us into this perdicament, and we the taxpayers have to bail them out, why shouldn't there be "strings" attached to the money. They lost the investors money, they will do the same with ours. If the arguement is that they will go elsewhere for employment, what company would hire them to ruin their company? They should be grateful they have a job after a performance review!

    February 4, 2009 at 2:40 pm |
  37. penny

    "Yes!
    Because they need to have a conversation about moral compass VS. capitalism(greed)!!!!
    Why make the country suffer over greed. In the book of corinthians from the Bible, it says you can have faith and hope but the greatest is charity.

    February 4, 2009 at 2:41 pm |
  38. Ryan

    Absolutely. I can just hear the right wing nuts just screaming socialism. Times have changed old men....the American dream is a sham. It provided the masses with hope, but only made the rich richer. It's time to become a society that is built around our common needs.

    February 4, 2009 at 2:42 pm |
  39. Gary I.

    Yes.

    February 4, 2009 at 2:43 pm |
  40. thomas

    no

    February 4, 2009 at 2:45 pm |
  41. mac from traverse city Michigan

    We the people and our government have every right to expect results or some return for our investment. The record clearly shows we got nothing for our first three billion and more scrutiny, regulation, and demands must be met before we send any more money down that greedy rathole. Yes if they want the bailout money then they must accept the oversight or they can fail as far as i'm concerned.

    February 4, 2009 at 2:46 pm |
  42. S Nichols

    Yes. If taxpayer money (and, please, let's not call it 'government' money) is involved, representatives of the taxpayers should have control of that money wherever, and for whatever purpose it is distributed. The industries that are receiving these funds have proven beyond any reaonable doubt they are unable, and unwilling, to be responsible in handling of either investor, or taxpayer funds.

    February 4, 2009 at 2:47 pm |
  43. William Joseph Miller

    The taxpayers are footing the bill. The tax payers have the right to call the terms. If the bankers don't like the terms, they shouldn't have asked for the hand-out to begin with.
    Actually, Obama is way to nice to people who don't deserve it. If a bank wants federal money, the top executives need to turn in the bonuses they got for the last three years. They need to put up their own personal assets as collateral, giving the governmnet a lien on all their property. If they lie, the government gets the collateral. Actually, we need to cancel all the tax breaks the rich and wealthy corporations got from 1981 on and make them pay for their own bailout. And we need to restore all the rules and regulations put down by FDR – and put a permanent ban on APR adjustable loans, which got us into this mess. In other words, before granting any further bailout money, we need to demand a pound of flesh

    February 4, 2009 at 2:48 pm |
  44. Billy G in Las Vegas

    YES. Senators Bernie Sanders and Claire McCaskill have it correct.

    IF you take the govenment's money you work for the govenment and, like any other business owner, they have the right to say what the pay will be for the job.

    and considering what an atrocious job these so called "financial executives" have done, THAT should be VERY low.

    in fact, they really should ALL be arrested for FRAUD. I see NO difference between these Wall Street weasels and Dennis Kozlowski of TYCO or John and Timothy Rigas of Adelphia who are in prison for looting THEIR companies.

    February 4, 2009 at 2:48 pm |
  45. Annie, Atlanta

    Personally they should have fired the whole bunch before handing over hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars. Too bad we can't all have jobs where no matter how bad we screw up we make millions! Hell, I'd take one for $500,000 and do a good job.

    February 4, 2009 at 2:49 pm |
  46. Bizz, Quarryville, Pennsylvania

    Definitely yes! As one of the taxpayers who helps contribute to to their bailout, I would like to know exactly how my money is being spent. I do not feel a company should be awarded bonuses or high salaries and have a remodeled office that cost over one million dollar, when it is trying to keep from going bankrupt. I heard it said by top management that this is necessary in order to keep top executives from leaving your company. Now I would like for them to explain to me why, in a way that it would make sense to me. Who would want these people? These so-called business people should be made to understand that bonuses are not paid out when companies do not make a profit. That is why you have bonuses in the first place.

    February 4, 2009 at 2:51 pm |
  47. Jenna Wade

    Should the government dictate executive compensation at companies that get bailout money?

    YES

    If my tax dollars are used then we should be able to say how they are spent and if they don't like it then we can give the tax dollars to someone else.

    It is just that simple!

    Jenna
    Roseville CA

    February 4, 2009 at 2:51 pm |
  48. Phil-Wenatchee, WA

    Makes sense to me. Why should we (government taxpayers) sacrifice our hard-earned money (and lose our retirement benefits, jobs and homes) so these fat executives can play. This is criminal, and these people should be jailed for what they have done!

    February 4, 2009 at 2:52 pm |
  49. Paul Austin,Texas

    This is a hard one to answer yeah or neah. You see the TOP executive pay has got out of hand. It is like they live in their own world of Huge Pay , Huge Bonuses, and Huge Perks of all kinds. Then just through a bone to the people that do the real work. So limits with a time frame may just wake them up to the real world. So you can put me in your Yeah for limits.

    February 4, 2009 at 2:53 pm |
  50. perry jones

    i d not like the bail out plan this is a failed idea it failed in the past and as long as to many people are involved the value of trust is gone thank you
    perry jones

    February 4, 2009 at 2:53 pm |
  51. Ralph, Corpus Christi

    Yes- if we're gonna pay the piper, we choose the tune. And it better be something I can dance to!

    February 4, 2009 at 2:53 pm |
  52. betty Reed

    Yes! Just ask anybody on welfare and they will tell you that the government tells you what you can and can't do or own. When these companies take money fron the government, they are on welfare! Betty Reed Washington, w.v

    February 4, 2009 at 2:53 pm |
  53. Diana

    If they are taking billions from us they need to be tightening their belts too during these diificult times. When they talk about needing the high pay for incentives to suceed, most of us have to do our job, and do it well or we'd get fired. Why don't they understand that incentive too? Either their Ceo's do the job they were hired to do, or get fired!
    Diana,MN

    February 4, 2009 at 2:54 pm |
  54. AndyZag Lynn, MA

    The government has every right to dictate how the government's money will be spent. In fact I vote for the most stringent controls on the bail out money so that every penny is accounted for. The crass arrogance displayed by the captains of business sickens me and makes me wonder how we arrived at this point.

    February 4, 2009 at 2:54 pm |
  55. Mari Fernandez, Salt Lake City, Utah

    YES...... Jack, they should demand that salaries are capped for ALL companies, Wall Street firms, and banks receiving tax payer money! Also, Congress should demand that the CEOs of these companies & banks resign!

    February 4, 2009 at 2:54 pm |
  56. Ray Lawson from Danville, VA

    When the government sets limits on how much money Congressmen can get in donations, contributions, gifts, trips, fees for speeches, etc
    In other words, when Congress sets limits on its own income other than salary, then maybe they can suggest what corporate executives should make. They should not set limits.

    February 4, 2009 at 2:55 pm |
  57. Doug Jones

    I can't believe I've been hearing people suggest that limiting executives' pay is "excessive government interference" when it seems to be perfectly okay to blindly hand them millions of our tax dollars. Many of these financial institutions have already shown a willingness to loot the bailout fund, and clearly can't be trusted. President Obama is absolutely correct on this, though he and President Bush and any other congressmen who voted for the original bailout should take responsibility for handing out billions already with no strings attached. We'll never see that money again!

    Doug Jones
    Franklin, TN

    February 4, 2009 at 2:55 pm |
  58. Robert in Galveston

    YES, if they want to have government money (our money) then they should accept restrictions on pay and how it will be spent. Rewarding someone for abject failure will never make sense. If the companies don't like it then borrow money from their CEOs.

    February 4, 2009 at 2:56 pm |
  59. Ed Love

    Today 2.04.09 there is a meeting in Washington D.C. of mayor's from around the country. This has so many question around it, that it is almost to the point that one can not understand the thought process behind the meeting.
    Will the Mayor's in attendance receive compensation for travel? Yes, of course. Will their housing, example; hotel room be paid for? Yes, of course. This is the idea of two sets of standards. Now, right now, I can turn on my webcam and have a meeting with any number of other people. Why would all these mayor's have to travel to Washington to do something they could do right from their office's? How much did it cost for all of them to go to Washington. I would wager, that just one mayor's cost would foot the bill to fix one block of street in their community including the wages of the workers doing the work. 30 mayors show up, that 30 blocks of street repair to the America streets.
    When will they figure out it's how they do things not so much what they do that has made this such a crisis? However, let's focus on executive spending

    February 4, 2009 at 2:56 pm |
  60. Ron San Antonio

    Jack there has to be some accountability! Really! The Banks have screwed us all and the Republicans have their partisan wagons circled so nothing passes. I'm afraid we're done!

    February 4, 2009 at 2:56 pm |
  61. Michael, Liverpool, NY

    Either government can decide that or we,the public, can vote on it and the most popular amount wins, if there is no consensus single amount then it can be determined by looking at the most popular range of amounts and take the average of those.

    February 4, 2009 at 2:58 pm |
  62. Conor in Chicago

    Yes they should. Entities who give out a loan always have conditions on that loan. In this case the US government is simply giving a condition: If you are going to use tax payer money to save your business you will not be using that money to pay obscene salaries and bonuses and instead will utilize as much money as possible to further your business for the long term.

    I think this is the most reasonable request I have heard from a politician in a long time and the resistance that Wall Street types are launching simply proves their greed, lack of sense of community, and lack of sense of reality.

    It is also a great political salvo from Obama because the more Wall Street resists this the more negative it will reflect on them in the media. A masterful stroke for Obama.

    February 4, 2009 at 3:01 pm |
  63. Richard Sternagel

    Absolutely! We've seen unperililed Greed from these CEOs already! They just don't get it: It is the average worker who supports their salaries and the average demands to have a level playing field with salaries that will provide decent living.

    February 4, 2009 at 3:01 pm |
  64. Terry from North Carolina

    Jack
    Absolutely these clowns are a large part of the reason we are in the financial shape were in. I believe the president is headed in the right direction, if you took bailout dollars then be prepared for austerity from the top down. And lets eliminate all these incentive trips to Vegas, South Beach etc.

    February 4, 2009 at 3:01 pm |
  65. Rae from Indiana

    If I apply for a loan and don't like the terms I am free to not take the loan. These companies have the same ability. It is the right thing to do.

    February 4, 2009 at 3:02 pm |
  66. HD Taylor - Arizona

    If they ever want to restore credibility to the citizens of the USA who have been fleeced by the policies of the BUSH / GOP years, the answer is an absolute YES… Otherwise, it will continue to be the same greed driven kleptocratic plutocratic national control that elitist GOP presidents typically like.

    HD in Phoenix, AZ

    February 4, 2009 at 3:03 pm |
  67. Keith - Twinsburg, OH

    Now that we are major stock holders, at the request of the bankers, yes we should.

    They came to us for help. They don't even have the sense to cut their frivilous spending on their own, so we have to be their 'mommies'.

    Goes to show you that .. "You never outgrow your need for a mommy."

    (Missed you for a couple of days, Jack.)

    February 4, 2009 at 3:04 pm |
  68. Meg Ulmes

    Jack–
    Yes we should limit bonuses for executives in institutions who have to be bailed out with taxpayer money. It is ridiculous. I don't think that these financial institutions "get" what is going on in the rest of America. Someone has to give them a dose of reality or they never will.

    Troy, Ohio

    February 4, 2009 at 3:04 pm |
  69. monte tolley

    yes because the way these wallstreet ceo,s spend the money that the government gave them is not helping the economy

    February 4, 2009 at 3:05 pm |
  70. Teasha, Tallahassee, FL

    YES, YES, YES! If companies are going to get billions of dollars from the government, they need oversight and regulation. Remember the Golden Rule: The one who has the gold, makes the rules!

    February 4, 2009 at 3:05 pm |
  71. Matt Toohey

    You betcha! Unless of course I can get some of that bailout action. Paying for one's greed out of my disposal income is one thing but as I completed my 2008 tax return seeing what I owe Uncle Sam because of last year's stimulus makes me angry that people feeding off the trough have so little disregard for those paying the bills.

    Matt
    Rockford

    February 4, 2009 at 3:05 pm |
  72. Jane (Minnesota)

    It should be limited anyway – bailout or no bailout. Any bonus must be tied to productivity & not entitlement, Jack. Wall street execs are not any better than the rest of America. This greed (or as the Republicans call it "Free Enterprise") is ruining our country.

    February 4, 2009 at 3:06 pm |
  73. Jim in Algonquin IL

    As far as I'm concerned, until they prove they're going to pay the taxpayers back – with interest – absolutely!

    February 4, 2009 at 3:07 pm |
  74. Ed

    Absolutely not. Bailouts have already been made. Those in worst shape didn't get bailed out. Putting salary caps on them limits their ability to stay competitive further aiding monopolization by those who were bailed out.

    February 4, 2009 at 3:08 pm |
  75. Jenny Rome Ga

    Jack,
    I think I can speak for others on this. I can live quite nicely on 500 thousand dollars a year. Heck I could live nicely on 250 thousand a year. Scrimp a bit and 1oo thousand a year will be great. Some one has to remove the fox from the hen house. THANK YOU President Obama! Hope it lasts and continues on to the car industry.

    February 4, 2009 at 3:09 pm |
  76. Peter Livingston

    Yes, the government should be able to limit executives pay! Look, the bailout is voluntary, these companies are asking the government (actually the Taxpayers) to bail them out because they are unable or unwilling to come up with viable solutions, so any of the governments terms and conditions should be acceptable to these companies. Also, and it cannot be emphasised enough, they are in this position because of poor decision-making, poor job performance on thier part, and that is not to be rewarded with exorbitant salaries. Why are these folks still employed? I did my job very well for the last eight years, in the sand and rock industry, and I am still out of work.

    Jack, it IS ugly out here, and don't get me started on AZDES (Arizona Dept. of Economic Security), that whole bunch should be on the other side of the counter!

