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Obama’s Own Blind Spot About Bonuses

Mr. Obama is once again decrying the bonuses and excessive pay from Wall Street CEO’s.

From an equally outraged Politico:

Obama: Bonuses ‘shameful’


President Barack Obama said it was “shameful” for Wall Street to walk away with $18.4 billion in bonuses last year . . .

. . . in the depths of a recession. Leaning his elbows on his knees, with his mouth clenched, Obama lashed out at the executives and employees who were found by the New York state comptroller to have earned the sixth largest bonus haul on record last year.

“That is the height of irresponsibility,” Obama said before a meeting with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.

We will skip over the part about responsibility and tax cheat Timothy Geithner being mentioned in the same sentence.

Instead, we will remember that the selfsame Mr. Obama gave his campaign staff bonuses after the November election.

From the New York Daily News:

Barack Obama gives campaign staffers extra cash, BlackBerrys, laptops


Friday, November 14th 2008

Barack Obama is sharing the wealth with campaign staffers.

WASHINGTON – Barack Obama ended his campaign so flush with cash he’s telling staffers to keep the change – and then some.

Long-suffering political footsoldiers who toiled tirelessly, at least since September, to put Obama in the White House recently learned they will be getting extra paychecks worth a month’s salary, the Daily News has learned.

And boy, are they grateful.

"I think it’s a very nice gesture for people who slaved away and sacrificed for the past year," said one pleased ex-staffer.

Given that so much of Mr. Obama’s campaign contributions supposedly came from the average citizen, would it not have been better to give back what was left over from his $750 million dollar war chest?

Also note that when Mr. Obama gave out bonuses the Daily News called it “sharing the wealth.”

And yet when Wall Street gives out bonuses it is called “corporate greed. “

Moreover, if Mr. Obama is so offended at excessive Wall Street salaries, why did he pick Rahm Emanuel as his chief of staff?

From Wikipedia:

Rahm Emanuel

After serving as an advisor to Bill Clinton, in 1998 Emanuel resigned from his position in the Clinton administration. He then became an investment banker at Wasserstein Perella (now Dresdner Kleinwort), where he worked until 2002. In 1999, he became a managing director at the firm’s Chicago office. Emanuel made $16.2 million in his two-and-a-half-year stint as a banker, according to Congressional disclosures.

Rahm Emanuel – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Add to that $16.2 million dollars the $250,000 Mr. Emanuel got from his brief stint at Freddie Mac, which we have previously noted.

And mind you, Mr. Emanuel got that money from Freddie Mac when they were running completely amok.

Lastly, and closer to home, as we have also previously noted, it is fairly hypocritical for Mr. Obama to get so exercised about signing bonuses when his own wife received one.

From the Chicago Sun-Times:

Barack and Michelle Obama earned $991,296 in 2006

By Lynn Sweet
April 16, 2007

WASHINGTON — White House hopeful Sen. Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, reported $991,296 in income in 2006, boosted by a $506,618 payout in advances and royalties for his books, according to returns released by his campaign Monday…

Michelle Obama’s income of $273,618 from the University of Chicago Hospitals. She will get paid less in 2007 because she cut back on her job because of the campaign. She made more in 2005 because of a signing bonus from the U. of C. given when she was promoted to vice president of community and external affairs in January 2005, just as Obama was sworn in as senator

Moreover, Michelle’s job now seems to have been a make work position to encourage kickbacks earmarks from her husband, the Illinois Senator. (And, indeed, the hospital did enjoy earmarks from Mr. Obama.)

For as soon as Mrs. Obama left her job the position was dissolved.

From the University Of Chicago’s News Office:

Michelle Obama Resigns Position at University of Chicago Medical Center

January 9, 2009

Michelle Obama has resigned her leadership post at the University of Chicago Medical Center as she prepares to take on her new role at the White House as First Lady.

During the presidential campaign, she had been on leave as Vice President for Community and External Affairs at the Medical Center…

In light of her departure, Madara announced that the Medical Center’s Office of Community and External Affairs has been reorganized under the leadership of Dr. Eric Whitaker, Executive Vice President for Strategic Affiliations and Associate Dean for Community Based Research.

Madara said the move would enhance support for the Urban Health Initiative, an ambitious effort to reshape health care on Chicago’s South Side.

Leif Elsmo will continue his role as Executive Director of the Office of Community Affairs, reporting to Whitaker, and coordinating all aspects of the office’s functions

So isn’t this once again a case of the pot calling the kettle half-black?

This article was posted by Steve on Friday, January 30th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

22 Responses to “Obama’s Own Blind Spot About Bonuses”

  1. Ravenwood says:

    What a coincidence, public opinion on his liberal wish list spending bill is starting to tank and here comes the populist, anti-wall street rhetoric from former President-elect Obama.

  2. proreason says:

    The Moron seems to prefer to be his own Propaganda Minister.

    Anybody still invested in the free market should be re-thinking that decision.

  3. RightWinger says:

    Never mind nObama has no problem with the $850 billion dollar bonus he is giving as payback for everybody who got him into office and supported him. All that fat greasy pork getting ready to be shelled out as a bouns for all the Dems hard work in railroading an election.

    Of course the UAW will be back for Round 2 of bonuses in a couple of months.

    • Liberals Demise says:

      The line starts behind the Banks, for round #2 of the GREAT AMERICAN GIVE & GIVE & GIVE &………..

  4. wardmama4 says:

    I was wondering exactly how to couch my response to this drivel but alas – as usual – SG beat me to it –

    So isn’t this once again a case of the pot calling the kettle half-black

    Hypocrit thy name is Democrat

    BTW, the Moveon.org/DNCmedia wing is gearing up a bunch of anti-Rush commercials – makes one wonder – exactly why is the man-child sitting in the most powerful office of the World – so damn scared of one talk radio person – whom (according to the Obamamedia) no one listens to? And does this not show exactly how immature, inexperienced and personally paranoid our newest former President-elect (nice moniker Ravenwood) is?!?

