Faced with public outrage, the US House of Representatives has moved to recoup lavish bonuses paid to staff at bailed-out finance firms.
Across the United States, people have been protesting at how public money has been used, denouncing corporate greed. And, amid the uproar, Congress has shown it is listening. The House has voted to approve a 90 percent tax on bonuses for certain employees at companies receiving taxpayer-financed help. While Democrats and Republicans blamed each other for what had happened, the vote was decisive. Troubled insurer AIG paid the equivalent of 120 million euros in bonuses to top executives after the government came to its rescue. Appearing on a top-rated late night chat show, President Obama said his administration was doing everything it could to get the bonus cash back. Obama told interviewer Jay Leno: “The immediate bonuses that went to AIG are a problem but the larger problem is that we have got to get back to an attitude where people know enough is enough, and people have a sense of responsibility and they understand that their actions are going to have an impact on everybody and if we can get back to those values that built America, then I think we are going to be okay.” Obama also broached lighter topics, including the forthcoming arrival of a “First Dog” in the White House – a long-promised present for his daughters.