    February 4, 2009 at 3:10 pm |
  77. Willow, Iowa

    Yes, Jack, they should definitely limit executives pay. Essentially, the people of the US are now partial owners of these companies, until we are paid back. I would perhaps suggest an even lower number. A Senator gets what? $200,000? Why should an executive get more than our Senators and even our President? Those bonuses ARE shameful.

    February 4, 2009 at 3:10 pm |
  78. Darcy, FL

    Well, we see what leaving the wolves to guard the sheep did for us so far.

    Didn't we, Jack?

    February 4, 2009 at 3:10 pm |
  79. Sandy

    If the store I manage had to get government bailout money to stay in business and my bosses gave me a huge salary and a golden parachute they would be crazy. They would give me a swift escort to the door! If you take money from taxpayers then the government should be able to set some provisions. Most of these provisions do not sound that harsh. I'd gladly agree to work for $500,000 – most of us would!

    Sandy
    Texarkana, Arkansas

    February 4, 2009 at 3:11 pm |
  80. S Nichols

    You tell me. Many of these executives are making two or three thousand times what your son or daughter, wife or husband is being paid fighting for their right to lay our economy, the respect of our global neighbors, and our society, to waste. If there is a rationale for this incredible disparity, I for one am proud to say that it escapes me.

    February 4, 2009 at 3:11 pm |
  81. Ann from S.C.

    Absolutely limits should be placed on executive compensation in those companies who receive bailout money from me and my fellow taxpayers. If, in this context, you want to call it socialism, do so. Doesn't scare me.

    February 4, 2009 at 3:11 pm |
  82. MARCUS123 Flanders

    Yes if a company takes taxpayer money there should be a limit on how much the executive pay themselves.What happens if a company getting a bailout owns a sport franchise will the overpaid athletes be required also to adhere to the compensation limit;how about hollywood?

    February 4, 2009 at 3:12 pm |
  83. Kevin in Dallas, TX

    Of course they should. We need to make sure that only the companies that really need this money are taking it. We also need to make sure that the companies that take the money do absolutely every thing they can to pay it back as quickly as possible.

    February 4, 2009 at 3:12 pm |
  84. Bob in Lincoln NE

    Absolutely for the executives/managers at every level of those organizations that received "bail-out" money from the Feds. The authors of the bill should also define salaries to mean all forms of compensation. Failure to comply should result in criminal penalties against the CEO and require immediate pay back of the "bail-out" monies with interest.

    February 4, 2009 at 3:14 pm |
  85. Gigi

    What do you want Jack, socialism or live in the most insensitive country in the world to its people. and China will have to come and liberate we the people.

    The point is they have borrowed the money from the government. (which we support from a high tax rate. No...which the government is borrowing ) after they squandered it on themselves...and they both went broke. Now they want you and me to bail them out for what...nothing. It's time somebody set some rules. Our grandchildren may thank us.

    February 4, 2009 at 3:14 pm |
  86. Paul S. Columbia, SC

    What a deal! Half a million a year for FAILING! Sign me up. I worked hard as a salesman for 50 years to take care of my responsibilities. If I hadn't; there was no bailout or parachute. All there was, was the door.

    February 4, 2009 at 3:14 pm |
  87. lynnej from lattimore, nc

    Yep. Executive pay across the board should be limited. These guys have done nothing but gotten rich off of deregulation and no oversight.

    They need to feel the pinch of what they've dished out. They need to get a $20,000 salary with no benefits with a credit balance of $1400 or a little more but have a 30% interest rate. I bet that triple payment would leave a bad taste in their mouth when they forget to make a payment.

    The only way to get a reality check.

    February 4, 2009 at 3:16 pm |
  88. George, Dunedin, Florida

    It only makes good sense that we know that the money that we give is being used in all Americans best interest, and not just the executive types. I for one don't believe that they should be bailed out unless they are part of the recovery. It boils my blood to think that the money that is withheld from my childrens pay checks each week is going to finance bonuses, or vacations for execs. They have no one to blame but themselves for the mess that they are in, so don't come to me looking for a handout, just get in the line with the rest of us, and wait your turn.

    February 4, 2009 at 3:16 pm |
  89. JW in Atlanta

    You bet. And the first positive result would be a vast shortening of that vast line of folks wanting federal money to bail out their bad business directions.

    February 4, 2009 at 3:19 pm |
  90. Rian McMurtry

    The companies should have put in austerity measures themselves if they didn't want the government to do it. Once we the taxpayers have been paid back, they can pay their leeches whatever they want; it's their own fault they needed a bailout. Until they've repaid us, they can sit down, shut up, and obey Mr. Obama.

    Rian McMurtry
    Davis, California

    February 4, 2009 at 3:20 pm |
  91. Dean the tax payer

    Jack,

    If we are truly a major shareholder of the corporation should we not have a major say? We should have seats on the Board of Directors.

    February 4, 2009 at 3:21 pm |
  92. Michelle

    YES!!! NEED YOU ASK!! When there irresponsible, I'm not buying that Wells Fargo Bit, I really think they rather have there Job then to go on somekind of reward "RETREAT".. especially when we have SOOO many out of Wrok , including my HUSBAND who worked for a company for 18 years, and can't even find a Job, makes you so mad to turn on the TV to see that they where going to use this money so reckless, why others suffer, no job, no health insurance, and these morons thinks it's ok to misuse the money!!!.. PLEASE!

    February 4, 2009 at 3:22 pm |
  93. Casey | Sebastopol, CA

    If a company is asking the American taxpayers to bail them out, YES, executive pay should be limited. I was appalled when John Thain talked about keeping "talent" with bonuses. Talent? You mean in causing a company to fail, sir?

    Executive pay should be a low base + incentive bonus tied to a percentage of the final PROFITs made by that company. In the red? No bonus.

    February 4, 2009 at 3:24 pm |
  94. Emerson in Mass.

    The government has always claimed control follows their money.

    Examples:

    (1) states had to restrict their speed limits in order to get federal highway funds

    (2) another network is claiming that the current stimulus plan requires that colleges restrict worship on campus in order to get federal stimulus building funds (Big Brother in the dorm room?)

    etc
    etc
    etc

    Why should company executives be any different?

    February 4, 2009 at 3:24 pm |
  95. Teri in St. Augustine FL

    Jack, If any industry is making money and paying their taxes, I don't care how much their boards give their executives, just like I don't care how much the Steinbrenners pay any of their Yankees. BUT if they are using MY tax dollars to reward those that made huge mistakes that caused this meltdown – I agree with Obama. If they didn't get the TARP money from our tax dollars, would they still be giving them bonuses? Go ahead and call me bitter – I was laid-off last week for the very first time in my life and I just turned 50. My 401k fell 30% last year and I'm upside-down in my mortgage due to all the foreclosures here in sunny Florida. My company didn't get any TARP funds, although I'm sure my management chain all the way up to the CEO will all get their bonuses. But those that received bailout funds should absolutely not be getting paid more than the President of the US – they're lucky he's letting them have 20% more than he gets and he's the one that has to deal with their mess! Teri

    February 4, 2009 at 3:24 pm |
  96. Susan from Greenfield, Wi.

    Yes, it is our money, and they are failures. In the real world employees that fail are fired. In the real world if you get caught robbing a store you go to jail. Well these failures still have a job, and did not go to jail, so now they answer to us. If they don't like it, then they can go and find another job.

    February 4, 2009 at 3:25 pm |
  97. Don (Ottawa)

    That's a no brainer Jack. If we own the company through a bailout, we should be able to say what goes on in that company. I say never mind the executive cap or golden parachutes, just fire the buggers. These are the guy that should be in the unemployment line, not the ones who have done their job and are laid off to save money so these jerks can still have a job.

    February 4, 2009 at 3:26 pm |
  98. Terry- Greensburg, IN

    To make a looooong story short NO!

    February 4, 2009 at 3:26 pm |
  99. Daniel A. Nelson Lafayette,IN

    Yes but also make these rich people pay more taxes to allow a decent life for those who's income is less then $50k. Lets come together and make everybody's life as comfortable as those who make hundreds of thousand dollars.

    February 4, 2009 at 3:28 pm |
  100. Brittany, Palm Beach FL

    If its our money that has bailed them our shouldn't we have somewhat of a say in how they spend it? And if this is true then I would tend to believe Americans would opt for lower salaries and bonuses ( if any ). What are these knucleheads getting bonuses for anyway? Sending the economy into a tail spin....way to go guys.

    February 4, 2009 at 3:30 pm |
  101. Al, Lawrence KS

    P.T. Barnum said "There's a sucker born every minute." Well, I'm tired of being the sucker, and I'll bet millions of Americans feel the same. It is way past time that the Government starts to stick up for us suckers instead of those who are bleeding us dry. Can you tell I'm mad...I mean really mad?

    February 4, 2009 at 3:30 pm |
  102. Logic Reigns in Indiana

    If Gov't is giving them a loan or handout it should. But only under those circumstances.

    February 4, 2009 at 3:31 pm |
  103. Randy from Salt Lake City

    If a company's CEO runs their company into the ground and requests a government bailout, I really don't think I should have to pay for that CEO's lavish golf trips, private jets, gambling vactions, hookers and drugs.

    February 4, 2009 at 3:31 pm |
  104. Melissa from New Orleans

    Not just yes, but hell yes. Its more important to keep as many people as possible employed for as long as possible than it is to line the fat cats pockets on Wall Street and if they aren't capable of controlling their greed, someone else will have to do it for them.

    At the moment, the many comes before the few.

    Its either that, or we're going to enter a harsh painful depression.

    February 4, 2009 at 3:31 pm |
  105. georgiaf

    The government should dictate all executives who brought on the recent "recession" through falsehood in book keeping and lending practices, while promoting usery practices on clients, should be FIRED with no seperation pay...Oh yeah;
    Barney Frank received the highest campaign donations from Wall Street and Biden's state of Delaware is the home of most incoragiable banking institutions. Little wonder I kept asking "what change" during the campaign and for the first time in two decades worked on no one's campaign commitee. I have always been a registered Independent because both parties are equally corruptable. There is no change, there will be no change until US citizens start electing truly Independent candidates to elected office and research politicians' histories before voting.
    from PA

    February 4, 2009 at 3:33 pm |
  106. Sue Ventura

    es until they pay back all we have given them. Once they are making more money and not bleeding us then they can do what they want

    February 4, 2009 at 3:33 pm |
  107. Terry- Greensburg, IN

    They shiuldn't have gotten a dime in the first place. If the necessaary investigating had been done the government would know that. Their a business-businesses suceed and fail-if government going to bail out all the car dealerships that's going to fail because of this?
    Whether they get bailed out or not, finanical institutions are going to have to change their attitude or we'll be right back in another mess.

    February 4, 2009 at 3:34 pm |
  108. Judie from St. Augustine, Fl

    Jack
    The government gave these companies the tax payers money to help our economy not to help the CEO's maintain their life styles. They have not performed their jobs properly and should be fired. I think the government is being to generous to them by letting them keep their jobs after what they have accomplished and letting them make 500K a year for what? Let them go try to find another job. Do you think anyone with half a brain would hire them so that they could destroy another business? I sure would not. They took the money...Now they have to adjust their way of life just like the rest of us. Maybe if they can turn their companies around and pay back the money they borrowed they could have an employee evaluation and get a raise.
    Judie
    St. Augustine, Fl

    February 4, 2009 at 3:35 pm |
  109. Tommy_AZ

    Jack
    Reducing the allowance of these idiots will not change a thing.
    They will still be the same greedy scoundrels they have always been.
    There 5m will just show up in there retirement package.
    ???? havnt we did this before.

    February 4, 2009 at 3:36 pm |
  110. S Nichols

    "We either have a "free enterprise system or we don't"".

    Free enterprise has historically been shackled with such impediments as the abolition of slavery, indenture, child labor laws, and taxes of every imaginable description – just to name a few. Should the legal establishment of an aristocratic class in the United States be allowed? Is this not what has happened? The stockholders of these corporations have been asleep at the wheel, and their lack of attention, with the complicity of our federal regulatory agencies, has allowed the jackals run wild.

    February 4, 2009 at 3:36 pm |
  111. Beverly-NYC

    Jack, the answer is a big YESs. In the late 80's and 90's CEO salaries because the measuring stick for these "Masters of the Universe" types. Whether their companies were doing well or not , they could depend on a large salary, stock options and a golden parachute if things did not work out. It's time for a reality check. If CEO's are now dependent on the taxayer money they can live on less like we all do. Welcome to the life of the average taxpayer. Anyway, $500,000 isn't exactly living like a pauper. Believe me I would like to have this problem as will many others.

    February 4, 2009 at 3:36 pm |
  112. Jay in Texas

    Absolutely ! These corporations came to the government begging for billions in socialist handouts so the government should dictate how that money is spent. I think the cap of half-a-million dollars a year for senior executive pay is way too high. As long as they are operating on our tax money, "executive pay" should be capped at about $200,000 a year.
    Brownwood, Texas

    February 4, 2009 at 3:36 pm |
  113. Tim

    No. A seasoned executive that has the talent to fix the events going on in corporations today is not going to work for that $500,000 cap. If companies limit the field to those available for that money, they are de facto forced to take a less talented, qualified or experienced person into the office. Compensation committees need to learn what a shareholder expects.

    Don't limit the money – demand the talent and performance.

    If that point resonates, why are bailout dollars going to the hands of the executives and organizations that lost it in the first place?

    February 4, 2009 at 3:37 pm |
  114. Casey | Sebastopol, CA

    Why is it "socialism" when taxpayers want to regulate the businesses (as in executive pay if taking bailout money) but "free trade" when businesses like AIG and the auto industry want to "renegotiate" signed contracts with labor or forfeit on pension plans funded long ago?

    That's CORPORATE socialism... oh, wait... I mean "libertarianism" – privatizing the profit but socializing the risk.

    February 4, 2009 at 3:38 pm |
  115. jerry

    Definitely....These CEOs are getting millions as their companies go under. But they are no more overpaid than the idiots in Congress who dont understand economics in that it is not wise to spend more than you take in.

