Monday, August 30, 2010

Let's regulate Barney Frank's pay

From David Boaz at The Cato Institute:

“Rep. Barney Frank, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, said Tuesday that he will hold a hearing this fall to examine whether regulators are being tough enough in curbing pay practices at Wall Street firms that can lead to excessively risky practices,” writes Zachary Goldfarb in the Washington Post.

Hmmm. “Pay practices that can lead to excessively risky practices.” Since Barney Frank entered Congress, federal spending has risen from $590 billion in 1980 to $3.7 trillion this year. (U.S. Budget, Historical Tables, Table 1.1) The annual deficit has risen from $74 billion to $1.5 trillion. Gross federal debt rose from $909 billion to $13.8 trillion — and to over $15 trillion next year. (Table 7.1) And all this without a major war or depression during those 30 years.

Maybe we should adjust pay practices for members of Congress to give them an incentive to avoid risky, unaffordable, out-of-control borrowing and spending.


Nick Rowe said...

I always like to ask what a politician would be doing if they had not gone into politics.

Frank graduated from Harvard college before becoming a political advisor and a state legislator. He got his law degree from Harvard but soon thereafter he became a Congressman.

So he's a very bright guy who probably would have been a decent lawyer, but he's never worked a real job in his adult life. His career path indicates he got his law degree to improve his credentials for public office; he never intended to practice law (unless he lost). That tells us about his character.

He should have been kicked out of Congress for soliciting prostitution, letting his boy toy run a ring out of his house, and for using his office to fix parking tickets for said man-whore. Even if you believe prostitution should be legal, the last charge is clearly an ethical violation worthy of expulsion. Abuse of power to thwart the law is a running theme for Mr. Frank.

The Whited Sepulchre said...

There's probably a GREAT metaphor for the entire lobbying industry in that last paragraph.
I just don't know if I can turn it into something without offending too many people !

Nick Rowe said...

Someone posted a video on YouTube of a lobbyist going down on a Senator.

I commented that it was actually the other way around.

An appropriate metaphor should involve a reach around. While I accept and appreciate that businesses have their interests and freedom of speech too, I don't believe campaign contributions fall into the realm of "free speech." They can run commercials about issues they support, not candidates.

This whole First Amendment thing has gone WAY beyond its original intent. Just about anything is "free speech" now, including publicly funded indecent art, flag burning, disruption of military recruiting in a time of war, leaking top secret documents, wearing military medals you didn't earn, anti-American propaganda, and acts of sedition. If any of these acts happened in 1791 when the ink on the Bill of Rights was still wet, they'd be punished. Although, it didn't take John Adams very long to violate the Constitution's genuine principles with the Aliens and Seditions Act.