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Don Davis, Published February 05 2009

Klobuchar supports limit on executive pay

ST. PAUL – Freezing salaries of executives whose businesses receive federal economic recovery aid is more than symbolic, Minnesota’s U.S. senator says.

“It’s not just chump change,” Sen. Amy Klobuchar said.

The Democrat explained that 116 banks that received federal payments paid top executives an average of $2.6 million. “It is a lot of money,” she said.

President Barack Obama on Wednesday ordered strict wage guidelines on the executives, including requiring that no executive in firms getting federal aid be paid more than $500,000 annually.

“We all need to take responsibility,” Obama said. “And this includes executives at major financial firms who turned to the American people, hat in hand, when they were in trouble, even as they paid themselves customary lavish bonuses. ...

“That’s exactly the kind of disregard of the costs and consequences of their actions that brought about this crisis: a culture of narrow self-interest and short-term gain at the expense of everything else.”

Klobuchar had planned to introduce a bill limiting pay to $400,000, the same as the president earns, but said she is happy with Obama’s number.

“These Wall Street executives clearly didn’t get the memo: Party time is over,” Klobuchar said. “If Wall Street wants our help, then they need to tighten their belts, just like everyone else who’s struggling on Main Street.”


Davis works for Forum Communications Co., which owns The Forum. He can be reached at (651) 290-0707 or ddavis@forumcomm.com