    February 4, 2009 at 3:38 pm |
  116. Dennis in Grand Rapids, MI

    Well, once the companies say that they can't hack it in a free market, and need a government handout, then heck yeah, the government should have a say in how these companies are managed. We saw billions given to companies and they blew the money on frivolous things rather than concentrating on saving the business.

    February 4, 2009 at 3:38 pm |
  117. A. Davis

    They want my money? They have to live like me! I can't even believe these guys–what a bunch of scumbags. And for those who say this is socialism–the banks/wall street are the ones who came begging, so if it is socialism, blame it on them.

    February 4, 2009 at 3:38 pm |
  118. Jack Martin

    Jack

    The term "bailout" means just that. Those execs who ran their companies into bankruptcy and applied for welfare no longer are in control and lose the right to set their own compensation. They should be forced to earn their pay and do a good job just as they expect their employees to do. They control their employees pay do they not? They now work for the taxpayer and the taxpayer should control their pay.

    Jack Martin, Boynton Beach FL

    February 4, 2009 at 3:38 pm |
  119. BRUCE, ST PAUL, MN

    Since we have already nationalized their debt, and since some of these banks have a net worth that is less than the money we have already donated to them, we should dictate compensation and more. Let those who are to blame share the pain. By the way, five hundred thousand dollars is two thousand, eight hundred and forty-one months worth of food stamps.

    February 4, 2009 at 3:38 pm |
  120. sandi-arizona

    What a question. Of course we should limit executive pay. Who else in America gets paid a bonus after the company they are in charge of goes belly up? We should have included in the hand out that the CEO and CFO had to step down, because if they were in charge when the ship went down it's hard to beleive they know how to blow up the life raft.

    February 4, 2009 at 3:39 pm |
  121. Ray in Nashville

    Jack,

    Socialism? These people went to the government and asked to be bailed out. In fact, they said our whole economy would fail if we didn't bail them out. They put their own industry on the path to socialism.

    February 4, 2009 at 3:39 pm |
  122. Stacy from Leesburg, VA

    Jack, this blowhard Conservative cover story is starting to wear thin on me. Let me get this right, a company CEO runs their respective enterprise into the ground then asks the taxpayer to bail them out so that they can get their big bonus and high pay? The rewarding of failure because of position is what the Soviets used to do. What smacks of socialism is the government giving these failed enterprises anything but a good-bye wave. The way I see it, caps on salary should be motivation for these businesses to pay back the money as quickly as possible so they can get back to “the good old days”. You take taxpayer money, you play by our rules. Don’t like it, then give us back the money and have a good day.

    February 4, 2009 at 3:41 pm |
  123. Pete, Fla.

    I, as an average American, would say yes to limiting their pay. But if I was one of those executives, I would say "give me all my money".

    February 4, 2009 at 3:41 pm |
  124. MRT

    As the old song says.. "You can't have one without the other.." If they want a bailout then that's the price they pay...

    February 4, 2009 at 3:42 pm |
  125. Ed Woodbridge,Va.

    Amen Brother!!!!!!!! These fat cats sit on their duffs in the ivory towers and count their millions while workers in the factories have to beg for an hourly raise! A couple of years ago Home Depot fired their CEO and gave him a 200 million dollar severance package! What's up with that?

    February 4, 2009 at 3:43 pm |
  126. barbara actisdano

    WOW, WHAT A QUESTION!
    Yes, this should of been stopped 8 yrs. ago but then Bush and Cheney would not of gotten their way with all their lies and wars` they started! The House and Congress has gotten such big raises each year it is a crime! The Last 8 yrs they have not earned their money and they should not get a raise in the Thousands of dollars as they have! No body spoke out against it and they got away with it but we must stop it all now! As Pres. Turman said "THE BUCK STOPS HERE! I thought her was a good President.

    Barbara from Florida

    February 4, 2009 at 3:43 pm |
  127. Eric Bracke, Fort Collins, CO

    Sure, why not. When the government jumps in, we become shareholders in the company and have a say in its management.
    The bad part is, this new ruling will have no effect on those companies already in contract with the Feds. This will only apply to anyone else, from this point forward, coming to the Feds and apply for help. The contracts are not retro active. comanies like AIG, wells fargo, etc.... can still give bonuses if they wish.

    February 4, 2009 at 3:44 pm |
  128. Peter

    Jack it's like this
    Say Wolf needed some financial help.He asks you for $50,000 to get him thru his troubled times. A few days later he shows up at work in his new $130,000 Mercedes. You would say WTF!!!
    Peter
    Aldergrove Canada

    February 4, 2009 at 3:46 pm |
  129. circy in New Mexico

    If we're going to give those clowns our money, there should certainly be restrictions on how it's spent.

    February 4, 2009 at 3:46 pm |
  130. Zynga GA

    Hooray for socialism!!! Why does socialism get such a bad rap anyway?

    February 4, 2009 at 3:47 pm |
  131. Matt, Minneapolis MN

    Jack,

    The government gives billions out in any ordinary year to publicly traded companies and privately owned alike. Whether it be loans or paying for parts of big stadiums, or tax credits to attract businesses to build in our cities we still give them billions. Why should we restrict the pay of CEO's we "Bail out" if we don't restrict the pay of A-Rod or Bill Gates? Just a thought.

    Matt,

    Minneapolis, MN

    February 4, 2009 at 3:47 pm |
  132. Matt

    As soon as federal money went to help these banks, we adopted temporary socialism. Yes, we should limit pay because the taxpayers now have stake in the company: a loan–which banks should be painfully familiar with. If they don't want their compensation capped, give us our money back–NOW.

    February 4, 2009 at 3:48 pm |
  133. vern-t anaheim,ca

    i think president obama did the right thing on limiting salaries to company executives who are taking bailout money from the goverment to $500,000 dollars per year.give me $500,000 dollars a year and you wont find me complaining

    February 4, 2009 at 3:50 pm |
  134. Chris in Ks

    The idiots that wrecked our economy should be allowed to further enrich themselves with our tax dollars? I don't think so.

    February 4, 2009 at 3:50 pm |
  135. Rolman SC

    Without question or challange, it is a more than generous plan. I keep hearing this carp about the need to attract and adequately reward the 'best and brightest'. These the guys who ruined not only the national financial system, but world economy as well. As if their involvment was purly innocent and circumstantial. You reward success, not abysmal failure. When millions of highly qualifed, good perfomers are standing in unemployment lines, it takes unconscionable audacity to accept the kind of compensation these unprincipled shysters are demanding.

    February 4, 2009 at 3:51 pm |
  136. Jeffery, Clarksville, Tn.

    I think the government should have stipulations that define what may or may not be done with bail out money. A company with problems enough to need and ask for bail out money should be responsible enough to use it as is intended. Certainly a company which is in dire need of X-billions of dollars should not reward the people who got them in the situation to start with. Too many times have professional vultures swooped into companies having no blood, sweat, or tears invested in the rearing of them and claimed management positions(CEO,COO, etc.) and mega-bonuses just to fly back out of sight when the going gets tough. Tax payer money should not fund the vacations, retirement homes, or cabin cruisers of these conniving scam artists. If after the bail out , a company can show considerable sustained profits, let the management negotiate a performance bonus with the share holders.

    February 4, 2009 at 3:51 pm |
  137. Richard Green

    The gov't should dictate all conditions relative to how these folks spend our money. The gov't should also have autnority to pre-approve any expenditures before our money is spent by these gamblers. They're lucky they aren't in jail. We have gained nothing by giving them $350 billion [with more on the way] , so what could we possibly lose by giving them nothing and letting them use their so-called smarts to work their way out of their difficulties? We've gotten zero for our money. We could have received the same zero by doing nothing and letting them fail. What could real industries do with $350 billion?
    Rich Green
    San Clemente, Cal.

    February 4, 2009 at 3:51 pm |
  138. V.K. Raman, Sparks

    Those institutions who take Federal Bailout money must have a cap for remuneration and benefit of CEOs and Executive Staff. Those who surruptitiously got themselves bonuses must be forced to return the money to the exchequer.

    February 4, 2009 at 3:52 pm |
  139. Chryssa

    Absolutely. They had a chance to do it right, they screwed up, and now they get to play by Obama's rules.

    Boise, ID

    February 4, 2009 at 3:53 pm |
  140. J Buck

    That is illegal and unconstitutional beause of the Freedom of Contract in the Constitution. Obama is a Constitutional Lawyer? Ya right !!
    Shareholders need to become intensely involved.
    J Buck
    Minnesota

    February 4, 2009 at 3:53 pm |
  141. Dan, Chantilly VA

    It feels like we're fixing the wrong problem. Multi-million dollar CEO salaries while a bit unethical, aren't what caused the economic crisis. And ending this practice might make us all feel a little bit better, but it won't solve the crisis.

    February 4, 2009 at 3:53 pm |
  142. cy gardner

    Absolutely!!! They are borrowing against our children's future to pour cash into AIG, Citibank, etc. etc. Where do they get off paying billions in bonus money to retain "talent" that ran their companies into the brink of the abyss? By their logic, maybe we should increase George Bush's pension to a billion dollars a year. Maybe we should make the Steelers hand that Super Bowl trophy over to the Detroit Lions. Maybe we should pay billions to bring back New Coke. By all means, let's double down on stupidity. It's made this country what it is today. cy gardner, arlington, va

    February 4, 2009 at 3:54 pm |
  143. Daniel, Indiana

    Yes. If they are going to receive tax-payer money they should be dictated to. They have shown that they aren't concerned about who the money comes from, they want to waste it. If it is to be wasted, just give it toAmericans and let us spend like "drunken sailors". Most Americans would get more for their money than a few of the privalidged elite will. At least it WILL stimulate the economy.

    February 4, 2009 at 3:54 pm |
  144. Starr in Asheville, NC

    Yes, I think the bailout plan should include a cap on exec comp since they seem to lack any self restraint. However, I don't favor a fixed amount since they will all simply peg their pay to the max. I think it should be a factor based on a multiple of the LOWEST paid employee in the company. For example: With a 25x factor, If the lowest paid employee made $9/hour, the top exec could be paid $468K/year. Of course, if the lowest paid employee got a little raise in pay...

    February 4, 2009 at 3:54 pm |
  145. Nuwan

    Yes. It is totally appropriate to do so. If a company does not like that idea, then they should not ask the tax payers money. Government has a obligation to make sure the tax payers money are spend wisely in this bailout package.

    Nuwan from Houston, TX

    February 4, 2009 at 3:55 pm |
  146. Allen L Wenger

    I think it is time that American's start to understand that socialism is not some great evil that needs to be avoided at all costs. A combination of socialism and the free market system will make life better for most Americans. The greed and unfairness inherent in the free market system can be brought into line by a little bit of socialism. We need the media and big business to quit telling Americans that socialism is going to destroy our way of life.

    Allen
    Mountain Home ID

    February 4, 2009 at 3:55 pm |
  147. Steve Pearson

    If companies want a bailout because they say they are in trouble, then they need to bite the bullet on executive compensation. Also, why would we expect an executive who has led a company in trouble to get big bucks in any event while the workers and shareholders suffer?

    We cannot rely on Board of Directors to exercise restraints. A board member in one corporation is an overpaid executive in another corporation. They scratch each other's backs.

    One concern: the limit should be on not just executive pay, but on total executive "compensation packages" including perks.

    February 4, 2009 at 3:56 pm |
  148. John in LA

    IF a company is using my money because they've managed their own so badly, then they should get NO bonuses and no corporate luxury junkets, planes, etc.

    But salary? I assume they have extravagant lifestyles based around their excessive earnings. I don't think its fair to cut someone's income from $2,000,000 to $500,000.

    And I say that reluctant ly, as someone earning less than $30,000 a year (and, I would argue, working much harder–with more consistently positive and honest outcomes–than many of these Wall Street CEOs).

    February 4, 2009 at 3:56 pm |
  149. Russ in PA

    Limit executive pay? Sounds nice, doesn't it? Buy why should Government be the ones to limit or set pay? That is simply not right. Why aren't the politicians cutting back on their raises, or their petty cash expenses? The government should keep it's hands off of all pay; it has no right to set prices or wages, and only creates more havoc in the market place.

    February 4, 2009 at 3:58 pm |
  150. Marie Ontario

    Since the Republicans all demanded the hourly rated workers in the auto Industries that get government assistance should take pay cuts then why would financial institutions executives be any different since their corporate bail outs where a lot more than the big three got.

    Hopefully Rush Limbaugh will allow the Republicans to vote in favour of limiting the Executive Salaries and Bonuses until these businesses pay back the government.

    February 4, 2009 at 3:58 pm |
  151. Bernie

    Jack, if I'm paying those bastards, you're damn right I'm going to tell'em how much they're getting paid.

    Don't forget, the government isn't some alien entity from outer space - it's US. You and me and the old lady next door.

    We SHOULD be letting these institutions fall - that's why we have bankruptcy courts and all the procedures created for managing bankruptcies.

    But if we're going to prop'em up with government money, then they can shut their whiny entitled selfish little mouths and take whatever conditions we decide to impose. If the government says that the CEO of Citibank has to wear a tutu and a signboard saying "I've been a bad boy!" and parade up and down the streets of New York City, well, then he damn well better do it.

    February 4, 2009 at 3:58 pm |
  152. Dennis North Carolina

    If they take money from the government, they should live by the rules put out with the loan. you have a lose meaning of socialism to describe our present government policies. Jack, could you give us a list of bonus payments that were given to government employees for the past four years and the seven trillion dollars of debt ? I would call this more socialism of management when you reward people to mismanage tax money and sounds like something that private business would do.

    February 4, 2009 at 3:59 pm |
  153. Russ in PA

    One more thought: if you had let all of these companies fail, rather than bail them out, you wouldn't be worrying much about how much the CEO's were making...

