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October 22nd, 2009
08:48 AM ET

Pay Cuts: Unnecessary or Justifiable?

Executives of the nation's biggest bailed-out companies are about to get dramatic pay cuts. The Obama administration's pay czar wants their salaries cut in half.

An administration official tells CNN that Kenneth Feinberg, who was named the White House's pay czar in June, will demand that each of the seven largest bailout recipients cut the total compensation for their top 25 highest paid employees by 50%, on average. Under the plan, annual salaries for executives could fall 90% on average.

What do you think? Is the administration’s plan more unnecessary government intervention in the private sector or justifiable regulation when corporations are subsidized by the federal government?

Filed under: Tony Harris
soundoff (82 Responses)
  1. Jackie FL

    Yes, why should they take home millions while we support them.

    October 22, 2009 at 8:55 am |
  2. Michelle

    Yes, Executive pay should be capped by the Government. An excellent news story would be how last year Executives pay increased while these big Banks slashed Sales peoples pay and cut out all overtime. Even Salaried employees got cut to very limited or No over time pay.

    October 22, 2009 at 9:24 am |
  3. Kathleen

    As I commented earlier- over 3 years working for same Co. without a pay increase- My net is 23,000. for a family of 3.
    Absolutely –their inflated salaries should be taken down. We need a more even distribution of wealth in America. ... including pay caps on executives.

    October 22, 2009 at 9:35 am |
  4. michael armstrong sr. TX.

    These Execs robbed there own firms dont just give them pay cuts give them prison time.

    October 22, 2009 at 9:37 am |
  5. E.D. Citizen

    Absolutely, they should get a cut in pay. If they a huge bonus in the midst of the Gov Bailout. To those who've paid back the debt, fine business as usual. To those that have not paid back their debt to the American. "This was not a handout" we want our money back.! To the companies that afraid of losing execs, let them go.
    Find the Lee Iacoca's out there who will work for a $1 per year and stock options. This will force them to work hard at bringing the companies back stronger and pauing off their debt.

    October 22, 2009 at 10:13 am |
  6. Dan

    ABSOLUTELY. They are a bunch of greedy individuals who ran their companies in to the ground. HOW can you justify getting a bonus when your company doesn't turn a profit?
    Now maybe they will understand what the "real" way of life is for a normal hard working American family.

    October 22, 2009 at 10:13 am |
  7. E.D. Citizen

    Absolutely, they should get a cut in pay. If they recieve a huge bonus in the midst of this Gov Bailout. To those who've paid back their debt, fine, go with business as usual. But, to those that have not paid back their debt to the American People, "This was not a handout".
    We want our money back, before you splurge. To the companies that are afraid of losing execs, let them go. They are greedy and you're better off without them. Remember, it was their excesses that landed us in this current difficult situation,
    Let's Find the Lee Iacoca's out there who will work for a $1 per year and stock options. This will force them to work hard at bringing the companies back stronger and paying off the company's debt ahead of time.

    October 22, 2009 at 10:20 am |
  8. James Rinker

    If not for the bailout they would be out. No reward for failure.You should get what you pay for,you should pay for what you get.

    October 22, 2009 at 10:25 am |
  9. Rodan

    Good! Those fat cats don't need anymore of the tayxpayers' money! It's time for them to be put in their place!

    October 22, 2009 at 11:03 am |
  10. Erinn

    In other countries no one person can make more(a percentage) than the average employee. Why doesn’t America have laws to that effect? I understand the whole "capitalist" thing but there has to be rules to prevent rampant greed! They're proposing all these rules but only on the companies that still have loans out. We need laws that will cover ALL the companies, preventing high paying/any executives from writing themselves huge checks. And yeah, I'm sure those companies will find brand new ways to make billions from their companies but it won't be legal for them to give themselves huge bonuses.

    October 22, 2009 at 11:05 am |
  11. Georgy

    I would have not supported for the intervention but since its my money that helped them to survive I support it all the way.

    October 22, 2009 at 11:05 am |
  12. Steve D.

