Although he almost surely did not have input into the language that allowed companies receiving recovery money to pay six and seven figure bonuses to executives (if they were based on pre-Recovery Act contracts), President Barack Obama took responsibility for the problem. The Wall Street Journal reports:
COSTA MESA, Calif. -- President Barack Obama said he will take the blame for bonuses being paid at American International Group Inc. if it will settle an intense finger pointing under way over how such payments were possible at a company that has received tremendous taxpayer aid.
Washington is all in a tizzy and everybody is pointing fingers at each other and saying it's their fault, the Democrats' fault, the Republicans' fault," he said at a town hall meeting Wednesday. "Listen, I'll take responsibility. I'm the President."
He also make clear that it isn't really his fault. "We didn't grant these contracts," he said.
But he added: "So for everybody in Washington who's busy scrambling, trying to figure out how to blame somebody else, just go ahead and talk to me, because it's my job to make sure that we fix these messes, even if I don't make them."
Memo to Republican Senators and Representatives: this is called leadership.