    February 4, 2009 at 3:59 pm |
  154. Jackie in Dallas

    Absolutely YES, if they are taking bailout money, they shouldn't be getting bonuses and certainly shouldn't be pulling in more that the POTUS! If a company is doing well under their executives, by all means, pay them what they are worth. However, if they couldn't read the handwriting on the wall six months ago, and had the nerve to come to Washington in their $1500 suits, $100 shirts, $1000 shoes, and on their private jets asking for a handout to keep their companies going despite their poor decision making, then they need to be stripped of their bonuses, audited for the last 20 years of their taxes, and definitely the air needs to be let out of their golden parachutes!

    February 4, 2009 at 3:59 pm |
  155. Ola (Nashville)

    Absolutely....they should also limit legislative pay. That will force these so called "representative of the people" to actually get something done. They need some kind of incentive to help them get their act together.

    February 4, 2009 at 4:00 pm |
  156. ronjazz

    Sorry, Jack, earned is not what they've done. Stolen is far more accurate. Obama's offer is very generous, considering that failures of this magnitude should lead directly to loss of employment, followed by criminal investigations, followed by long prison terms. Perhaps is a "free market" the government has no place in setting pay limits, but these fat cats destroyed the free market, and are now government employees.

    February 4, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  157. Al in IA

    Absolutely. Alternatively, they can pay themselves as much as they want if they don't take my money. They have a choice; noone is forcing their hand with the exception of their own greed.

    February 4, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  158. Devin

    Jack,
    Absolutely Pres. Obama should be dictating executive compensation. Those companies have received our tax monies to keep themselves afloat, while the rest of America is waiting for a life raft. Those guys have the audacity to ask for help and spend lavishly, and can't help the people that they shamed into getting sub-prime mortgage. Hey Bank of American and Wells Fargo “free enterprise” no longer exist….you received my tax dollars!!!

    February 4, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  159. just me!

    I have been writing my elected nonrepresentatives about this issue since this disaster first started. Better late than never. No executive should remain in his/her position if their company is failing. No executive should make more than the president and receive no benefits not also received by the employees.

    February 4, 2009 at 4:04 pm |
  160. Errin

    Jack in a work: YES! These companies came to the government saying help us out. We need money. And then they use part of those funds for executive bonuses, corporate jets, and "events" in Vegas? C'mon. If a third of my paycheck is going to help them out, they for sure aren't going to get happy and celebrate on my dime. Remember they went to the government asking for help. The government didn't go to the them.Business as usual is over with... If they don't like it, they shouldn't have asked for assistance from the government.

    February 4, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  161. Joe in MO

    I have a plan. Any executive from a bailed out company who wants more than $500,000 should have to call together all those he or she canned in the last two years and all those whose retirement funds he or she devastated and explain to them why he can't live on $500,000 a year. If he or she can convince them, then take off the $500,000 cap.

    February 4, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  162. Robert Prescott

    Jack,

    If you or I take out a loan from the bank to buy a house, we are not allowed to take that money and travel the world instead. Ergo, if a company takes money from the government (read: taxpayers), because they trashed their company through mismanagement, exhoribitant salaries, outlandish bonuses and expensive retreats should not be permitted. If I'm about to lose my home, would you be willing to bail me out so I could keep it only to find out I'm partying on some exotic beach with your money. I think not!

    Robert

    North Port, FL

    February 4, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  163. Peter Benton

    Jack,
    Let me see if I have this straight. I'm going to change the players in this scnerio a little.

    I'm holding your money which I lend no strings attached to another guy who has just poerpetrated the largests hoax in American History and he runs off and spends it on high living and not lending it back to you as he agreed.

    Seems to me if we are pauing the saleries of these jerks we should have some say in how much we pay them. We, meaning the Government , which is at least on paper , us.

    They should be thankful they are not all in jail!

    Hemet CA.

    February 4, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  164. Russ Olive

    Jack,
    ...........
    Republicans think that Obama is wrong to restrict Wall Street salaries and it is socialism.......yet these same Republicans have no problem telling the union workers in Detroit to take pay cuts and make concessions........laughable at best!!!

    February 4, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  165. Doug from Bloomington IN

    Sure, it smacks of socialism, but then, so does the idea of taxation. If we can hold the hypocritical aside for a moment....

    The government already regulates corporations in a huge number of ways. The set-up of corporations is done through the government. The taxation of corporations, the regulation (EPA, OSHA, etc), the legal operations....all of this is already defined by the government. So why not regulate how much the executives make. Here's an idea:

    Limit their pay by 1. limiting their base salaries to a reasonable multiple of the lowest wage level in their employ, and 2. limit bonuses to a percentage of PROFITS (along with the same type of multiple in #1). And 3. make it illegal somehow to move your facilities to foreign lands while living the good life back here. Tariffs come to mind. So if the company loses money, then no bonus. If it makes money, then merry christmas. That would be incentive to do well and earn profits. Rising tides float all boats, right? Plus, the government might actually collect taxes from these crooks and chop away at the national debt, thus , we could tell the Chinese et al to stick it.

    But forget it. None of us is bold enough to try this because it sounds too much like socialism.

    February 4, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  166. Virginia

    You could also ask whether government should be allowed to tell companies what they can spend their money on; 50 million for a corporate jet sound OK? What about if it's OUR money?

    Also, if these executives have "earned" huge amounts of compensation, I don't see how. They have run these companies - and the economy of the country and most of the world - into the toilet. They haven't, as far as I can tell, suffered themselves, the way millions of their fellow citizens are being forced to suffer as a result of their fecklessness - the same workers whose taxes paid for the ludicrous theft of billions of dollars in the last days of the previous, execrably incompetent administration. (Former workers, that is; for how many months can job losses equal 500 thousand and there even BE any money to bail out these companies?)

    You want a free market? Make money. You want our tax dollars to keep your institution afloat? There will be rules.

    February 4, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  167. joey yankee lake n.y.

    The Constitution bars government for getting involved in contracts.

    February 4, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  168. Christine, Thousand Oaks Ca

    Absolutely. If they can't be responsible, we must make them responsible.

    February 4, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  169. Roxan H. Caillet

    Yes. We need to hold these folks accountable not only to the government for the money they have received to bail them out, but also to the people they serve. Someone has got to make these folks understand that this country is in trouble because of GREED....ME, MYSELF and I!
    Gwynn Oak, Maryland

    February 4, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  170. OP George

    The auto workers were told they had to limit their pay because of their companies bailout. The corporate execs who failed in their jobs should also be limited. Is there anyone out there who doesn't do their job and causes their company to not to achieve their business plan because of poor perfarmance expect to keep their job and continue to get rewarded with bonuses? Bonuses are to be paid for success not for mediocrity. If they cannot live on 500 thousand, they should have budgeted their finances when they got their multi million dollar compensation packages.

    February 4, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  171. Stefany

    Socialism started when we started bailing companies out with taxpayer money, not when we started limiting these executives' pay. I think we should have just let them all go bankrupt, myself, and we ought to limit their compensation if they take bailout money.

    February 4, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  172. Fred Poarch

    Dear Jack,

    I hear the pundits moan that a business might lose these "highly qualified" CEO's if they have their pay cut. They should be saying thank God they are going, and who in the hell would want to hire them anyway? Haven't they ridden the banking and mortgage industry into the dirt anyway?

    If anything I think that a half-million dollar salary for someone in charge of a failing company is way too much. In fact it is a sad joke, and even a $100,000.00 per year salary would be too much for heavens sake! Obama must be going by McCain’s definition of rich. Since do we pay someone a half-million dollars per year as a reward for failure? It is a down right dirty shame on how tax payers are being screwed to reward the rich for stupidity, lack of morals and failure. I wish someone would cut my yearly income to a half-million dollars for failure. I would promise to be as dumb as a senator voting on this mess!

    Sincerely,

    Fred Poarch Family

    Orange Park, FL

    February 4, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  173. Ray Bell

    President Obama has called the executive pay "shameful and irresponsible". Does this also apply to his serving $100 per pound steaks at a Super Bowl party in the White House? Just more double standards.

    February 4, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  174. Yappy

    YES!!! YES!!! YES!!! AND YES!!! As long as they take and owe the government money from a bailout, then they should be regulated.

    February 4, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  175. Larry

    Jack,

    CEO pay, in general not just those receiving TARP funds, is completely out of control and out of line with the rest of us working Americans. I don't see anyone worth that kind of money, including our professional athletes. What amazes me is that a CEO fails miserably at one company and is hired at twice the pay by the next company. The moral of the story is simple. If you're incompetent at what you do, someone is always willing to pay you more.

    What's the definition of insanity? Doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results. Let's stop the insanity, NOW!

    Larry
    Portland, OR

    February 4, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  176. Ines

    Jack,
    I have been asking for years how any heads of a Company can make so much money when they fail in their job??
    Anyone else, (you know Joe-blow) would get fired without anything coming to them.
    Since these companies want our money, they should be regulated in pay, if they can't deal with it well let them fail. ( which by the way is still my feeling)
    So yes the President speaks for the taxpayers ( us peons) and most of us agree with him.
    Thanks for letting me vent.
    Ines
    in Erie, Co

    February 4, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  177. Randy-Seward, Alaska

    Absolutely. Also, dictate lending policies and subsidize lower interest rates perhaps even nationalize a bank or two, encouraging other banks to lend at similar competitive rates inorder to stimulate lending and housing automobile markets. This hopefully will also increase the business going hurting banks and encourage those banks which have received government money already to lend also.

    February 4, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  178. JAD

    DEFINITELY! Want BAILOUT $$$, REDUCE YOUR EXPENSES!!!

    February 4, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  179. Lance Wade

    Don't limit executive pay – link it to the compensation of "regular" employees i.e. 25x the pay of your lowest paid full-time employee. And don't limit to TARP-receiving companies – extend it to ALL publicly traded US corporations since they all seem to be eligible for tax-payer money. Privately held companies could do whatever they want except receive gov't money. You wouldn't need unions since executives would have an incentive to give pay raises. By the way, the idea that we need to pay obscene amounts of money to keep our best talent is bogus; wasn't it our "best & brightest" executives that created this mess?

    February 4, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  180. Jerry - Toronto, Canada

    No one should even have to ask this question Jack. Any responsible CEO would limit or cut off bonuses or take a pay cut when times are hard. You lead by example. The problem is most CEO are not responsible, at least not on this continent. Their work ethic is get as much as you can before the company gets rid of you.

    So to answer your question Jack, yes, someone needs to step in and mind the store when taxpayer money is involved. These so called high and mighty Wall Street fat cats proved they couldn’t, or wouldn’t do it.

    February 4, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  181. Jr in CA

    How about this? If don't want the gov't in your business, then earn your salary and get yourself and your company out of the ditch! How dare they ask the gov't for money and then get upset because they are irresponsible with it. if they were so bright and talented to begin with, how did they allow this to happen to them in the first place? Don't take Gov't money! Bush let these guys run wild for 8 yrs, fyi- there's a new sheriff in town!

    February 4, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  182. Sue -Idaho

    Absolutely Jack, it's kind of like your teenager borrowing the car, running it out of gas, then leaving it on the side of the road instead of filling the tank. He's responsible for it but simply wants someone else to pay! These people made the mess but want us to clean it up, all the while they think they can go on living the same way they always have!

    February 4, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  183. Joe in DE

    If the government provides bailout money, it should control salaries & bonuses.

    Executives vote themselves these goodie. It needs control. Salaries, bunuses, goldenparachutes, etc over one million shoud rquire 85a5 approval by stockholders.

    US executives salaries are a much greater multiple of the average worker than any other country.

    February 4, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  184. Hollie Bust

    I can't believe that we even need to ask this question. Of course they should! It's OUR money!

    February 4, 2009 at 6:11 pm |
  185. Van Simms

    Hell Yes!!

    February 4, 2009 at 6:11 pm |
  186. Mina, Reston VA

    Absolutely! If the Gov't is handing out money to these companies, a little governance would be great! Why not cap it? Why not be accountable?

    I'd even say those executives who come to DC asking for money, they should resign! Any and all good executive should have 2nd in command groomed to take over, why not?!?

    February 4, 2009 at 6:11 pm |
  187. Kirill Safin

    Jack, they definitely should not. I totally agree that something should be done with those greedy CEO's, but turning to socialism and taking over our free enterprise where the government controls the salaries is not the answer. I hope that the Government does not get so addicted to this as to not stop this and give back the management of salaries after the economy is fixed.

    February 4, 2009 at 6:11 pm |
  188. Mark Gillis

    Damn right they should Jack. Don't give us this crap about how this seems like socialism to you. We have already crossed that bridge. When the state has to bail out major financial institutions, we already are in a mixed system, so policing how they use OUR money (not theirs) is perfectly logical and justifiable.

    February 4, 2009 at 6:11 pm |
  189. spinns

    jack yes when there taking money from my taxes i pay.

    February 4, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  190. Mike Neil

    The fact that they are asking for bailout money shows that someone has not been doing their job. When we go to get a loan certain things are required of us. What is good for the goose is good for the gander.

    February 4, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  191. Chris Dumas

    Yes. A clear and resounding "yes". Just in case someone is not understanding me......."absolutely." This is not socialism. It is requiring a certain amount of ethics when my tax money is being used in the private sector. This is not even close to socialism....it is just common sense. The answer is "yes"!

    Chris

    February 4, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  192. John Gale

    Yes. If I, in the form of my government, am providing a large amount of capital to keep them afloat that makes ME a shareholder, probably a majority shareholder, and as such I should have a say in the amount of compensation given to executives. If I had my way they would all be fired and new blood brought in.

    February 4, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  193. Betty

    If the companies are getting tax payer bailout money- then yes, there should be caps and limits. A $500,000 a year salary cap is not in any way unreasonable when people are losing thier homes!!

    Betty from Florida

    February 4, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  194. Helen

    Jack:
    Free enterprise does not include the government picking up the pieces and putting a company back together on the taxpayers' backs. If companies choose to be bailed out by the government, they should be required to follow the standards set by the government. End of discussion!

    February 4, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  195. newhart

    Old zen proverb: Who's bread I eat, his song I sing."