    How about cutting the pay for governement officials that make poor policy decisions? After all, the taxpayers are essentially shareholders of our government.....are we happy with their performance?

    October 22, 2009 at 11:06 am |
  13. Cameron Atkins

    Absolutely, the pay should be limited. The trickle-down effect didn't work for Herbert Hoover during the depression because the execs of those companies that received the money put most of it in their pockets. Is history not repeating itself?

    October 22, 2009 at 11:07 am |
  14. Kevin T

    Absolutely! The term "welfare queens" has been used to demean low-income individuals using public assistance, but the amount of public assistance that flows directly or indirectly to the gluttonous corporate class is outrageous and I believe the term "WEALTHFARE queen" is a better descriptor of who tax payers need to be concerned about. It is LONG past time for the government to take action. Unfortunately, the public should not expect such action to take place to an adequate degree as we, in effect, have a corporate democracy in this nation.

    October 22, 2009 at 11:07 am |
  15. Marwan Kanafani

    Addressing critics of the plan to reduce executive pay who are concerned that lower wages would discourage top talent- are these talented individuals the same people who got us into this mess to begin with? If not, where the heck have they been hiding? If so, well, then these talented individuals should actually do their job to fix what they had broken, namely, the confidence of the American public. Reduce pay and maybe you'll weed out those such talented individuals who's greed and larceny caused this meltdown.

    October 22, 2009 at 11:07 am |
  16. Daniel

    All upper management of all companies should have their pay capped. No Manager should make more 20 time what their average employees make.

    October 22, 2009 at 11:07 am |
  17. Matthew Longworth

    Govn't should stay out of business, there should have been no Bailout and there should be no pay cuts... lets not become Soviet Russia!!

    October 22, 2009 at 11:08 am |
  18. rick

    Hi Tony, The pay cuts are justifiable.I inted to send a message to Chrysler and G.M. I buy a new, very expensive vehicle every two years.NO MORE.It's Japanese for me from now on.I am sick of these companies ripping off the taxpayer.

    October 22, 2009 at 11:08 am |
  19. Jerry

    It is very simple, these men and women are not getting paid for performance but are a part of, as they call it, "the good old boys club." The good old boys club always looks out for number one, not the community, and that hurts everyone. So YES, the cuts are correct. What I find sad is that our goverment had to step in to correct this corruption. If these companies start crying about this, I will take every dime of my money else where.

    October 22, 2009 at 11:08 am |
  20. Jerry

    ABSOLUTELY!!! Main street has already taken pay cuts...Time for the big payback!

    October 22, 2009 at 11:09 am |
  21. Jeff Engel

    The executives of these companys keep saying they need to attract the best talent. It seems to me that they are paying huge amounts of compensation to the best talent and they got them in trouble in the first place.

    October 22, 2009 at 11:09 am |
  22. Constance

    Absolutely. They're directly responsible for the crushing recession, job losses and increasing poverty. Now they collude to raise interest rates on people they sucked into their credit nets. They demonstrate no integrity with their "leadership". What would large bonuses reward?

    October 22, 2009 at 11:09 am |
  23. john

    I think it is great, they should take a huge pay cut. These people screwed it up in the first place didn't they.

    Also these companies who haven't paid back the money, the public should start sending their co-pay receipts doctors bills, insurance premiums, auto repair bills ,and any other bills they have . Look they used taxpayer money ,start paying it back.

    October 22, 2009 at 11:10 am |
  24. Susan Young

    When these companies accepted public tax monies they left the private sector. The pay cuts are something that needed to take place. When the company is failing the last thing the company leaders should be doing is paying themselves big bonus money. Greed on the part of these large company executives have done a lot of harm to this country.

    October 22, 2009 at 11:10 am |
  25. Dennis

    I find it amazing that this question is debateable, people have lost their means of survival and you still ask if getting rid of the causes is justifiable. The so called executives have shown their level of greed and their negligence, if they were indeed sympathetic of what they have caused they need not be reminded of showing their remorse, by willingly agreeing on pay cuts.

