Grassley's comments resonate throughout eastern Iowa - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Grassley's comments resonate throughout eastern Iowa

by John Wilmer

WATERLOO (KWWL) -  Senator Grassley gave a verbal lashing to insurance giant AIG on Monday, while doing an interview with Cedar Rapids radio station WMT.

"The first thing that would make me feel a little bit better towards them if they had followed the Japanese example and come before the American people and take that deep bow and say I'm sorry, and then either do one of two things, resign or go commit suicide," Senator Grassley said.        

AIG has received billions in government bailout money. The source of the outrage is 165 million dollars in bonuses paid to executives despite getting bailout money. Lawmakers in Washington are pushing to tax those incentives on as much 100 percent of the value of those bonuses.

Senator Grassley's says his statement was only meant to be rhetoric trying to persuade people to understand his point of view.                       

People come to Morg's, a small cafe in Waterloo, for good food and to catch up on the news of the day. The bailout of AIG has been a hot topic.

"It's totally asinine. It's taking the tax payers money and bailing these people out and then they give it to themselves for bonuses. That's wrong!  Wrong!" Terry Blanford of Waterloo said.

Now Senator Grassley has stoked the fire with his controversial comments and some people agree. 

"Senator Grassley is a true American and he's a true Iowan. He says what Iowan's think and that is exactly what everyone here thinks... has to be," Nick Ludwig of Waterloo said.

On Tuesday afternoon Grassley clarified his statement.

"I'm not suggesting anybody in America commit suicide. I'm just trying to draw attention to the way the Japanese do."

Some Iowan's want to see the government act and get their hard earned tax dollars back from AIG. 

"If that's what they're going to do with it give it back to us and pay interest on the amount of time they've had it," Blanford said.

A spokesman for AIG has called Grassley's initial comments "Very disappointing."

Online Reporter: John Wilmer

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