On Bearing Grudges

Terrance Heath

President Barack Obama doesn’t begrudge Wall Street’s banksters their bonuses.

Wall Street Bonuses

The president, speaking in an interview, said in response to a question that while $17 million is "an extraordinary amount of money" for Main Street, "there are some baseball players who are making more than that and don’t get to the World Series either, so I’m shocked by that as well."

"I know both those guys; they are very savvy businessmen," Obama said in the interview yesterday in the Oval Office with Bloomberg BusinessWeek, which will appear on newsstands Friday. "I, like most of the American people, don’t begrudge people success or wealth. That is part of the free- market system."

Obama sought to combat perceptions that his administration is anti-business and trumpeted the influence corporate leaders have had on his economic policies. He plans to reiterate that message when he speaks to the Business Roundtable, which represents the heads of many of the biggest U.S. companies, on Feb. 24 in Washington.

Well, maybe the president is a bigger person than I am. Where I come from, we don’t just hold grudges. We nurse them and watch them grow.

And, like a lot of Americans, I do begrudge the likes of Dimon and Blankfein their multi-billion dollar bonuses. Not because I "begrudge people success or wealth," but because I begrudge anyone their ill gotten gains — especially as others are made to support them and suffer the consequences of their actions.

Besides, if I can hold bear a grudge against a person, why can’t bear a grudge against corporations? After all, aren’t they people too?

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