    The US government is an investor. As any venture capitalist will tell you, it has a right to demand anything it wants to protect its investment. The company has the right to refuse the investment.

    February 4, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  196. june

    as long as taxpayers are doing the bailing out, absolutely ! i don't see it as socialism, if they didn't have to come to the well we wouldn't be able to tell them how much they can drink. no bail out money needed? then let the ceo's decide for themselves how much they get. just like the one's who now need bailed out.

    February 4, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  197. Leon (Maryland)

    Jack,
    To me its very simple, the CEO's should ask themselves would they rather save their banks and earn half a million dollars for a few years, which is more than enough to survive these economic times or let their greed drive them and their banks into bankruptcy and unemployment. It should be a no brainer.

    February 4, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  198. pam ranoan

    absolutely–these are extraordinary times. It is absolutely unconscionable that a ceo would think it okay to take a huge salary and bonus financed by taxpayer dollars. Once the money is all paid back, they can continue to pay themselves whatever the company will allow, but not when taxpayers are bailing them out.

    February 4, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  199. Gail McCormick

    What a stupid question. Of course it should! And if there's any way to get back excess money already paid out, we should do that too.

    February 4, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  200. Richy

    Absolutely!!

    February 4, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  201. Jeff calif

    YES.....throw away my tax money........I dont think so!

    February 4, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  202. Shelley

    Under normal circumstances, no. But these aren't normal circumstances. If the government lends them the money, then the government has every right to expect them (and direct them) to NOT spend it on themselves.

    I can't believe how clueless these people are!

    Shelley
    UT

    February 4, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  203. Will in Virginia

    Jac,
    Wall street is dictating our compensation as we speak. In my case, that compensation is currently – zero!

    February 4, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  204. George Kozykowski Jr.

    Yes, if we are bailing out companies then I feel that that there should be some conscious instilled upon the responsible people who placed the company in that position. If that sense of right or wrong has to be brought about by government then so be it.

    February 4, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  205. MaryAnn Johnston

    Jack

    Personally, I don't care how much or how little these executives are paid, but if I am going to be expected to help pay them, then just like other people working for me as 'quasi' employees I I want actual economy and some real bang for MY buck.. They have a choice comply, go under or sign up for unemployment. Same choices other Americans have had for quite awhile.

    MaryAnn, NY

    February 4, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  206. Scott

    Definitely!!! Jack, they came to the government of the people for bailout money. It is coming from our pockets and we don't want them using that money frivilously. In addition, I think that they should freeze other management income until the money is paid off.

    February 4, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  207. Beverly Kaltnecker

    Should government limit executive pay? Absolutely! But the company will find a way around this limit to compensate; such as bonuses, perks, etc. Who do you think they're fooling?

    February 4, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  208. Jack

    Absolutely! If they didn't take govt money, then they can earn as much as they can get. If they need my money, they have to prove they have earned it. So far, if they need the govt money, it means they have managed their company poorly and dont' deserve the big bucks.

    February 4, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  209. MARK

    Yes, we should limit them if they are using tax payers money. When you had to borrow money from your dad it always came with a stipulation. When they are operating on their own money they can throw it away any way they want.

    February 4, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  210. Chip LeDuff from Nacogdoches, TX

    Absolutely!! If the company asks the government to bail them out of a financial mess, then the government should be able to regulate the terms of that transaction. The company can take it or leave. Banks put stipulations on the loans that regular Americans take out, and we can take it or leave it. If those executives are struggling on $500,000 a year, then maybe they should re-evaluate their companies and their lifestyles.

    February 4, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  211. Suzanne Milstead

    It is ridiculous to think that my taxpayer money should go to a company that is in financial trouble and turn around and give the CEO and others bonuses! We reward CEO's for doing a bad job? If that happened to me in my job, I would be fired!

    February 4, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  212. Othman

    Absolutely, this plan will make executives work harder to keep their companies successful and avoid having their salaries cut if the government bails them out.

    Othman,
    Mankato, MN

    February 4, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  213. Wayne Pressler

    You say limiting executive pay sound like socialism, It sounds like fairness to me.

    February 4, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  214. Tim Spires

    Executives who are concerned with the success of their firm as a priority have and will take pay reductions and even forgo compensation at all during challenging times. If a firm needs extensive Federal assistance then executives at those firms should behave accordingly; if they do not, then the Government should have the right to step in.

    February 4, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  215. J. A. Milam

    Jack,
    Poor judgement of the management of these companies is part of the reason our economy is in the shape it's in. Good management should be compensated accordingly, but there was obviously NO good management taking place. Why should we as taxpayers reward poor management? When they don't need our money any more, they don't have to abide by our rules.
    J A. Milam

    February 4, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  216. Joe

    Only when they take money from tax payers. These CEO don't care about the people. Right out in the open they gave themself billions.

    February 4, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  217. Karen

    Hi Jack,
    I don't know about you but I'm sick to death of these CEO's that think anything goes with OUR money. Yes, I think there should most definately be limits if we have to bail them out. I would even go a step further and insist that the CEO's be replaced. When is it enough? We, the little guys, are constantly paying for the arrogance of people like this. I would not call this socialism as it does not pertain to all. Someone in this country needs to get a grip that's for sure.

    Karen

    February 4, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  218. Yonkers, Rob

    Of course the President Obama should place a level executive pay, if their company excepts gov't money. And eliminate bonuses, for failing compnaies.

    The president needs to think like Andrew Cuomo. “ ‘Performance bonus’ for many of the C.E.O.’s is an oxymoron,” he said. “I would tell them, a) you don’t deserve a bonus, b) where are you going to go? and c) if you want to go, go.”

    February 4, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  219. Yaounde Africa

    Hell yes.....greedy bastards. If they don't like the guidelines, don't take the bailout money

    February 4, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  220. shirmeen

    As long as we are bailing out these greedy companies, absolutely yes, we should have a say how much these losers get paid. It is high time something is being done about this.

    February 4, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  221. Kelly Mazza

    Damn straight it should. It's taxpayer money bailing them out. That makes the taxpayer the ultimate entrepreneur. As I understand the free entereprise system, them that puts up the money gets to say how it's spent. It's our money they're getting, so we should set how much goes to compensating top execs. And based on the current situation, these guys are worth a lot less than they're getting.

    February 4, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  222. jeff k. lee ma.

    yes if they have to ask the government for money it is,'nt free enterprise anyway

    February 4, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  223. Scott

    Yes they should. when the rest of the country is taking a hit we cant give them our money so they can make sure there not taking a hit. I say its about time, by the way $500,000 dont sound like a there suffering anyway

    February 4, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  224. Sara Volk

    Yes, and I would be delighted to sacrifice and work for that ridiculously low sum. Until I get a call I will continue to work my two, 12-dollars-an-hour jobs. Really Jack, you can send them my e-mail address.

    February 4, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  225. sandra gerhard

    ABSOLUTELY– I live on less than 30,000 a year so I'd be thrilled to get half a million. If they want our tax dollars there should be lots of limits on what they can do with it and by the way he is "PRESIDENT OBAMA" not Mr. Obama.

    Sandy Dunnellon, Florida.

    February 4, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  226. C K C laybrook

    Yes. Yes, Yes executive pay should be capped. Loan limitations and restrictions are common in the business world. Restricted retained earnings and stock are common in audited financial statements. Receiving taxpayer bailouts should not be a free ride for large business, because individual taxpayers do not receive a free ride when their homes are foreclosed.

    February 4, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  227. Margaret Ritsch

    Absolutely, the government should cap executive pay because taxpayers are footing the bill for companies' bail-outs. This is not socialism - it is responsible capitalism.

    February 4, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  228. william -portales nm

    i'm against the whole idea that taxpayers money is being given to these greedy bums. but i'm not really bieng represented that well in congress. so i say limit thier pay...that having been said. i'm sure between the government, and big business...they'll waste that money somehow. it is after all what they do best.

    February 4, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  229. Gina

    Absolutely their pay should be capped IF THEY'RE RECEIVING GOVERNMENT FUNDS!!

    If my hard-earned tax dollars are not bailing out these executives, then the government has no business capping their compensation. This cap only applies to companies receiving federal funds.

    If the execs think $500,000 isn't worth their time, I'll take one of their jobs. For $500,000, I can do just as good of a job running the economy into the ground as they can.

    For me, it would be one hell of a pay raise. I might even get health insurance again–which neither of my two jobs will provide for me.

    February 4, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  230. R,J, SEABY

    Yes, companies like Citi Group and AIG who have taken billions of tax payer dollars to stay afloat must now play by a new set of rules. These same new rules that now require many state, city and county employees to take days off each month with no pay must also require CEO's and other top executives who took bail out money to make proportionate sacrifices. What is good for Main street is also good for Wall street.

    February 4, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  231. Carlton Colquitt

    Yes there should be this cap. And there should be retroactive action to apply the same cap to companies that received bailouts and then gave away much of it to undeserving executives. In fact, the guys who created this mess should have all been fired long ago. Is this socialism, Jack? You do have a way of asking provocative questions. The answer is, no it is not. It is common sense. Throughout history, guys who are in business to make money often get greedy. This is just about greed. "Socialism" is a red herring–a knee-jerk reaction that misses the point entirely.

    February 4, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  232. Chris from Los Angeles

    Yes. Most of these businesses wouldn't exist any longer if it weren't for the US government - any private equity placement would have placed even greater restrictions on these companies - the CEOs - still in thier jobs - are lucky to be getting off that easily.

    February 4, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  233. Bob

    HELLO SOCIALISM! Why should I go to school then work hard to reach the top when the government will dictate how much I make? I will drop out of school,let the government put money in my pocket, and leach off the others who work hard. This is a great country! Thank you democrats!

    February 4, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  234. Mark F

    It's not socialism, Jack. Not even close. But when big corporations start using taxpayer money to get themselves out of the trouble they got their overpaid selves into, it ain't free enterprise anymore either. We're not forcing them to take the money, Jack. They've come begging for it. Fine–let 'em borrow the money. But let 'em live on a paltry half a million a year until they've paid back the loan. It's not socialism, Jack. It's just common sense. And it's a far better deal than most of those jokers deserve.

    February 4, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  235. william

    yes,This is not socialism the key words are companies that except bailouts 9if they are taking tax payers money they work for the taxpayers we should be able to say how much we will pay just like ant other employer.Socialism doesn't enter into it nobody's saying the government should dictate pay at all companies but if they take taxpayer money yes

    February 4, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  236. Tom Capshew

    So it sounds like socialism when we limit executive pay, but it doesn't sound like socialism when we use taxpayer's money to bail out private businesses? Come on Cafferty, you cannot have it both ways. If it is our money, we can put whatever conditions we want to protect us from people who have proven they have little concern for the average American.

    February 4, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  237. Jessica Pita

    Of course the govt. should cap how much these executives make- when they are being bailed out anyhow. It would be an entirely different story if the government were trying to dictate pay for no reason or intervene without being invited. However these companies are begging for the government to get involved, therefore they must follow -our- rules. They should humbly accept the $500,000 cap, most of us would be hitting the ceiling with joy for that kind of money. I'll take the job.

    February 4, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  238. Stephanie

    Isn't there a limit on how much money one can earn if they are drawing a social security check? So why is it such a problem to cap the amount an executive can make if that money is also comming from the government?

    February 4, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  239. Mike

    Executive compensation for the companies should be equal to the unemployment benefits of the people they lay off.

    February 4, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  240. Doris

    Yes, if companies will not voluntarily impose some kind of meaningful coorelation between compensation and results, the government should do so before giving the company taxpayer dollars.

    Otherwise, how does the government meet its responsibility to taxpayers to keep bank & corporate bailouts from being nothing more than a transfer of wealth from the taxpayer to the rich individual?

    Jack thank you for being there for us.

    Doris
    Salem, Oregon

    February 4, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  241. M. Napthine

    Yes. Once the loan is paid back, companies can do as they wish. Until then, we taxpayers should know what "they" are doing with OUR money.

    February 4, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  242. wanda

    I believe anyone who takes bailout Money should be limited to $ they earn, I'm unemployed and making no $, when I was working I didn't get great big bonuses and was paid an hourly wage, these ass h-s
    should have to put in hrs they work and get paid accordingly. No big parties and vacations either

    February 4, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  243. P.Cook

    I fail to see what the problem is. If these businesses can float their own boats, they are free to do so. Should they, however, fail or prove to be incapable of floating their own boats; and they choose to solve the problem by asking me (the average taxpayer) to do it for them; THEN in that case, HELL YES, I have a very large say in how their business is conducted. Should they find that too difficult to swallow; that's OK too. I feel certain they will rise to the occasion in their sinking little boats!!!!!!

    February 4, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  244. Joan Cassidy

    Its real simple, if they don't want to cut executive salaries, don't take the bail out money from the taxpayers. Go borrow it from somebody else. The gov't doesn't want to be bailing out all these so-called smart people, they asked for it.

    February 4, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  245. Greg , San Berdo

    Just smoke and mirrors. There are loop holes in the so called policy. Its nothing but lip service.. What do you expect from a chi-town politician, and a New York tax evader.

    Greg
    xchi-town native

    February 4, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  246. Theo Koster

    Since a manager in need of a bailout proved to contribute less to his company than its janitor, I suggest the cap to be a janitor's wage or 500K, whichever comes first.

    February 4, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  247. Richard Fitzhugh - Hartsdale NY 10530

    Yes their salaries should be limited. Further, if these executives had an ounce of fairness in them they would have already returned a portion of their salaries to stockholders who have been left holding the empty bag.
    Also I bet there are a lot of better qualified business people available for less than half a million who could do a better job than they have done.

    February 4, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  248. Fred

    YES! YES! YES! 500,000 TIMES. If they what our money, otherwise let them go find another job. With the high unemployment I'm sure the banks & other firms looking for our money can find replacements. If these executives can't do the job they should NOT get the money. Especially when it's OUR MONEY!