    October 22, 2009 at 11:10 am |
  26. L. MacDougal

    What do you mean that new people who run these companies need highest pay in order to keep good people? Didn't the opposite just happen. Did not the people who ran the companies/country in the ground, not have the highest pay? Duh!! I realize what you all mean now by not wanting 'government internvention'. Youdon't want it when heads of companies are cheating and stealing the country blind. They only want it when they're in 'it' up to their necks, like now. This is a real joke.

    October 22, 2009 at 11:10 am |
  27. Ruth DuBrock

    I say take those bounuses and payoff their debts with America.

    October 22, 2009 at 11:12 am |
  28. Aurelia Woods

    I just got a letter from Citibank telling me that my APR is going up to 29.99%!! I don't have to agree to these terms but if I don't agree to their terms, I will not be able to use my card again. If I do use it, the interest will automatically go up. A couple of months ago, I got a similiar letter from Bank of America. So, I say stick it to them!! God, knows they're sticking it to us.

    October 22, 2009 at 11:14 am |
  29. Ann

    I've been self employed in real estate in Califonia since the early 1980's. I only earn when I can perform–that's the risk. The reward is that when I work hard and do well, I can earn more than I would in a traditional job.

    I support the president's initiative. Let those who take risks earn well when they succeed, but don't reward them for failure. This initiative also sends a message from the majority of the American Public that such blind greed is not ok in America.

    These HUGE annual paychecks are almost incomprehensible amounts...amounts so vaste they should first be used to pay back the debts incurred.

    October 22, 2009 at 11:14 am |
  30. Jackie

    I said 30 years ago that the disparity in income levels would lead to a disaster...this has turned into madness! We are creating a culture of "kings" which is what I believe is one of the things we were trying to get away from when this country was envisioned. Even the president makes less than this culture of greedy "executives". The argument of keeping top talent is moot since the top talent seems to have little when companies are failing.

    October 22, 2009 at 11:14 am |
  31. John

    I've spent the last 24 years in the Automotive Engineering Industry and have seen first hand these executive destroy these companies and in turn effect hundreds of thousands of life's, and they did it for one reason, GREED!! These executives don't need pay cuts they need to be lynched. When will these Harvard MBA graduates LEARN its not "profit over people" its "People over profit"

    GOD help us all here in America, we have lost our way like so many other empires through out history. Can we ever go back? No, i don't think so.....Its a terrible sad time in America.

    October 22, 2009 at 11:17 am |
  32. Ralph

    It's simple, if they get a pay cut we get higher dividends from our stock. Management is skimming so much corporate profit that the stockholders aren't getting their share. If I could keep giving myself raises for just doing my job, I would. But I work in the real world. Maybe it's time for executives to join the rest of us and cut back like most Americans have had to do. Maybe a huge tax on salerys and bonuses that total over 1 Mill? Maybe then some profits could trickle down to shareholders and workers. I don't think that anyone on this planet does ( or possibly could do) 100 to 250 times as much work as I do, so why should they get paid that much?

    October 22, 2009 at 11:18 am |
  33. Della Valk

    yes, If the American people are now invested in these companies, we are shareholders and that allows us to concern ourselves with the sallaries we pay these leeches.

    October 22, 2009 at 11:18 am |
  34. Marcy

    Tony......... I personaly think that this whole thing is a crock of ****...

    Now that the blue coller workers have been riped of money that their great grand children will have to pay through taxes that has not been collected...........the big bonices..that they now might have to get pay cuts... Won't this make more bank ruptcies..that we already have to many of.????????????

    The "Bail out momey"..........should have gone to the people that were in a bad they could have paid their bills.... This money in turn would have gone to the banks that they owed in the first place...& turn that would have stimulated the econemy.. Sure makes sence to me...rather than the banks getting the money.. I don't see where any of this so called stimules money has helped us in any way.......

