Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Barney Frank Laments Having to Enact Tough Spending Cuts in Coming GOP-Controlled House

When the 112th Congress convenes this coming January and the Republicans take control of the House of Representatives, evidently Representative Barney Frank D-MA is worried that he won't have any fun because instead of trying to find ways to spend the American taxpayers' money, the GOP is going to be looking for ways to cut such spending.

Indeed, Barney Frank, who is the current House Financial Services Chairman, has said that serving on the Appropriations Committee in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives will be a “great pain in the ass."  He continues, “Fascinating fact, apparently for the first time in anybody’s memory, members of Congress have declined seats on the Appropriations Committee,” Frank said Nov. 18 during a CATO Institute panel on defense spending.

“The Appropriations Committee, which has been a great plum, is now going to be a great pain in the ass because you’re going to be expected to come up with cuts in things that are very popular, et cetera," said Frank.

Don't you feel badly for one of the chief person's responsible for the gross mismanagement and the ensuing collapse of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, thus providing the catalyst for the decimation of America's housing market and the economy on whole?  He laments that it won't be fun being on the appropriations committee anymore because instead of reckless abandon spending, congress will now have to make some serious and sometimes difficult choices in spending cuts.

Congressman Frank, you are an embarrassment to the House of Representatives and the American people.  It does not speak well of your constituents that they foolishly decided to return one of the architects of our nation's economic decline to his seat in congress. 

Judging by this recent statement of yours, evidently you still do not get the message either.  Evidently the people of your district in Massachusetts have insulated you from the consequences of your actions directly, but the nation as a whole has taken notice and intends to fix what you and other tax and spend progressives of both parties have broken.


S.W. Anderson said...

You wrote "(Frank) laments that it won't be fun being on the appropriations committee anymore because instead of reckless abandon spending, congress will now have to make some serious and sometimes difficult choices in spending cuts."

Frank said, “The Appropriations Committee, which has been a great plum, is now going to be a great pain in the ass because you’re going to be expected to come up with cuts in things that are very popular."

You're twisting what Frank said. He didn't say anything about reckless abandon spending. You, Paine, are the one who equates things that are very popular with the voting, taxpaying public as reckless abandon spending, not Frank.

A family now scraping to get by on $570 a week unemployment, plus a few bucks from the wife's part-time job, is understandably grateful if Medicare or Medicaid helps grandma get her cataracts taken care of so she can see. Her out-of-work son and daughter-in-law are in no position to help her.

That's the kind of thing Frank is talking about, and what's more I think you know it is. It's not reckless spending.

You want to talk about reckless spending, let's talk about that wasted $1.2 billion for a high-tech fence on the border with Mexico, or the tens of billions blown on an anti-missile system that's been nothing but an embarrassment.

But wait, it gets worse. What do you suppose the unnecessary Iraq war and prolonged occupation cost? It's at least $1 trillion, including $9.5 billion that just disappeared in late 2003, with no one held responsible. It's many millions for health clinics that weren't built, or were but were unsafe and had to be demolished. Millions for shoddy Iraq police stations, some of which were never built, and a police academy that was unusable. Millions more for gasoline for as high as $75/gallon. There's your reckless abandon spending. And no, it wasn't all Frank or other Democrats' doing. And no, none of it was popular with about 73 percent of Americans.

Politics aside, I hope you and yours have the best Thanksgiving yet.

free0352 said...

I don't care what you buy, or how popular it is... when you're 14.8 trillion in debt any spending is reckless. We're going to get austerity no matter what happens, that our our country is going to end. That's the way it is. I wonder how many social programs liberals love so much would have been saved had Washington democrats and republicans (two sides of the same big government coin) simply exersised some fiscal discipline? Well, they're dead now and Frank can cry all day long, I'd like to laugh in his face while he does. He deserves to be tried, and executed for what he and his commity did to the economy. He and Rangel over at weighs and means had more to do with the collapse than Bush or Obama ever did.

T. Paine said...

Anderson, I hardly twisted what Frank said. He is upset that now instead of being on the powerful ways & means committee and thus spending money as he sees fit, now he is going to have to look for places to cut spending because of those danged Republicans.