    February 4, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  249. Mack Ward

    Jack,

    I listen to your segment regularly and enjoy it....most of the time. Two comments:

    1. First, the way you presented this question on air was completely out of context...you forgot to add the fact that these companies have received taxpayer funds. Lets be a little clearer next time please.
    2. I absolutely agree that the government should dictate salaries, and just about anything else in those companies that TAKE FUNDS FROM THE GOVERNMENT TROUGH! If a company does not want government interference in their affairs then they should make it on their own. Lets not come with hand out then expect to expend funds however desired, i.e., executive washroom rennovation. Lastly, this provision should somehow be extended to those companies who were first at the trough ala the first TARP handout!!

    M. Ward

    February 4, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  250. Mills

    YES!!YES!!YES!!!

    When you Pay the U.S. back, then you can do with your money as you please!!!!

    Theytook My TAX $$$$ Money They became subject to the Voice of the PEOPLE!!!!!
    My President Represents The People!!!

    February 4, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  251. Will Rogers

    Long live Free "MARKET" Capitalism!!
    Free Enterprise is what SHOULD be regulated within those Markets.

    Corporations should need us more than we need them, That role is achieved by US giving THEM limited rules in which they must operate!!

    And we need a STRONG Un-compromised Government to do that!!!

    That too was the "Gist" of Eisenhower's Warning, who did not live in a time of consolidated Corporate power, he only saw the first of what he knew was becoming too powerful, The Industrial Complex that fed the military and made its fortunes by gaining and currying favor to attain that next contract from Government.

    February 4, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  252. Robert Simmons Jr.

    Why not, if I am going to help pay their bills, why shouldn't I know how they are wasting the money I am giving them. If I go to the bank for a loan they want to know what I spend my money on and owe out,and my income. I see know problem with this, whats good for the goose is good for the gander.

    Thanks Bob

    February 4, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  253. Carol Gardiner

    If you are doing such a poor job as CEO, etc., to the point that you have to have billions of dollars given to you to keep your company going, you deserve to either lose your job or reduce your pay substantially. No public investor would loan that kind of money without having a secured return or a position in decisions regarding the operation of the company... the government has a right to make decisions when giving that kind of assistance. I don't see this as socialism.

    February 4, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  254. Steve Osborn

    Aw c'mon Jack......you've resorted to a bit of distortion here like some of the other media....I've come to expect more of you! The government is not telling companies what to pay.....they are free to not accept bailout monay and pay what they want. If they want to use our money for a bailout..........hey, we got rules....take it or leave it!

    February 4, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  255. srs0910

    Absolutely. Why should we continue to give them money without any strings? They've proved themselves to be completey irresponsible with our money. I think it's entirely appropriate and necessary for Pres. Obama to put in these stipulations. If these companies don't think they can comply with these rules, they don't have to take the money.

    February 4, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  256. Rob

    Hell yes, we've had businesses take TARP funds to help keep them operating, and able to keep people employed turn around and lay off thousands immediately after receiving funds. When the ship goes down, its the captain that stayed behind to make sure that everyone was off – The Captain going down with the ship doesn't isn't supposed to mean having a luxury lifeboat.

    Take a page from Lee Ioaccoa. But just like the cars – they don't build 'em like that anymore!

    February 4, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  257. Amy; Rome, NY

    Hey, if they feel as though they need money from the govenment, then the government has a right to limit these companies that are out for themselves! Remember it is us as consumers that rely on these companies for the service they offer. If we as Americans can not afford to use their services because they are using our money to pay millions of dollars to the VP's and CEO's they will be right where they need to be SHUT DOWN~CLOSED~BYE BYE!!!!

    February 4, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  258. CLC in TN

    When my daughter's come to me needing money I feel I need to teach them a lesson and protect my investment. They came to us saying they needed the money. What is wrong with placing restrictions on OUR money. For many of these companies it seems that all we did was loan them money to pay these bonuses. If they would forego the bonuses they would be better off.

    February 4, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  259. nlady

    Of course since they are begging for tax payer money. Maybe that will make them think twice about asking for a bail out.

    February 4, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  260. Gail Clark

    Absolutely! If the executives who promised investors a profit, then put the company in bankruptcy so that the taxpayers have to bail them out and lost all the investors money by bad decisions and squander, then yes, they should be restricted. Bad business should not be applauded or condoned.

    February 4, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  261. Gary in S.C.

    Yes, and base their bonus on it too. If their company drops 25%, their bonus is -( minus) 25%. If your company grows and after you pay Us
    back your bonus can grow.

    February 4, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  262. Marty (Las Vegas)

    When the company is receiving federal bailout money there's only one word to answer this question: ABSOLUTELY!

    February 4, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  263. Joe Ternes

    normally no, but the rules have changed. When they are in the situation that they are...perhaps partly by insane wages for everyone downstream and the people have to bail them out of course. They either accept that or watch the company go under and then they are paid what? Total Arrogance and greed at an almost unbelievable level. If found out that they have breeched this aggreement they should be charged with theft and sent to jail.

    Joe Ternes Calgary

    February 4, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  264. Shervin

    Absolutely! Our CEO's make much higher salaries than their counterparts anywhere else in the world especially relative to their employees. If it works for Britain, France and Japan, why not give it a try?

    Furthermore, government regulates tens of thousands of things from speed limit to taxes to how we behave and dress in public places, etc. Why not regulate the top 0.1% of the population from padding each other's wallets?

    February 4, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  265. Dave in TX

    Jack,

    How long should we let the old pattern continue? The Republicans make their group money, then crash the economy as they go out of power. Since they are the only ones left with money, they proceed to buy up all the foreclosed prioperties at firesale prices, funded by low interest loans. which they support for themselves.

    For things to change we are going to have to lean a little more left, like it or not..... Get with the program, Man!

    February 4, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  266. Dustin Browne

    Limit it, you bet. The government is not getting into their business, just having a say with can be done with the tax payer money – I have no problem with that. Indeed, these execs rank right around the common thieves in the prisons – if you give one of the inmates cash to rebuild their life, you'd better keep an eye on it. These execs are pond sucking scum of the capitalist system; my advice is don't trust them an inch without a strong leash.

    DB

    February 4, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  267. John

    Jack,

    When companies accept public monies they stop being private enterprise. They have a responsibility to the public. When welfare recipients accept public moneys, they have to follow the expectations of their case manager such as apply for a certain amount of jobs per week. These companies are really not that much different.

    John
    Upstate NY

    February 4, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  268. scott

    Most definately . They screwed up and lost emence sums of money. I would vote to fire the bunch so they should be greatful to get that much and it would only improve things if they were made to do community service on top of that. Say work for 7-11on weekends.

    February 4, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  269. Elaine Robertson

    AB -SO-LUTE-LY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WHO AMONG US HAS EVER GOTTEN A LOT OF SOMETHING FOR NOTHING? THE PAST 8 YEARS HAS CLEARLY SHOWN US THAT UNBRIDLED CAPITALISM SIMPLY DOESN'T WORK. RIGHT!!??

    February 4, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  270. Chris Edgar

    Socialism? If I go to a bank to borrow money, they tell me the rules and regulations and what I have to do and pay to get the loan, including insurance, repairs, etc. I can say 'no' and not get the loan...and so can the bailout recipients. What's wrong with making the banks abide by their own standards in order to get a loan? Furthermore, what's wrong with making them abide by OUR standards...since it's OUR money? Calling it socialism is just putting a name with negative connoatations on it. They called it free enterprise when they were loaning the money to us...I call it free enterprise when I am loaning money to them

    February 4, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  271. Joel Pelletier

    Absolutely! When a company fails and needs tax payer money to bail them out. They then work for us. It's not socialism, it's accountability to the people paying their salaries and propping them up. If they want the American taxpayers' money to keep their business afloat then they need to play by our rules. The President isn't proposing a pay cap on all companies, just those that need our money to bail them out. That seems more than fair to me! Afterall, if these execs deserve so much money why did they need our help in the first place?

    February 4, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  272. Theresa Kinsey

    Oh hell yes. And it should be retroactive.

    And how many other elected and appointed officials owe federal tax? That might be a rich vein to tap.

    Lake City, FL (where it's NOT warm!).

    February 4, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  273. Gini R

    Yes, it should as long as they are giving a loan to them.
    Today filing taxes, its askes if I wanted to contribute 3bucks to the presidential campaign. I said NO I can buy 3 loaves of bread for 3dollars instead of the government using it to buy a 50million corporate jet. I am hungy, cant find a job, worked for the airlines for 35 years and got 20 years retirement instead of 35. Too many golden parachutes were given and still being supported by people out of touch with their tax payers. Check where all the former airline Golden Parachute recipients are now. Thank you!

    February 4, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  274. Varun S

    Yes, if a company cannot survive on its own merit and receives a bailout (state owned) then it should not spend the govt money on what made it sick NAMELY executive pay and bonuses that are uncalled for! These are sick industries and need to be helped to recover not by paying hefty salaries but by helping them with working capital. These industries cut workforce but on the other hand make acquisitions and talk about synergies! Come on man, get real and take restrictive shares!

    I used to be a CEO so I know what I am talking about!

    February 4, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  275. Ronald

    Absolutely! If these guys are so worried about free enterprise, then they should not be asking for government money. These guys are now working for us and we're now in charge of payroll. Take your measley $500,000.00 and shut up!

    February 4, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  276. Patty

    Yes, the government has the right to cap executive pay as part of the price paid for the federal bail out. If the companies don’t want to cap the executive pay, let the company go under. There are plenty of talented people out of work right now that would gladly work with the cap limits. The Wall Street bonuses have been obscene. I am sick of seeing people that ruin other people’s lives get rewarded. I am also sick of seeing white collar crime get lenient punishment when their crime causes so much misery from people who have been wiped out by their greed.

    February 4, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  277. Kelli from Tampa

    I do not have a degree in economics, but if no one has the money to buy cars why did we do a bailout a few months ago for the Big 3? This is what I have been screaming about this whole time. WASTED money.
    There are bad, greedy people in Wall Street and YES there needs to be a cap on exec. pay....it is my money and if I am going to fork over my cash...I should have a say in how much they make. I mean after all the government does that to poor people. The rich and greedy should not be exempt.

    February 4, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  278. Shelley

    Boy, I wish someone would punish me with a $500K salary.

    Shelley, UT

    February 4, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  279. Mandy

    Jack, I didn't support the bailout in the first place. I believe in Economic Darwinism. At this point we should just let them sink or swim. No CEO Pay limits, no more bailouts! It's time to cut the apron strings of Big Brother. Time to sink or swim. If the banks know that their being weaned they will most likely get their act together.

    February 4, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  280. Evelyn Hill

    If I write the check, I say how much. I fire people that dont do good work for me. They certainly dont get a bonus. I'm glad to see that we finally have a president that cares for the little folks.
    Long live President Obama.

    February 4, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  281. 56Thunderbyrd

    Screw the executives and their pay. Outsource their jobs. It's what gave them the profits to gamble away.

    February 4, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  282. Rebel Kreklow

    You bet your a**. They created the situation and seem to be in no hurry to mend it as long as money continues rolling into their bank accounts. It could be worse. How about NO pay for the next five years, or like some contracts, they have to pay a fine of say $10,000 a day for every day they can't turn their companies around.

    February 4, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  283. Grace, New York

    YES!! Go get em Mr. President!!! I work in corporate American and I see the excess.

    February 4, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  284. ann

    Dear Jack–
    Hell, yes, Jack! Who else is going to parent the errant corporations? When corporate America begins to act in an adult manner, and when we the people have been repaid with interest, then we could revisit the issue.

    February 4, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  285. Gabe K

    It's only socialism when everyone's pay is decided by government officials. It's completely fair to restrict compensation for top executives that have basically run their companies into the ground and now have to beg for money from taxpayers. It's only right that the taxpayers who have to foot the bill to fix these problems should have somebody looking out for them.

    February 4, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  286. Teddy Wilson

    President Obama is not telling companies to limit pay to their executives if they are the ones paying for it but if they want to pay for it with the people's money they have to deal with the restrictions.

    February 4, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  287. Alan Rubin in Atlanta

    Why not! I am sick and tired of my tax dollars being wasted on these yahoo's, while I loose money on my investments because of their bungling. The brokerage houses claim these CEO's will leave for another job elsewhere and the brokerage houses will loose talented people. The CEO's are certainly talented when it comes to making money for themselves, but not when it comes to the investors they are suppose to represent. If the CEO's don't like it, let them move to Russia, China or Afghanistan. I won't miss them.

    February 4, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  288. Brandon Burtner

    Absolutely they should. No matter where the money comes from, no human being is entitled to take so much that the rest of us are in need. The problem with the economy is not that there isn't enough to go around, it's that the greedy heads of industry are taking 100 times their share. We're all starving while they gorge themselves.

    February 4, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  289. Jay Ballou

    No, capping salaries doesn't sound anything like socialism, and those who say so are ignorant, stupid ... and hypocritical, when the caps are *conditions of receiving taxpayer money*. And it's even more stupid to say "we either have a free enterprise system or we don't", as if capping salaries within a free enterprise system resulted in some logical impossibility. What we, and most societies, have is a mixed economic system that contains various mechanisms including both markets and regulation. Sheesh.

    February 4, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  290. Dorothy

    Since banks are using taxpayer money for the bailout, why not allow taxpayers to vote on executive compensation packages? Taxpayers are essentially their new shareholders. I am sure that the $500,000 allowed in Obama's plan would look like a windfall next to the compensation allowed by the U.S. taxpayers.

    February 4, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  291. Pat

    Yes. If my tax money goes to bail out a company, I want some control over how that money is spent. The private company I worked for for 34 years, could increase or decrease or withhold pay increases at will. They could eliminate jobs, as they did mine and thousands of others–all while paying the top execs extravagant wages, sending them on junkets, but that was with money the company earned. It is NOT socialism. They can return the money and go back to paying the big boys however much they want.

    February 4, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  292. Tim

    I don't think a company that can afford to pay executives more than $500,000 – needs assistance. Either they are in trouble or not. If they are in trouble, we should cap the amount they get paid.

