Did Obama Gaffe On Bonuses? No.
Just so we’re clear…
Here’s the original quote that Bloomberg clearly didn’t get right:
“I, like most of the American people, don’t begrudge people success or wealth. That’s part of the free market system. I do think that the compensation packages that we’ve seen over the last decade at least have not matched up always to performance. I think that shareholders oftentimes have not had any significant say in the pay structures for CEOs.”
And here’s another:
“Listen, $17 million is an extraordinary amount of money. Of course, there are some baseball players who are making more than that who don’t get to the World Series either. So I’m shocked by that as well. I guess the main principle we want to promote is a simple principle of “say on pay,” that shareholders have a chance to actually scrutinize what CEOs are getting paid. And I think that serves as a restraint and helps align performance with pay. The other thing we do think is the more that pay comes in the form of stock that requires proven performance over a certain period of time as opposed to quarterly earnings is a fairer way of measuring CEOs’ success and ultimately will make the performance of American businesses better.”
And yet even folks from the left are crying foul.
Here’s Krugman calling Obama clueless…
Oh. My. God.
First of all, to my knowledge, irresponsible behavior by baseball players hasn’t brought the world economy to the brink of collapse and cost millions of innocent Americans their jobs and/or houses.
Did Obama say that? As evidenced by the quotes above, not at all. The Bloomberg reporters clearly cherry picked quotes and mischaracterized his statements. Because Obama clearly DOES begrudge undeserved bonuses.
Paul, please, go back to just being an economist. Because with friends like these…