    God Bless the US..cause astronomical taxes sure isn't... 🙁 🙁

    October 22, 2009 at 11:20 am |
  35. Debbra

    Absolutely! Those corporations should not have gotten the money in the first place. The people should of received that money to pay their mortgages, bills, etc and the banks would of gotten their money post payments...a win win situation. the executives more money to put into their bank accounts while 'we the people' lose our jobs, houses, and go bankrupt. We cannot even live paycheck to paycheck anymore.

    October 22, 2009 at 11:21 am |
  36. Bill Narvey

    At the time Pres. Obama and Congress were moving quickly to bail out these corporations, too big to fail, there were those who advocated that conditions be imposed to ensure that the monies would not be used to fatten the wallets of the CEO's responsible for the financial crises these huge corporations were in.

    Pres. Obama and Congress ignored these warnings.

    Why they ignored these warnings is the big story, you and your organization are deliberately missing. Why are you covering this up?

    Pres. Obama and Congress only with pubic anger growing over these bonuses, are getting on their high horses to blame these companies and CEO's for simply honoring their contractual agreements between them.

    The American people should not be so taken in by Pres. Obama and Congress who are the ones to blame for they could have imposed conditions on the use of the bail out monies, which conditions would have to have been accepted by both the companies and their CEO's, if the companies wanted to survive and the CEO's did not want to be put out on the street.

    It is appalling that CNN does not place the blame for this travesty on Pres. Obama and Congress where the blame belongs and instead misleads the American people to not hold Pres. Obama and Congress accountable and instead, blame the corporations and CEO's by putting the wrong question before them?

    Hopefully Pres. Obama's efforts to force the CEO's to put their bonuses back into the Corporate kitty will be effective, but putting the blame for this debacle on the corporations and CEO's, instead of on Pres. Obama and Congress where it belongs, badly undermines CNN's journalistic integrity.

    October 22, 2009 at 11:22 am |
  37. Sylvia

    Yes, I think the government should be involved when they have to bail them out. Why should anyone get paid a large salary and/or a bonus when they are not being productive nor acting responsible. If everyone in this countries would give up 1% of their wages, there wouldn't be so many unemployed people and companies wouldn't have to downsize. When I say everyone, I mean everyone working in this country with the exception of our military personnel.

    October 22, 2009 at 11:26 am |
  38. Dan Knott

    Re paylevels: used to be that the CEO's pay was the top restraint with the minimum pay the bottom. Board of Directors of other exec's selected by the CEO, corrupted this and padded the "top" pay for greed & high risk for reward and stock price elevation. The whole thing then exploded beyond reason with egos and demands for higher pay taking over. Until Boards of Director truly represent the shareholder, it will remain out of control.

    October 22, 2009 at 11:29 am |
  39. B K Casey

    Absolutely cut executive pay. "Astronomical incentives/bonuses/salaries are needed to retain the best & top performers..." - These are the same people who almost drove this nation and the world into a depression. They lowered the standard of living for a large percentage of people on a global scale. Yet, the rational is huge salaries and compensation are needed for employee retention - where is the bulldozer as I cannot shovel that much in a lifetime!!!!!!

    October 22, 2009 at 11:38 am |
  40. Robert Johnson

    Sir: As a former Naval officer, National Bank Examiner, Banker and private lender it is my understanding that in the USA, we have corporations (financial institutions) owned by shareholders, who elect a board of directors. That BOD appoints management and governs mgt pay via the BOD compensation committee. The government has no roll other than review in that process, unless it becomes a shareholder. Govt. intervention on any other basis is a form of National Socialism. Govt. policy, in 1999, of reduced lending standards thus allowed/encouraged the securitization of approximately 2.5 Trillion in poor credit obligations. The injection of that credit into the economy pushed growth, which many Americans enjoyed, for a time. Elected govt. officials should be held accountable for the impact of their policies which affect the process of free enterprise. By the way, the lack of liquidity forced the FRB to provide assistance to certain finance entities, such as AIG…which “borrowed” the money, with provided collateral. If you borrow money from someone, do they have the right to control how/where you spend it? In banking the answer is no, and to do other wise is called “lender liability”, whereby the lender becomes responsible for mgt of the borrower. Do we really want our govt. to be open the more liability? I thank you for reading the above. Bob Johnson

    October 22, 2009 at 11:38 am |
  41. john

    I was waiting for someone to throw the socialism crack in

    October 22, 2009 at 11:48 am |
  42. Bill Dale

    this is marxism – plain and simple!!!!!

