03/24/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Goldman Sachs Spends 30 Times More On Compensation Than On Small Business Loan Project

New Jersey Democrat Robert Menendez went after Goldman Sachs Friday in an attempt to shame the bank into diverting fewer resources to bonuses and more toward small businesses.

Menendez noted that Goldman plans to dole out some $16.2 billion in compensation, an average of roughly half a million dollars per employee. He compared that to the firm's new 10,000 Small Businesses project -- which he called a laudable idea.

But the firm only put $500 million into that project, about three percent of what it plans to lay out for compensation and about two percent of what it received in taxpayer assistance.

It also equals about $50,000 in loans for each of the 10,000 small businesses -- a tenth of what the average employee will take home and not, of course, need to pay back.

"Looking at the comparison between your bonuses and Main Street initiatives, I want to know what has changed since your firm was kept afloat by taxpayers," Menendez wrote.

Menendez is chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, in charge of running Senate races across the country.

Goldman Sachs earned $4.8 billion in profits for the fourth quarter.

Read the full letter.