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.