A Barney Frank Appraisal

Guess what: The disastrous policies that spawned our recent mortgage crisis prove that congressional term limits would be a very bad idea.

Not my opinion,
I hasten to add. It’s the view of one Edward Tucker, writing a letter to the Wilmington [DE] News-Journal. Sorry, Ed, about how this Internet thing keeps your communiqué from dropping immediately into the ash heap of history.

Tucker’s view is typical of those who claim term limits would disastrously eject “experience” from the halls of power. He has nothing but praise for the expertise and gab gift of Representative Barney Frank, who has clung to his seat since 1981.

“The ability of only a few elected officials, such as . . . Barney Frank of Massachusetts, to speak intelligently about financial issues…has been impressive and reminds us that elected officials can grow expertise in office.”

Sorry, Mr. Tucker. But Barney was not one of the few congressmen who had been trying to curb the reckless lending policies of the Federal Reserve and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. (The three Big Fat F’s that each deserve a Big Fat F.) Frank was, frankly, one of the chief enablers of federal policies that pushed easy credit and shaky mortgage loans.

Long-time incumbents may become expert indeed at spewing plausible-sounding nonsense in front of the cameras. But expertise in con-artistry isn’t quite the cure-all it’s cracked up to be.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

8 Comments so far ↓

  1. Oct
    9
    10:15
    AM
    seth hubbard

    yup, they are experts at lying.
    the best actors are not in Hollywood, they are making our laws and running our country ( into the ground ).

    once again I have nothing good to say about our politicians.

  2. Oct
    9
    10:31
    AM
    Dr. J.

    5 Big Fat Fs actually in toto:

    The Fed, Fannie, Freddie and the Fairy Frank. And, it’s a fiendish folly this faction has fabricated.

  3. Oct
    9
    10:35
    AM
    Jim Sharpe

    I don’t believe our founders anticipated politics as a profession.

    It is interesting to note that those who have been in office the longest think they know it all and consistently do the most damage.

    If term limit is good enough for the President why not also the Congress?

  4. Oct
    9
    11:36
    AM
    Rubicon

    Jim Sharpe makes a valid comment. Why let members of Congress make politics their lifetime career, when in fact we limit the President? Our Commander in Chief could develop a pack who would rule this nation, if left in power too long. Well, many members of Congress have developed their own pack of powerful allies who facilitate their games.
    Connections to activist groups, community organizer groups, & non governmental organizations (NGO) that have powerful undue influence over our members of Congress & over laws that are written to satisfy their particular agendas while ignoring the good of the people as a whole.
    So, lets have Congressional term limits, but lets also expose Barney Frank & his socialist allies who causes this problem. If people cannot afford a mortgage, then they should not get them, no matter the race, creed, color, national origin, etc.
    How many of these defaulted loans or loans in trouble belong to illegal aliens who got them based on the Community Reinvestment Act, its revisions under Clinton, and crazy policies that we must accommodate everyone, even if they are criminals?

  5. Oct
    9
    12:34
    PM
    Werner

    No, no, no, no!!! Term limits for legislators are NOT the answer. Just imagine 535 Barney Franks passing through as instant lame ducks whose ONLY function is not to re-elected (gerrymandering guaranteed that) but to feather their beds with a special interest group for when they’re out. I keep emailing Mr. Jacob to please look at the disaster California has become but apparently he wants that to be the NATION’s fate as well.

  6. Oct
    9
    2:19
    PM
    Sharpe

    Werner is right. Term limits is not THE answer. But coupled with a consumption tax vice income would certainly be an improvement on the current situation.

  7. Oct
    9
    5:42
    PM
    Hank Gillin

    During the debate on the Constitution, one of the delegates, when asked about limiting terms of congressmen(the Senate was already limited by politics) said:”who in his right mind would want to make politics a career?” or words to that effect. Now we have seen who would want to do that.
    As to calipornia:that place has, by and large, always been a liberal hangout-they elected the boobs that run the place from Sacramento, Such term limits as they have are defeated by the established order of thieves and caqnnot be changed until Northern Cal manages to break away and become a separate state. And don’t yap about the Constitution forbidding splitting states to make another-it’s been done twice in our history.

  8. Oct
    12
    4:22
    PM
    SM

    Barney Frank, although in the minority, had De Facto Control of the House Financial Services Committee (HFSC)

    Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac were the underlying causes of the sub-prime mortgage mess which caused this stock market selloff.

    The House Financial Services Committee (HFSC) was suppose to oversee Fannie & Freddie but are guilty of misfeasance.

    The main culprit on the HFSC formerly known as the House Banking Committee was Barney Frank.

    Barney Frank is trying to evade resposibility by a clever but big lie.

    On the Bill O’Reilly TV program Barney Frank claimed that from 1995 to Jan. ’07, the Republicans were in the Majority and he had no power on the Housing Financial Services Committe, that’s a lie.

    He actually had De Facto Control of the Committee with reference to Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac oversight through intimidation.

    He used his power as the ranking minority member to gain De Facto Control of the HFSC.

    Here’s how he did it :

    That Committee is very large, 70 members, but closely divided. In 2004, for example there were 37 Republicans & 33 Democrats on that Committee.

    Barney Frank as the Ranking Minority Member had a tight grip on the Dems and whenever there was a vote regarding Fannie or Freddie, the Dems voted as a block.

    With 33 votes in his pocket, Frank needed only 3 Republicans for a majority and De Facto Control.

    He obtained these 3 votes by various ways including intimidation.

    Some Republicans were from closely contested districts and all Frank had to do was to threaten them with charges of Racism.

    A vote against Fannie or Freddie would be advertised in the congressman’s district as a vote against housing for minorities or Racism.

    Also, one or two of the Republicans on the Committee were Gay and they were intimidated by being OUTED. Mark Foley of Florida was on that committee.

    Other tactics were used, such as larger campaign contributions by Fannie and Freddie to those Republicans who would vote with Frank.

    Finally some Republicans were more liberal than conservative, and they would find voting with the Dems in favor of Fannie and Freddie to be quite normal.

    In addition, Barney Frank could succeed by asking some Republicans just to abstain from voting and he’d have the majority.

    Barney Frank’s claim that from 1995 to Jan ’07 he had no power as he was in the minority is a big lie.

    I hope that you can use this information when the Dems blame the Republicans for the sub-prime mess because the Republicans were in the majority from 1995 to Jan. ’07.

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