    February 4, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  293. jill

    Yes Jack, if a company goes to the goverment for a bailout that means they are broke , if they are in deed broke then they should be taking pay cuts to keep their company afloat.

    February 4, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  294. Shirley Bunting

    Yes, as long as they are using my money.

    February 4, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  295. Ed Gadberry

    Yes, because in using taxpayers dollars to stay in business the stockholders are the U.S. citizens and the the government, i.e the Secretary of Treasury, is the ruling board member representing the U.S. taxpayers.

    February 4, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  296. Sharon Tveskov

    from New Haven, Connecticut

    Absolutely! If these guys want taxpayer money, then the taxpayers' Representatives should decide what they can do with this money. I don't buy the argument that they will lose "Good People". In fact, if these guys quit it will make way for younger, brighter people who need jobs and would be happy with $500,000 and who would probably have some fresh ideas on how to fix things!

    February 4, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  297. Carol Kaplita

    Any company that borrows money from the Government should be transparent. The CEO should not make more than a certain amount and everything they spend should have accountability. I heard your comments this evening. You always tell a very biased story.

    February 4, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  298. Bob, Old Lyme CT

    100% yes. If my money is going to bail out the compary they ran into the ground then there is no way they should be getting millions for that. When my company went south and wasn't making money I certainly didn't get a pay raise or a paycheck at all for that matter. As I see it they are lucky they have a job just like the rest of us. If I did that bad of a job I would get fired!!!

    February 4, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  299. Dawn, Portland OR

    Absolutely, Jack! You didn't see these financial wizards crying socialism when they were gorging at the public trough without any restraints, but they are throwing a tantrum now that they have to be accountable to the source of their bailout boon. Banks have always required loan recipients to behave responsibly; I say it is about time they had to do the same.

    February 4, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  300. Leslie Allen

    I believe it's a stretch to call President Obama's plans Socialist. The terms he's setting forth would only be in effect until the loans are repaid. To me it sounds like a logical kind of contract. We're expecting reasonable actions in return for our taxpayer dollars.

    February 4, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  301. Venkat Krishnan

    Absolutely!!!! Not only for companies receiving bailout money but also
    a similar regulation should be put to work in all publicly traded company.
    The cartel that manages these executive compensations should be destroyed. Compensation consultants tango with executives and board members. They should never be allowed to work with conflicting interests – I mean by that, higher compensation they suggest higher the income of the Compensation consultant.

    February 4, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  302. Bill

    I believe the cap is appropriate. As a strong believer in free markets, I am disgusted by the financial industry's liberal use to of the U.S. government as a lender of last resort.

    I strongly believe that part of the problem with our society ranging from individuals to multinationals is that the government will always be there to clean up their mess.

    By capping pay to executives, the government sends them a strong message that there are consequences for 'dropping the ball'. These institutions took huge risks for the sake of short-term profit. The blatant disregard for assessing risk and managing risk means that those who actually run the companies that affect our society should be held accountable.

    To that end, most american's should realize that many of the bonus's distributed on Wall St. were to traders, brokers and other commercial money-makers who are paid on revenue they generate. Therefore, those who performed will get paid. On the flip side, those who are to manage these revenue-generators will suffer the consequences for not meeting their fiduciary responsibilities and forcing their institutions to borrow from the U.S. Government.

    February 4, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  303. Paula

    I think if the government has to step in and bail them out, then we should own a share of the company, in which case we should have a say in how the company is run and how much greedy executives are paid. The multiple bail outs are only helping the greedy avoid losing their jobs and their money, while their mistakes have cost the rest of us billions, if not trillions by the time this is over. While I don't support socialism, clearly democracy isn't working for us either so perhaps a hybrid of both might help.

    February 4, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  304. christine lively

    I am teacher in the state of NC. My salary is set by the state government. I don't feel that is particularly fair, but that's the way it is. So I say a resounding yes to the government cap. Welcome to the real world. By the way this situation involves salary amounts that I won't reach in a life time of service in the teaching field. Go get 'em!

    February 4, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  305. Roxsy

    Most certainly,especially in this time where they are taking poor tax payers money to live like royal Kings

    February 4, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  306. Stanley

    Yes, and it should be retro active to AIG and others.

    February 4, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  307. darin latimer

    This is not socialism. Welfare recipients are subject to meeting a criteria before they can receive benefits. Companies seeking Gov't bailout dollars are Welfare Recipients – not successful entrepreneurs. If they want to pay whatever they wish – they can. All they have to do is Succeed and not take bailout money.

    After years of wondering why Tarring and Feathering hasn't had a big comeback as the jaw-dropping reports of $10 thousand dollar shower curtains and multi-billion dollar severance packages for executives who by any possible definition FAILED, I think maybe 500K is a little too generous.

    February 4, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  308. Mick B.

    Obama did not say he is trying to dictate what CEO's salaries should be, as you claimed on your segemant. He stated he planned to do so ONLY IN CONNECTION WITH COMPANIES GETTING TAXPAYER BAIL OUT MONEY. Take a break from the wittering on about socialism and try to get the facts correct in your reporting please. When you pay someone's wages you are entitled to decide how much they should get in the first place. It's not rocket science.

    February 4, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  309. Kevin Curry

    I feel the current cap number is too high, it should be half of that. How does helping these CEO's maintain a million dollar salaries get the economy back on track ?

    February 4, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  310. roy Hunter

    Jack: I believe we should put some restrictions on how our tax dollars are used including compensation to executives. It would be nice if we could trust them to use good judgement but I am not there right now. Also I think it would be appropriate if you addressed the President as President rather than "Obama".

    February 4, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  311. jeff ware

    It is not socialism when the institution providing a loan (in this case the government) requires that the company receiving the loan adhere to certain guidelines for compensation and other operating issues. This happens in the commercial world all of the time.

    February 4, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  312. Elaine

    Jack.....Why is it so obvious to me that these executives border on criminal activity......If thats all they have to deal with is pay for performance they should be thanking thier lucky stars.....as for me I would throw them in jail !!!!!

    February 4, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  313. Matt

    Love ya, Jack. Yes, and more should be done. The outrageous sequestration of wealth in this country is accomplished largely by cheating and insider dealing. Bogus research reports, moving markets through hedge funds, etc etc. For some reason, we choose to ignore the lessons regarding Wall St that the dot.com fiasco should have taught us. These folks lie to make money. If you can't stop them from lying, limit how much they can make by doing it.

    February 4, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  314. M.A. Hughes

    You betcha! If you don't want that small (!) a salary, don't ask for government money.
    Simple.
    Wouldn't it be good to get back to the days when the firm you headed up failed, you failed. Nowadays, you get a parting bonus worth more than the business you just trashed.
    We need to get back to reality in the CEO offices.
    Only when you run the business well will you do well.

    February 4, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  315. dfortruth

    Yes Jack, the banks can takeaway houses from those who borrowed money from them, and then fell on hard times, than they could lose their bonus also.

    February 4, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  316. Calla

    Dear Jack,
    Wall Street execs salaries absolutely should be limited. Maybe limited to ZERO until the companies have paid back all the money borrowed. Exec salaries began ballooning upward in the 1980s totally unrelated to the productivity of top management. Tax the daylights out of them or cap salaries of these members of the old Jack Acid Society. (see POGO)

    February 4, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  317. Louie Batista

    Handouts doesn't include bonuses.
    If I give a homeless person ten bucks for a meal should I give another
    thousand dollars cause he/she is incharge of their homelessness.

    February 4, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  318. Carol from Ocala, Fl

    I am truly annoyed at so many loosely using the term socialism.
    The proposal is to restrict only those that are using taxpayers money to stay afloat rather then their business closing all together. They
    have proven that they cannot police themselves to be responsible so when the Presidents proposal is looked at in its entirety its a good thing. After they pay us back then they can go back to making their millions.

    February 4, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  319. bill mccracken

    emphatically yes- if they take public funds for a bailout they haven't earned anything – only when they have repaid that loan and get back in the black.

    February 4, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  320. Brian

    Jack,

    Oh, please! Stop pulling out the specter of "sounds like socialism" whenever the government decides to step in and start slapping some of these greedy Wall St. types upside the head. If making them more accountable to US taxpayers, you know, the ones who are now paying their fat bonuses, smacks of "socialism", then I'll gladly take that over Casino Capitalism any day!

    February 4, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  321. Drew Martin

    Are you stupid? My money=my terms...and i agree with the admin.

    I am but just a truck driver...my voice is not really heard...but this is when i am elated that the gov't is voicing my problems with this. If a company takes my money to "save" itself, CEOs better not get more than me. I make less than 30K working for a non-profit that redistributes furniture to families getting off the street/out of shelters and back on their own....you know, i think i should get their salary until their company pays us back. 's Or better yet, nobody gets paid, and that's where our stimulus comes from. Take away all their salaries, and give them to us. And it shouldn't matter whether they asked for money before or after today.

    February 4, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  322. jerry orlando

    Jack, how are those CEO's going to fill their yachts and jet planes with fuel? Things things cost money. 500K does not cover the cost of the gold fixtures in the yacht restroom. Then what ,pee over the side. Obama, think of the environmental impact. Anyway, I dont think their in enough room left under the bridge if we have to share with these guys anyhow.....Pay them

    February 4, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  323. Sharon D.

    Yes Sir, limits and rules apply to everyone else who borrows money!

    These Executives built a big 'THING' behaving like kings. Now that this 'THING' is all twisted, they in their arrogance do not want the President to diminish their kingdoms, as they try to rebuild this 'THING'.
    Executive contracts and incentives need to be re-written with scrutiny and reprocussions for poor performance, with restitution requirements for performing badly.

    February 4, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  324. Wyn Delano

    One small step for an administration, one giant leap for fascism! Honestly, Jack, I think I'm just going to go get my Victory Gin, turn on my Telescreen, and watch the slow death of the American Economy, and the freedoms thereof.

    Make's for prime-time T.V!

    Wyn Delano
    Los Angeles, California

    February 4, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  325. Chris Uhl

    The instant the TARP bailout was voted into law, WE became the owners of the banks and we are not happy with compensation. It must be limited.

    February 4, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  326. Ralph

    B-A-I-L-O-U-T not HANDOUT. We are the government. If they do not want restrictions set on their executives, then the certainly do not have to take the Money. Jets and 6-figure executive payrolls after wanting bailed out is like your sister asking for help to make her mortgage payment because she is going to lose her house and her taking the money and flying to Vegas on vacation.

    February 4, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  327. Frank

    Yes, absolutely. And for those panic-mongers who cry "Socialism!" – get over it. That's just a ploy to try to let the financial abuse continue. This kind of control over executive compensation applies only to companies drinking from the bailout well.

    February 4, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  328. Elizabeth

    Yes, the government should have a say in executive pay, and so should the owners of the stock in that co. The companies should also be accountable for where the money from the bailout went. I don't
    understand how the US Govt can just give money with no questions asked. Another dumb move and once again just setting us up for failure!!!!!!!! Where did the money go???

    February 4, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  329. Carol

    As long as the Wall Street bigwigs are being bailed out with OUR money, i.e. the taxpayers' money, they should be restricted in their pay. IF and WHEN they work hard enough to improve their corporations' financial solvency, and AFTER they have paid back the people's money, then and only then should the restrictions on their pay be lifted. I am pleased and relieved that President Obama is closely watching the store. The previous eight years fostered a hayday of immense destruction through mismanagement and dishonesty. Bravo for President Obama.

    February 4, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  330. Robert Sharpless

    Absolutely. Its no different than a contract. When you need to borrow money from we the taxpayers, we have every right to make stipulations.. Otherwise they can hit the road and find it elsewhere. When I have to make my own sacrifices during this economic downturn, Wall Street should not be immune from accepting their own share of the burden and responsible for equity. Especially since it we are going to subsize wrechkless job performance.

    February 4, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  331. mary k mentser

    Yes when they make us look like fools because we pay our mortage and clip coupons to make sure we watch what we spend. We try to have fun in a responsible way. You bet they need limits. Why should we reward their bad behaviior, penalizing us for responsible behavior. GIVE ME A BREAK!!! They are asking for our money!

    February 4, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  332. Kelly

    Nonprofit organizations who receive government funding to provide services often have CEO and other positions limited by funding source restrictions. And we actually PERFORM. Why not limit CEO pay on Wall Street who receive government funding and unlike much of the nonprofit sector, DON"t perform?

    Why a double standard?

    February 4, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  333. Albert Carey

    Why not limit compensation? We have tried ultimate capitalism and freedom of the marketplace and have had it badly abused, Trickle-down is what we, commoners get from it. Socialism and communism have failed due to human nature (greed for power and money) and ythe same human nature causes pure capitalism to fail. pure extremes are rarely satisfactory; that also applies to pure party lines.

    February 4, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  334. Don

    Poor CEO's, a measly $500K to try and survive on!!! Those JA's are lucky they aren't put in club FED!!!! This culture of greed has been going on way to long at the expense of us peasants, under the guise of capitalism.

    Washington is just as guilty of the greed that fuels corruption in this world. It's true, money is the root of all evil, and the love of it is the demise of our planet!!! God help us all!!!

    February 4, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  335. gwen gage

    You Betcha! Pell grants, social security payments, veteran benefits and all other help to the everyday people require lots of forms to fill out and expectations to meet. If the big companies want a bailout, they should get their houses in order and get with the program. If they do not want to follow the rules, then don't ask for money.

    February 4, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  336. Michael Appugliese

    A view from a Canadian: Why are Americans so terrified of government involvement?

    Of course its a fair policy! I think its a shame that so many people lose their jobs while their company's CEO earns a million dollars.

    If its okay for a regular person to give up all his credit when under a credit consolidation program, then it should be from company executives to take a pay cut if they need bailouts!