    October 22, 2009 at 11:49 am |
  43. Karen Hermansen

    Ordinarily, I would not agree with the federal government getting involved in limiting salaries, but these are companies who have not yet paid back the money that the taxpayers gave them. Until the money is paid back, I agree that the government should limit the outrageous bonuses.

    October 22, 2009 at 11:52 am |
  44. Curt Oregon

    I have no problem with the pay cuts action.
    First of all there is no humanbeing on this earth that is worth millions per year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I don't care who you are or what you do!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Why do companies have to make millions and billions in profit any way!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Per year or even quarterly!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    These types of heavy, unreasonable profits, come at the expense of the consumer and the tax payer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    When is our government going to pay more attention to the JOBLESS, UNEMPLOYMENT RATE ANYWAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Fix that problem, and most everything else will come back into line!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    People working and a low unemployment rate is the enginne that drives our country anyway!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Our country of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, has become so upside down, that it is hard to beleive at times!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    GREED, and IGNORANCE, is killing our country and it's people!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    October 22, 2009 at 11:54 am |
  45. KevinP

    Horrible move by the government...but, of course, not the first. Whenever a 3rd party believes it "knows better" than those directly involved, we get trouble.

    October 22, 2009 at 12:06 pm |
  46. sallie

    Yes at the very least their pay should be cut. If they don't like it, let them leave and go look for a new job like everybody else..

    October 22, 2009 at 12:07 pm |
  47. airshow

    The media seems to let analysts make claims that are not true. The package is only for firms that still have TARP money and in effect, have asked for bail-outs to save their sorry asses from the CEO's that nearly drove them to bankruptcy. If it were my money, I would have included firing the CEO's that took the company to the brink of extinction.

    October 22, 2009 at 12:07 pm |
  48. Greg Spina

    Yea it is very much criminal and what brings our economy down why should people who work no harder than everyone else get paid millions everyone has a job they do it and creates unbalance in the economy for no reason at all they dont care about the recession were in they dont even care about the goverment bailing them out they are prob laughing an still giving out billions of dollers in saleries taking the gov as a joke so in all i think its a just cause we cant pay for healthcare yet 1 person gets millions of dollers for pushing pencils yea right thats a tragedy tony

    October 22, 2009 at 12:09 pm |
  49. Ronald Holst

    Tony you Betcha they are justified, If the Tax payer Of this country do not at the very least go along with these pay cut and at most demand them
    Then We as A nation will fall to Greed of the Few ,

    October 22, 2009 at 12:09 pm |
  50. Dan Mjolsness (melsness)

    Dear Tony,
    I never thought that I'd say this, but President Obama and his administration are doing the right thing limiting these outrageous payments to people at companies that required our tax dollars to keep them afloat.
    Paying on long-term productivity and viability of the company would eliminate the claim that "you have to pay top dollar for top performers" argument, and, would encourage a return to loyalty at a company by reducing the temptation to sell out to the next highest bidder for your services.

    October 22, 2009 at 12:09 pm |
  51. Adam

    Normally companies should be able to pay people what they want, but these companies are paying them with our money, so we should have a say. If these executives were worth so much money, why did their companies deteriorate to the point of needing a bailout? It seems that "brain drain" from talented people going elsewhere has already happenned at these companies, or we wouldnt be here.

    October 22, 2009 at 12:09 pm |
  52. Yannira

    It's about time the pay us after we paid for their new toy and we need the money more than those 7 CEOs.

