Belle of Liberty

Letting Freedom Ring

Monday, November 28, 2011

Frankly, My Dear, We Don’t Give a Damn About Barney

Barney Frank is a sore loser.  He announced today that he will not be seeking another term in office.  After the 2010 midterm, he decided he didn’t want to be a lame duck so he didn’t announce his plans until now.  He also said that redistricting has made campaigning too “strenuous.”

In addition to the 2008 Dodd-Frank Law, which created a legacy of regulatory burdens that have no chance of preventing future financial meltdowns, in 1987, Frank was also the author of legislation that relaxed the oversight of foreign students in the United States.  This was the law that allowed terrorists like Mohammed Atta to enter the country and then vanish.

Frank will be able to retire comfortably after 16 terms, something most of us will probably never be able to do since the 2008 meltdown liquidated our 401ks.  He plans on a combination of writing, teaching, lecturing and advocating for public policies. 

“I don't have to pretend to be nice to people I don't like," he said.  And we don’t have to be nice to him anymore, either.

Frank was previously chairman of the House Financial Services Committee but is now ranking member since Democrats lost the majority in the 2010 midterm election.   He stated the financial fallout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac's near collapse came as a surprise, claiming that in 2005 he did try to get legislation passed to prevent unqualified homeowners from getting loans, but was stopped by then-House Majority Leader Tom Delay, R-Texas.

However, in 2003, while serving as the ranking minority member on the Financial Services Committee, Frank opposed a Bush administration proposal, in response to accounting scandals, for transferring oversight of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from Congress and the Department of Housing and Urban Development to a new agency that would be created within the Treasury Department. The proposal, supported by the head of Fannie Mae, reflected the administration's belief that Congress “neither has the tools, nor the stature” for adequate oversight. Frank stated in a New York Times story, “These two entities ...are not facing any kind of financial crisis ... The more people exaggerate these problems, the more pressure there is on these companies, the less we will see in terms of affordable housing."  In 2003, Frank also stated what has been called his “famous dice roll”:   “I do not want the same kind of focus on safety and soundness [in the regulation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that we have in the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Office of Thrift Supervision. I want to roll the dice a little bit more in this situation towards subsidized housing.”

Later on, he would lay the blame for the subprime mortgage crisis on the Bush administration, declaring that he never wanted to put people in homes they couldn’t afford.   Frank is certainly getting out while the getting is good.  No doubt, he’s invested his money wisely and feathered his retirement nest with our taxpayer money.  Too bad Massachusetts didn’t hoist this deadweight from office as he deserved.  Sadly, Maxine Waters is rumored to be his replacement on the Financial Services Committee. 

Good-bye and good riddance to Barney Rubbish.



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