    February 4, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  337. kas khymmson

    We are NOT limiting executive pay! Stop already with the socialist fear mongering!
    First, we are talking about exec pay as funded by taxpayer bailout allocation - these are NOT monies made or earned! Second, these execs of dead and dying companies haven't earned anything in the true (old fashioned? outdated?) sense. Bush II Capitalism did indeed mandate rewarding one for SCREWING THINGS UP FOR EVERYONE ELSE, a tradition in which George W was a true pioneer. This administration is just trying to reign that warped way of doing things in, particularly where MY money is concerned, and I am all for it.
    By all means, NO perks funded by bailout funds, and yes, a TIGHT cap on exec compensation as paid out via bailout funds, and yes, all future earnings for these top-earning people must be calculated and rewarded only AFTER bailout monies have been paid back with interest.

    February 4, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  338. Christian Larsen

    Jack,
    You surprise me... what "ism" do you call it when companies get bailouts? Why is it that corporate welfare is never challenged but the moment government adds some controls everyone yells socialism? Quite obviously, some control mechanisms are required as business indulges when it is left to its own devices. Providing businesses with restrictions on executive pay and perks is a must (note the past few months) and providing them with incentives to avoid a bailout or to pay it off is just common sense. Don't attach yourself to "isms" and fear – attach to good ideas like I'm used to hearing form you.

    Christian
    San Jose, California

    February 4, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  339. Alex Jackson

    Yes, Yes if I have to pay for a failing company.

    February 4, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  340. Yolanda Anglin

    Jack, I believe in FREE ENTERPRISE, but when my taxes are being used not only to bail out a company but to finance their luxury jets and expensive getaway vacations while I bite my nails on the fact that my property value is now less than my mortgage and pray that both my husband and I won't end up without of a job, you believe it when I say I DO NOT WANT MY TAX MONEY USED TO HELP THEM MAINTAIN THEIR LAVISH LIFESTYLES. HELL NO!!!
    Yolanda / Va.

    February 4, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  341. DLP

    I don't think this can be compared to socialism, unless I can start a business, let it run amuck then expect the government to keep my business afloat without any demands to insure I don't continue to act irresponsibly! There should be a price to pay when you screw up, can’t have both ways!

    February 4, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  342. Rosemary in Missouri

    Absolutely, I'm certain that if I requested a few billion from the taxpayers they would tar and feather me if they discovered I paid myself a few million a year while they earn 30 or 40 thousand. What's wrong with our government....do they want to turn this country into a total oligarchy with only wealthy elites and slave labor. What world do they live in....certainly not mine. All the banks and corporations have to do to determine their own wages is....wait for it.....DON"T ASK FOR OUR MONEY!!!

    February 4, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  343. justirie

    It's simple, if they want tax payer money then they have to limit compensation to top execs and if they do not like it do not take bailout money from the tax payers...

    February 4, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  344. Jim Green, Seguin, TX www.Inclusivism.org

    Jack, revered management expert, the late Peter Drucker averred that the pay for CEOs should not be more than 20 times that of the lowest paid employee in his company. And for years we have been shooting ourselves in the foot with “If it ain’t laisse faire capitalism, it must be communism”—and we need to grow up and get real—in short, of course we should restrict the salary of any CEO receiving bailout money!

    February 4, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  345. jmbickley

    Yes indeed we, the tax paying public, have the right. We are giving you our hard earned money so we have a say in how you operate!
    Don't like it? Then don't ask for hand outs !

    Bick in Cincinnati, OH

    February 4, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  346. Glenn from Ocala,Fl.

    Absolutely! And don't let them cry that it is 'socialism' to do so. The 'socialism' train left the station when they asked for and took our money. They can't 'socialize' their indebtedness but continue to 'privatize' their outrageous salaries and bonuses.

    February 4, 2009 at 6:26 pm |
  347. Maureen Mather

    Hell. yes. Paint me pink if you want to, Jack, but I have serious problems with office renovations to the tune of over a million bucks when the tax payers are funding them, with new corporate jets while people who were self-sufficient are facing poverty in droves. The corporate executives are thieves, and the middle class is disappearing. The SEC is enabling crooks like Madoff to fleece innocent investors. I live in Canada, but I am a US citizen and a registered voter.

    Quathiaski Cove, B. C.

    February 4, 2009 at 6:26 pm |
  348. Rick

    Yes, we should cap salaries and this does not make Socialism. The average CEO likely makes 1000 plus times the salary of their average employee. The only way CEO salaries can be rightly justified is if they prove that God specifically intended these positions for them and that the company would fail without them. Cafferty, you personally know a couple of these people, so you know they are primarily high profile personalities who happen to have landed high profile jobs. Not a one of these guys is irreplaceable. The U.S. has had an executive brain washing for the past 100 years. There are average college students who could fill these people seats and get the same results. Last, put all the top 100 CEOs together in one of theBig 3 car manufacturing businesses by themselves (with none of the people who actually do the work) and let's see the quality and quantity of the vehicles at the end of the year.

    February 4, 2009 at 6:27 pm |
  349. Ray

    Well Jack. I work for one of these banks, one of the ones on TV nearly every day. Unfortunatley for me I'm work at the local branch level, and for that branch I'm a teller. I spend my day worrying if I will have a job next month, how am I going to feed my kids in the even I don't, and how will I avoid becoming a forclosure statistic if they close my branch. Now, contrast that with the C.E.O. of this bank. He spends his days sitting in a posh office, talking on the phones, playing golf and flying around in private jets. He makes more money in 1 day than I make in a year, and has more "personal" assistants at work, and house full of servants, nevermind that house costs 1000 times more than mine. You know, after all this I can see where why he would be over stressed, perhaps I should offer to forgo my .50 cent raise this year and give it to him! Yea right!

    February 4, 2009 at 6:27 pm |
  350. Judy LeValley

    I've loaned money to relatives who have not paid me back, and watched as they spend money on cigarettes and manicures and I don't have the ... to say anything. Am I a dope, a wuss? Do we want a whole nation of dopes and wusses?

    February 4, 2009 at 6:27 pm |
  351. Maureen

    Yes. If the US government is keeping a particular business afloat.
    An old adage comes to mind: If you want to hear the music, you have to pay the band.

    February 4, 2009 at 6:28 pm |
  352. R. Stanovsky

    We do not have free interprize it greed interprize. They thought they forclose on homes and then refinance them and double their profits but found out the housing market had died. If they are too good to work for $500,000 , quit and go someware else.

    February 4, 2009 at 6:30 pm |
  353. T. Major-Miami

    Yes, when you ask BIG BROTHER for a bailout, BIG BROTHER can dictate to you how not to blow the cash. BIG BROTHER has a vested interest in how the tax payers' money is spent. That's not socialism, that's keeping an eye on the cash that these companies "begged" for.

    February 4, 2009 at 6:30 pm |
  354. FJones

    If receiving government money give the government the right to limit your compensation, how about this plan...Anyone who receives federal financial aid for college tuition will have their initial compensation capped at the level of an entry level government employee (GS1 = $17,540 per year) until they have paid back the money. This would be consistent with the President's policy and we would get a lower cost, educated workforce to improve our competitiveness in the world.

    February 4, 2009 at 6:30 pm |
  355. Sue from Florida

    Since they accepted the money from the government and it is ultimately taxpayer money, I would say that the government has every right to demand that rules be put in place. Once they PAY BACK the money, they can feel free to do whatever they please, but if the folks on main street are paying them, then WE WANT SOME RULES IMPLEMENTED, and NOW!!!!!!!!!!

    February 4, 2009 at 6:30 pm |
  356. Roswell

    Jack,
    It is NOT socialism, it is capitalism at its best. You want a loan? Here are the terms. Don't like the terms? Don't take the loan. As an entrepreneur I did many deals where my salary was pre-negogiated with the investor.

    February 4, 2009 at 6:31 pm |
  357. Chris

    None of these Wall street firms, banks and insurance companies should be receiving taxpayer money. They should sink or swim on their own. If they accept our help, they need to live by our standards. On the other hand, why not replace many of these executives with lower paid H1b visa employees.

    February 4, 2009 at 6:32 pm |
  358. Bladenlee Jayden

    Yes Sir there Mr Cafferty the government should limit executive pay to irresponsible executives & company's who are costing the government, & tax payers tons of money. Hey it's a fair call you get treated the same way you behave if not then it'll keep happening all over again & again........

    There's got to be some kind of government oversight when your dealing with its money, public funds, tax money, & not private sector money. If not its like leaving your safe & front door at home unlock. With the front door wide open on a Friday night what do think is going to happen by the time you get back.........?

    February 4, 2009 at 6:32 pm |
  359. Janel

    Since it was the govenment that insisted banks take on poor loans, I don't see why executives and managers should be taking on all the responsibility for this mess. I agree, it does look like socialism and I don't see why we should trust the government to spend billions of our dollars and then dictate to bankers how they can spend loans they make to them.

    February 4, 2009 at 6:38 pm |
  360. Sharon, Sparta NJ

    Yes, absolutely! Last fall, the American tax payer was told that we had to bail the banks out of this mess, that THEY have created on Wall Street, or face worse times ahead. We had no choice – even those on unemployment still have to pay tax on that money and so are contributing to the banks' bail out – even though the banks' fiscal irresponsibility has indirectly led to them being unemployed in the first place!! It's NOT Socialism at all – it is realism! Free enterprise has been grossely abused here and now the common man has to pick up the bill. Everyone must cut back in these difficult times – get used to it. Maybe now the bank executives just MIGHT understand how the rest of us feel, though most of us do it with far less than $500,000.....

    February 4, 2009 at 6:38 pm |
  361. Bob

    If the executives don't think the government has a right to limit their salary to a half million dollars then they should't accept the bail-out money for their companies. Personally I think it should be capped at a quarter million and anyone who doesn't like it, then bye-bye. This non sense has to stop.

    February 4, 2009 at 6:42 pm |
  362. James Kullberg

    I absolutely agree with the President. Executive salaries and bonuses are out of hand and need to be conrolled in those firms that are accepting government bail out money. There have already been too many horror stories about this.

    February 4, 2009 at 6:43 pm |
  363. tim

    Everybody's throwing around the word "socialism". Saying, "oh my god our world is coming to an end". Like in Canada. But this is anything but "socialism". These companies have come, hat in hand, asking the government for assistance to keep them going. Not to give themselves raises and bonuses. To set conditions on the companies who borrow money seems like a financially sound decision. When they pay the money back those conditions will no longer apply. If they had come to the government and said, "we need some financial assistance because our bonuses aren't going to be very big this year." Do you think they would have helped them out? Don't forget, every dime the government gives out comes from me and you and everyone else, the tax payer. They are building bigger pools with our money and that is not why they got that money.

    February 4, 2009 at 6:43 pm |
  364. j Cauldwell

    Of Course! If a company wants to be bailed out by the government, they will have to play by the government's rules. Those companies who have not asked for a bailout can do what ever they want– except come to the taxpayer in the future.

    February 4, 2009 at 6:44 pm |
  365. Sue in Stamford, CT

    Free enterprise is alive and well in America for people who conduct their businesses responsibly. I know...I have run my business and played by the rules for 28 years. If these firms want my tax dollar, then you better believe I would not only put stipulations on it until it was paid back but I would make sure those people who were part of the failure were fired because money in the hands of the same incompetent and greedy people will be mishandled as we have seen regardless of their salary. You might as well flush it down a big black hole.

    February 4, 2009 at 6:44 pm |
  366. Jay Ballou

    "Since it was the govenment that insisted banks take on poor loans, I don’t see why executives and managers should be taking on all the responsibility for this mess. I agree, it does look like socialism ..."

    Naturally the most misinformed people will be against the caps. The government did not insist that banks take on poor loans; that's nonsense straight from Rush Limbaugh.

    February 4, 2009 at 6:44 pm |
  367. Cathy

    Once taxpayers money became involved, yes limitations should be set to these companies. Heck, limitations are set on people on public assistance and they don't even get a pinch of what the big companies are asking for.

    February 4, 2009 at 6:45 pm |
  368. MindySue

    Absolutely. If I go to my bank and get approved for an auto loan, you know damn well that I am required by my bank to use that money to buy a car. If one is BAILED out of their own disaster by the GOVERNMENT then of course they have the entitlement the place parameters on the help they are providing. I also just wanted to mention that I actually have to PAY BACK my auto loan 🙂

    February 4, 2009 at 6:45 pm |
  369. George Lozano

    Everyone understands both sides of the dilemma, but the solution is not adequate. There is a reason why, under a free market system, CEOs get their exorbitant pay, and a 500K ceiling will fail to attract the top people to these government controlled companies. A better solution would have been to set a BASE salary of 500K and link any additional compensation on LONG TERM performance, for example, to the subsidized company's performance over the past year. In a sense they are doing that by linking additional compensation to the eventual re-payment of government debt, but it might be years before these debt id paid, and top CEOs might not be willing to wait that long.

    February 4, 2009 at 6:45 pm |
  370. Roger Beaton

    Those CEOs have more choice than we the taxpayer. The CEO can choose not to take the "bailout monies". Taxpayers have to follow the dictakes of some of the bubbleheads that call themselves legislators.

    February 4, 2009 at 6:45 pm |
  371. jim s.

    Mr. Cafferty: concerning your Question on whether or not the
    Gov. should impose restrictions on these gluttonous vile
    conniving thieves who it seems are hell bent on sending our
    country to its grave,
    Well my fine friend, it also seems, that you are experiencing
    great difficulty in giving an answer to the question so here goes.
    Try this one on Sir, the answer is YES. Get f##king real, will ya.
    This has nothing to do with communizm and socializm,
    It has been said that we are all going to have to sacrifice and
    tow the line. In other words, do something for our country and
    I can find no reason at all why these slimballs on Wall Street
    and in our banks should not be included in our endeavor.
    Do you Sir?

    February 4, 2009 at 6:45 pm |
  372. Shirley Taylor

    Absolutely their pay should be capped. Furthermore, the idea that this is a socialist concept is ridiculous. This is not the first nor last time that the government will place restrictions activities funded by the government, i.e. how much money you can make if you're on Social Security Disability. What's good for one citizen is good for all citizens.

    February 4, 2009 at 6:47 pm |