    October 22, 2009 at 12:09 pm |
  53. Kay

    When banks lend to small businesses, they typically require a covenant that restricts the amount of money the owner can take out of the business. Why do those same banks now find it outrageous when the taxpayer/lenders want the same terms?

    October 22, 2009 at 12:10 pm |
  54. Lottie

    What a joke! How is this going to help me as a middle to low class American -if Bank of America AIG GM etc CEO only get 10 million bonus instead of 50 million?. I am still in foreclosure and owe much credit card debt at their high interest rates and can barely survive.

    October 22, 2009 at 12:10 pm |
  55. Dave Dubinsky

    Finally, a long awaited action, from the Fed, holding the "Fat Cats" accountable. How much money is "enough" for the insatiably materialistic and narcissistic? Now, let's pump stimulous money into the Middle Class!

    October 22, 2009 at 12:10 pm |
  56. Amari Smith

    If this were a story about indiviuals receiving "welfare" we would be up in arms. But god forbid we hold companies to the same standards we hold real, live, breathing human beings. No this is just the chickens coming home to roost.

    October 22, 2009 at 12:12 pm |
  57. Jerry Burlington

    I think that the CEO's of all of these and other companies should take major pay decrease. I cannot see where a man thst makes 25 million a year needs to work any more at all. Those people should join the real world and get a salery that is realistic. The companies that received the bailout should pay their CEO's the lowest salery in the company. How can you reward for failure.
    America was founded on free enterprise. If my business was to fail would I get a bailout form the government? I think not! I feel that if you make bad decisions and lose money then you should close because a full time consideration of anther endeavor may be in order. I feel sorry for the people that lose money in these situations but they chose to invest there. That is what investing is about. You win some you lose some. Its the American way.
    So yes I think all CEO's that make millins while their employees make peanuts should take cuts and pass the earnings to the people that are really doing the work. The ones on the front line.

    October 22, 2009 at 12:12 pm |
  58. Dave Tribby


    I think the Government should cut their pay even more!They are the reason for this mess we are in.I also feel the government really put it to us by bailing them out!

    Thank you

    October 22, 2009 at 12:14 pm |
  59. Rob McKee

    Without my tax dollars there guys wouldn't have a job, you bet my government should intervene!
    -Rob, Los Angeles CA

    October 22, 2009 at 12:14 pm |
  60. Mrs. AnneMarie Coleman

    I don't mind congress getting involved as long as the PEOPLE are what they are trying to help. For to long Wall Street and large corporations have been taking advantage of the middle class they turn around and handed us all the perks to gain there bottom line and now that it has backfired they are not willing to help us. How can you knowingly allow millions of people to get into so much debt that are country was on the brink of disaster then use the PEOPLE's money (tax dollars) to bail only themselves out (Wall Street and Large Corporations)? There is something wrong with this picture. In conclussion and to answer your question, we need help and we (the middle class) class need it now. So if by letting OUR government call the shots so be it.

    October 22, 2009 at 12:14 pm |
  61. Uripidy

    Hello Tony

    It's very (justifiable) for executives to get a pay or bonus cut! It' s long in coming.


    October 22, 2009 at 12:14 pm |
  62. Mark M

    Justifiable? of course they are.

    there needs to be some sort of cap on these people and the money they can make, I sit at home looking for work and these "bank" ceo's and more get 2-3-4 million in bonuses. (and even more)
    I dont agree they worked for it, not that much maybe 100K bonus.

    They can take these huge bonuses, yet not offer most americans a loan, kind of funny since we "the tax payers" just gave them billions in loans.
    I work hard, have good credit, I cant get a loan, but they can offer one person 2-3-4 million as a perk?

    Wake up America its time to say enough is enough, have them put this "bonus" money back into our hands the tax payer.

    Maybe use it to lower Credit Card interest rates, bank fee's atm fee's and stop giving us the shaft. its not like there is no way to use the millions in bonuses for us.

    Contact your Congress person and tell them you support Obama on this one, its probally one of thye best moves Obama has made since taking office.