He is upset because some of his liberal sacred cows are not going to be funded, or funded significantly less than what he wants. I did not mischaracterize his sentiments at all, sir. He has indeed spent our money with reckless abandon.

(For the record, I agree with you Free. Frank and Chris Dodd should be in jail for their intentional mismanagement of the housing GSE's that precipitated our economic collapse.)

As for your list, Anderson, I find it interesting what you deem important, sir. In light of North Korea and their propensity to sell nuclear technology to whatever knucklehead has hard currency, it would seem to me that a missile defense system would be a good idea. Iran is also a HUGE worry in this matter.

I know Obama ticked off some good allies in Europe (Poland and the Czech Republic) by reneging on our theatre missile defense system there that was promised.

Next, at the risk of sounding cold hearted, when one subsidizes people not working for two years, what you will find is that people will not work for two years until the unemployment money runs out. They then will find a job, albeit not the job they want, nor the pay they desire often times.

Econ 101: if you subsidize something with taxpayers' money, you will inevitably get more of it.

S.W. Anderson said...

". . .what you will find is that people will not work for two years until the unemployment money runs out."

Paine, that's not just coldhearted, it's empty-headed.

I'm sure that among the million and a half or more people now without a job, there's a few who are content to ride out the unemployment checks. There's always a few.

Unlike 99 percent of those on unemployment assistance, those few like getting by on minimal money, not being able to buy on credit and having no chance of a raise or promotion. They also have no problem with being without health care insurance or paying through the nose for the outrageously expensive, and limited, COBRA insurance.

Plus, doing job searches, documenting their efforts, showing up for job-search classes and counseling sessions are the highlights of their days of ease and loafing on the taxpayers' dime.

Oh, wait, it's not really on the taxpayers' dime. Money for unemployment insurance came out of their every paycheck from whenever they began working, and will be taken out of every paycheck when they get another job.

Paine, try some of your GOP talking-point "truths" on people who've been out of work for months, and their family members, and see how it goes over. Make sure you've got your running shoes on and an exit plan before you start, though.

You might ask Demeur how swell it is, since he's a 99er now.

T. Paine said...

Anderson, I don't think all unemployed people "ride out their benefits"; I don't even necessarily think that a majority of them do. Indeed I have great sympathy for those that are legitimately out of work and trying to find some job to pay the bills.

That being said, it is not unlike welfare payments in that as long as some folks are provided with them, they see no need to go find a job elsewhere.

This was proven pretty conclusively, yet again, back in 1996 when Clinton signed the welfare reform act. Critics said it would throw millions out on the street. Instead, welfare recipients went down drasticaly and many millions of them went to work finally.

The same is often true for the unemployed. When you subsidize something, you inevitably get more of it. That is common sense basic economics, Anderson.

As for Mr. Demeur and others that are struggling and trying, I honestly feel badly for them and hope that they are successful in their quest. Frankly it is such people that are worthy of help rather than those "enjoying the vacation".

Oh and by the way, I understand where the money comes from for these benefits, and some does indeed come from taxpayers. Do you recall conversations excoriating the GOP for not approving more funding for unemployment benefits until they could find offsetting spending cuts?

Lastly, and I hesitated to put this in here, but I am painfully aware of the realities of this as my wife has been unemployed for quite awhile due to a lot of medical problems she had and it has indeed made money tight here. So I know first hand what this is about, sir.

free0352 said...


You can argue the merits of unemployment insurance till you're blue in the face. Pay roll taxes were indeed taken... but not put aside. Therefore, Unemployment Insurance isn't a trust fund, and unlike a standard risk pool instead of reserving an ammount of each payment the payroll taxes were spent at the whim of Congress instead of preparing for a rainy day for American Workers. In short, like everything Washington mismanaged it.

Therefore, to support more or even continued benafits as you advocate we'll have to borrow every dime of the money to be paid. We're in dafacit 1.5 trillion and in debt 14.3 trillion. Quite frankly we don't have the money to do as you suggest.

Government failed the American worker. We reap the consequnces today or tomorow but make no mistake we will reap them. Our government can't afford to help anyone.