Video: Bush: Undisputed economic leader

By Editor-in-chief
updated 2/1/2007 9:44:38 AM ET 2007-02-01T14:44:38

President Bush’s criticism of lavish salaries and bonuses for corporate executives touched a chord with Americans who miss the days when they could trust CEOs and the businesses they run.

“Thank you, Mr President, for speaking on this issue,” wrote a frequent critique of Bush at the online political community called . “Much of what we see as America's downward spiral of ethics has been displayed within corporate America.”

The writer, who goes by the username “1averagejoeusa,” continued: “I do not often agree with what President Bush says, but when he says something that is good then we should give him credit.”

Bush, trumpeting his economic agenda in a New York address Wednesday, said he realizes that stories about CEO largesse create anger and uncertainty that affect the country’s investors. “Government should not decide the compensation for America’s corporate executives,” he said. “But the salaries and bonuses of CEOs should be based on their success at improving their companies and bringing value to their shareholders.”

Another frequent HOTSOUP contributor who often takes pokes at the president, an aspiring educator known as “wamoshiii,” said the building block of any economy is trust. People must trust bankers with their money and employers with their jobs. “Each day’s newspaper, it seems, brings more tidings of unrestrained selfishness and self-dealing and rafts of powerful people saying it’s good for us to be robbed if only we truly understood the system,” he wrote. “The problem is, we’re getting to understand it all too well. And there is no one in Washington — absolutely no one — to help."

Ian Broverman, a suburban Washington engineer, praised Bush for his words. “But I don’t expect to see him act. He can’t – his base supporters are deeply rooted in the belief that government shouldn't interfere with business salaries.”

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