    Mark M
    SF Ca

    October 22, 2009 at 12:15 pm |
  63. Mike, Florida

    Absolutely cut the bonuses! Goldman Sachs alone is reported to be setting 8 to 11 Billion (with a B) aside for bonuses. That is about 50% of their total revenue! At the same time, they won't lend a dime to anyone to help clean up the economic disaster they helped cause! The money these mega banks are spending on bonuses would be better spent helping people climb out of the holes they are in, help stop foreclosures,
    and help business get back on their feet and bring back jobs. They were too big to fail, and now they are bigger thanks to the taxpayers who will get no help from the money poured into them.
    This is where the free market system, and the myopic system of Reganomics (unregulated greed wins) totally fails!
    Since China now owns us, take a lesson from them...nationalize the banks, unload the greedy execs, and force them to loan to get the economy rolling. It's working there!

    October 22, 2009 at 12:19 pm |
  64. Barbara

    Until the bailed-out companies pay back the entire sum owed, they should expect that "he who has the gold makes the rules". They should do the honorable thing and pay us back first!

    October 22, 2009 at 12:22 pm |
  65. Barbara

    Yes, justifiable. As long as they owe us money, the gov't, as a partner in their business, is obligated to do what is needed, including pay cuts, to get our money back. After that, the stockholders should control how the company's funds are spent.

    October 22, 2009 at 12:37 pm |
  66. Diana Afarian-Hunter

    I can't believe the these financial institutions we bailed out think they have the right to deal out hugh salaries and bonuses! Pay back the people. CAPITALISM and free enterprise systems that you hide behind DON'T GET BAILED OUT WHEN THEY SCREW THE AMERICAN PEOPLE BY TAKING OUTRAGIOUS RISK WITH THEIR MONEY! You then think you can continue business as usual! " WE THE PEOPLE" NEED TO BE PAID BACK FIRST WITH INTEREST SHARED WITH US. How many billions/trillions is enough? Greed is poisoning our country while our health care system is rated 35th or 36th in the world and cost trillions more than other western countries. I'd like the same health insurance that congress gets and so would the American people.

    October 22, 2009 at 12:50 pm |
  67. Juan Segredo

    Yes to Pay Cut's...... I think that it's ridiculous to reward the same people that got us in this mess wih big salaries and Bonuses when they needed tax payers money to stay solvent and when the rest of the population suffering.

    October 22, 2009 at 1:29 pm |
  68. sara

    Maybe instead of winter vacation in Hawaii and summer in Maine the trips of executives should be taken to tent City across the country where good people are trying to survive heat or cold and hunger

    October 22, 2009 at 1:54 pm |
  69. Jerry in Texas

    Not only should we cut their pay, but while we are at it, we should cut off their hands for being so greedy and remove their eyes for being so blind. If you really want to tell them what you think of their pay structure, close your accounts and move them to a community bank or credit union.

    October 22, 2009 at 2:16 pm |
  70. Don

    So if the standard for the administration to control pay is whether or not an individual or company receives taxpayer money, will we begin to see pay cuts for Congressmen and all companies that receive subsidies? I would argue that collectively, Congress has cost taxpayers a lot more then these 7 companies

    October 22, 2009 at 3:21 pm |
  71. MR.AL

    "Jusifiable" CEO'S MULTI MILLION DOLLAR SALARIES COULD SUPPORT ALOT OF FAMILIES. Today greed is previlent in America. Insurence cost are riseing. gas has just took a jump. Why should the lower classes in America take all pressure, all the pressure of no jobs and no way to feed the family. After the bail outs the unenployment soared and salaries also soared with bonuses on top of the CEO'S Already outrages salary.

