President Obama called the $18 billion in bonuses that were paid out to employees of bailed out financial institutions “shameful.” I have a different word for it: criminal. In effect, these bonuses were paid completely with taxpayers' money. If most of the banks had not received billions in government money, they would have gone bankrupt and been unable to pay bonuses.
Obama's anger is part moral and part political. He knows that he will soon be asking Congress for trillions of more dollars to further aid financial institutions. Before these companies receive another dime, Obama should demand a “Give it All Back” clause.
The “Give it All Back” clause would not allow any company that gave out bonuses at the end of last year to receive any government assistance until all the bonuses are paid back. If an employee is unwilling to give back their bonuses, they must be fired and can't be hired by any other company that received government aid.
So far the government has thrown trillions of dollars at Wall Street and has received nothing in return. The banks still act like they are profitable and spend like it is raining money (taxpayers money). The American people are rightfully furious. If Obama doesn't move strongly and forcefully to punish the bad actors, he will lose the support of the people.