  5. Patriot11 says:

    The financial industry is primarily based upon a reward system (bonus) for good work. The better the employee does the more they get paid at the end of the year. The other side of that is that most positions in the financial world receive a smaller salary during the year than their counterparts do in other industries.
    When the democrats talk about bonuses they never mention who got them. The people that are getting the bonuses right now are the ones the companies cannot risk losing. To force these people to give back what they were guaranteed for doing a specific job will cause them to “jump ship” to the highest bidder, ultimately destroying an already suffering bank. Banks cannot not give out certain bonuses. Especially when some areas of their business are booming despite their challenges with a seized credit market. Those employees earned their pay……unlike our government.

  6. pdsand says:

    Why bonuses at all? Because the Democrats previously limited the amount of executive pay that a corporation can deduct as business expense, so it started the current trend of executives signing on for less salary and more bonuses and stock options, usually tied in some manner to performance.
    Wall Street, like sports and entertainment is highly competitive, so the bonuses are bound to keep getting bigger and bigger each year, the same as the next big homerun hitter will sign for more than A-Rod did, and the next movie star will get an even bigger deal than Tom Cruise. So the fact that the bonuses went back in time FIVE YEARS is staggering in the amount of restraint that was shown, and how bad things really must be for corporate executives. Imagine if a #1 draft pick had to sign for the same amount of money that the guy in 2004 did. Or more to the point, imagine if the UAW had to sign a contract agreeing to the same wages they got in 2004.
    Also, there are many many companies posting losses and fretting the recession and possible bankruptcy. But at the same time there are quite a few profitable companies now, and I’m sure for a quite a few folks out there, 2008 was the best year ever. And those people deserve their bonuses for a job well done, right? Or does Obama REALLY expect that even someone who did well and earned his pay should politely turn it down just because in theory someone else out there is hurting?
    And what is the second part of this bonus statistic…it comes from the New York state comptroller’s office records of tax receipts. What was the sum of charitable contributions made by these same bonus recipients? Oh I forgot, that doesn’t matter.

  7. U NO HOO says:

    “people who slaved away”

    And the beat goes on…

    Obama managed to get slavery into the discussion, even if he turned out to be the slave master…

  8. Rusty Shackleford says:

    Bo-Bo’s response: “Uh…..no,no,no….uh….y’see…….uh…well, YOU people…..what YOU people need to understand is…..uh…….I’m not gonna talk about that today…….see…….uh……..YOU people want an answer…….uh….that……see……”

    (By the way, did I mention that I don’t particularly care for this president?)

  9. Reality Bytes says:

    Come on SG! Obama’s was talking about Republican Bankers; Obviously!

  10. Reality Bytes says:

    Come to think of it…how long before citizens Will Be Required to join the Democrat Party before they can run a car company, bank, railroad, post office, etc.?

    Not that that has happened before. Oh, wait, Nazi Germany, Baathist Iraq. Hmmm. How do you think I’d look in a brown shirt?

  11. bill says:

    Odummer is really jealous of anyone who has more than him.

  12. pdsand says:

    Also in the article, Senator Dodd promises to get the money back that the companies paid in bonuses if it came from the bailout. I suppose if they had to give back their emergency bailout funds at this point they’d probably go bankrupt. So much for rescuing these companies because they are supposedly too big to fail, right? Oh yeah that’s right, it’s not that they’re too big to fail, it’s that they’re too big to be allowed to operate without the oversight and control of the Democrat Party.

  13. Confucius says:

    “So isn’t this once again a case of the pot calling the kettle half-black?”

    No. It’s the half-black pot calling the kettle all white.

  14. freeleep says:

    I must have missed the story about hid staffers getting bonuses back then because I would have been really ticked. I have been fighting a fifty dollar donation to the “ones ” campaign for months. It just showed up on my credit card bill mysteriously .visa says oh well My bank says oh well. The “ones ” campaign says oh well. My only recourse is to sue the campaign, but I would imagine that it has no money having all been paid out in bonuses

  15. 12 Gauge Rage says:

    One of the perks you get for being a high rolling CEO on Wall Street or any other company is the extra pay. Where would be the incentive to work harder if there is no reward for your effort?

  16. proreason says:

    It’s hard to love Wall Street CEO’s, but let’s remember a few things:

    – no single company can ever be big enough to ruin the American economy. But Barney Franks did.

    – greedy as they are, CEO’s do work, and nobody forces the Boards to pay them. Do the Kennedys work? DoesParis Hilton work? Do the Kerry’s work? Not a chance. They are parasites, and the tiny handful of families epitomized by them control 25% of the wealth of the country.

    – It is virtually impossible to hide salaries or income from the tax man. CEO’s are paying BIG taxes. But you know what, liberal gazillionaires are paying virtually nothing. Why? They don’t work, and it’s easy to cheat when you don’t get a W-2. Witness….Geistner.

    – our entire economy is based on the ability to score big. Take that away, and you have Communist Russia

    – no matter how stupid Wall Street guys are for taking big bonusses in hard times, they don’t even come close to the stupidity of plunging the entire country into humonguous debt to distribute condoms and build windmills. The Moron is an idiot a million times as stupid as any Wall Street guy ever.

    All this Wall Street bonus crap is about is class warfare. The Moron and his puppet-masters want to distract the public from the issue at hand, which is the incredible stinking Depressions Stimulus package.

  17. LewWaters says:

    One is left wondering where B HO’s indignation is over the 6 Democrats who received Caribbean vacations from Citigroup after they approved bail-out bucks.


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