Yesterday, President Obama's nominee for both the Secretary of Health and Human Services as well the director of the new White House Office of Health Reform, Tom Daschle, withdrew from his nomination because of his tax troubles. Obama had counted on him, with his years of experience dealing with the health industry, to reform health care. Personally, I believe that Daschle should not have withdrew himself - everyone has a skeleton in their closet and he revealed it before he took office and was transparent about it in the past month or so about it. This is a major blow to the commitment that Obama made to provide better access to healthcare to the country. I hope he will find a replacement with as much (or more) experience soon.
Today, Obama overcame the sad news yesterday by ordering a pay freeze on executives of companies which were receiving taxpayer money from any bailouts. The salary would be capped at $500,000; any additional money paid by the companies would have to be issued as stock that cannot be sold until the company has paid back its government loans. This move is especially important, considering how companies still paid their executives over $18 Billion in bonuses last year, and many more bonuses, such as Wells Fargo continuing their annual tradition of an exclusive 2 week retreat for top-performing employees - this time a trip to the pricey Wynn in Las Vegas - until public outcry forced them to cancel it this year.