    October 22, 2009 at 3:28 pm |
  72. Al Mroczkowski

    The "funny" printed money hasm helped the stock market investments
    of stimulus money. A bonus is warranted on the return of stimulus
    money and the rise of the stock market. The bonus should be the
    same as payback %

    October 22, 2009 at 3:29 pm |
  73. Paul

    I think that they should get to keep the bonuses. I agree with the outrage over the bonuses. But, my question has always been: before we handed out these bailouts, why did we not check the fine print. Can you picture a bank just handing money out to an applicant without thoroughly scrutinizing that person. We should not only be mad at them for issuing the bonuses, but we should more be infuriated with the government, our representatives, for being so careless with our money. The cancellation of the bonuses should have been stipulated prior to bailing out these companies. I cannot fault these companies for honoring these contractual bonuses. Being mad or outraged does not negate an obligation.

    October 22, 2009 at 3:43 pm |
  74. Al Mroczkowski

    A bonus should be based on merit like paying some of the stimulus back

    October 22, 2009 at 3:47 pm |
  75. Henry Edwards

    I can't believe that these same people, the corporate executive of those companies that took our, (tax payers), money can justify with a clear conscientious the huge pay raises and bonuses! I'm appalled that we as Americans, (shareholders and politicians), would condone this practice. I'm an unemployed American, whose status of unemployment is due to the wrongful practices, (morally), of a business here in Florida, (THE RIGHT TO WORK STATE). We, (working class), are now seeing the results of corrupt decisions, both by the executive, shareholders, and our government. It is also shameful that they have not learned from history. The great harm their decision has affected,” WE THE PEOPLE”, is a repeat of the same narrow minded thinking. The US, versus THEM mentality, will always come back and bite us in the …..! WE THE PEOPLE must no longer be swayed by the party line and must put those into office that care about all the people, not some of the people. I hope that next time this crisis arise, those that made bad decision pay for them and not pass it on to those that can’t afford to pay for their mistakes!

    October 22, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  76. Bill Narvey

    While it appears unanimous that Pres. Obama proceed with his initiative to claw back the substantial part of the CEO's bonuses, it appears almost all commenters blame the companies and CEO's.

    Sole blame rests with Pres. Obama and Congress.

    This was a completely preventable situation.

    Not only could any dimwit forsee this would happen if the bail out did not have conditions preventing the companies fulfilling their financial obligations to pay large bonuses to their CEO's, Pres. Obama and Congress were warned this would happen and they still did nothing in the way of conditions imposed on the bailout monies to prevent that from happening.

    Painting Pres. Obama and congress as heroes for trying to clean up this mess is simply wrong.

    It is Pres. Obama and Congress that bear sole responsibility for this mess that they created and now are trying to clean up and only trying because of intense public anger over the matter.

    October 22, 2009 at 5:40 pm |
  77. maciej

    Very good idea !!

    October 22, 2009 at 5:55 pm |
  78. Elaine Schmidt

    These people were trusted to make a profit for the shareholders – not themselves. In my opinion, if they are receiving government bailout money, all employees benefit packages should be reviewed and anyone receiving salaries/bonuses/perks greater than $200,000 have that amount lower to $200,000.

    October 22, 2009 at 7:04 pm |
  79. Marcus

    Necessary and it is about time. It is disgusting that they have taken so much from people, and then bought up other banks, paid for nonsense like planes and parties, continued doing the same reckless practices that got us into this, and on top of it all, contributed to unemployment with layoffs. They got rid of people to keep their profits high, increased interest rates.... I could go on as you see and we're asking if it is justified??? You have got to be kidding me. If it were up to me a lot of them would be in jail.

    October 22, 2009 at 9:08 pm |
  80. sallie

    JUstifiable. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    October 23, 2009 at 11:13 am |
  81. dennis linville

    Could this be the same executives that agreed to work for no pay to get the taxpayers money before and took the multi- million dollar bonuses ?
    Could this be just another way of saying our government is about to give them even more money to waste while,once again doing absolutely nothing to keep Americans in their homes and bankrupting this country ?
    Just how stupid do you think Americans are ?

    October 29, 2009 at 12:34 pm |
  82. Bob

    NO one deserves huge pay and bonsus for NOT producing....DUH

    November 7, 2009 at 7:23 pm |