From NBC's Ken Strickland
President Obama may have called it "shameful," but Sen. Claire McCaskill took to the Senate floor and unloaded on the corporate execs getting billions in bonuses funded by taxpayer dollars: "We have a bunch of idiots on Wall Street that are kicking sand in the face of the American taxpayer." And then the Missouri Democrat reloaded.
"They don't get it," McCaskill said. "These people are idiots. You can't use taxpayer money to pay out $18-billion in bonuses... What planet are these people on?"
Today, McCaskill introduced legislation that would cap the executive pay at any company getting federal bailout money at $400,000. (The same salary of the US President.) "They'd have to limit that executive compensation for everyone in their company until they pay back every dime to the taxpayers," she said.
"Once they're off the public dole, once the taxpayers aren't footing the bill, then it's not as much our business what they get paid," she said. "But right now, they're on the hook to us. And they owe us something more than a fancy waste basket and a $15-million dollar jet. They owe us some common sense."
McCaskill added, "We must have our financial institutions survive, but not with a culture that thinks it's OK to kick the taxpayer in the shins while they drink champagne and fly in fancy jets."
And with one more round in the chamber, she fired off: "We should have done it in the first place, but I don't think any of us thought these guys were this stupid... but we've learned our lesson."