Area Democrats are livid that Wall Street executives who raked in a fortune are asking hard-pressed taxpayers to cough up $700 billion or more to rescue the firms they ran into the ground.
“They get multi-million dollar payoffs,” said state Rep. Frank Nicastro, a 79th District Democrat and former mayor. “That’s garbage.”
Mayor Art Ward called the compensation that some Wall Street traders and bankers stand to make “a reason to question government”
Both Ward and state Sen. Tom Colapietro, a 31st District Democrat from Bristol, said the bailout may be needed to salvage a strained economy, but the amounts pocketed by the wealthy in the process are outrageous.
“After the guys with the Cadillacs and the Lexuses and the bonuses and the lush mansions” have raked in billions, Colapietro asked, “now we have to bail them out?”
Then he answered his own question.
“Yeah, we have to do it,” Colapietro said.
Colapietro said that after Wall Street showed such “lousy management” that firms were ransacked, “we have to foot the bill” for the party that executives threw for themselves.
Nicastro said that despite their mistakes, those responsible for the problems on Wall Street are walking away with “exorbitant salaries" that are “outrageous and ridiculous.”
“No one needs that kind of money,” Nicastro said. “No one’s worth that kind of money.”
“They’re the ones who set the policy and it’s obvious they didn’t take the precautionary measures they should have,” Nicastro said.
“Maybe we should get tough with them,” he said.
Nicastro said it’s simply wrong that people can get rich ruining companies and then walk away with their wealth while taxpayers get stuck with the bills.
Ward, also a Democrat, said the issue amounts to a two-edged sword, because people can’t allow the ruin of the economy even though the rich benefit so much from the proposed deal.
Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.
Contact Steve Collins at email@example.com