House Financial Services Committee hearing, Sept. 10, 2003: Rep. Barney Frank (D., Mass.): I worry, frankly, that there’s a tension here. The more people, in my judgment, exaggerate a threat of safety and soundness, the more people conjure up the possibility of serious financial losses to the Treasury, which I do not see. I think we see entities that are fundamentally sound financially and withstand some of the disaster scenarios. . . .
McCain, GOP target Frank on taxes and spending
By Walter Alarkon
Barack Obama may be on top of the Democratic ticket, but John McCain and Republicans running for Congress are focusing their fire on Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.).McCain, the GOP presidential nominee, and other Republicans in recent days have pointed to remarks by Frank as evidence that Democratic control in Washington will lead to more spending and taxes. The Republicans have argued that the opposite is needed during an economic downturn. They have specifically keyed on Frank’s support for another economic stimulus package and his suggestion that tax increases on upper-income earners are inevitable.“When the chairman of the House Financial Services committee, Barney Frank of Massachusetts, says and I quote, ‘Focus on an immediate increase in spending.’ We should take him at his word,” McCain said during a rally in Denver, Colo., Friday. The mere mention of Frank’s name drew boos from the partisan crowd.McCain’s running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, said Saturday that an Obama presidency combined with Democratic control of Congress would lead to bigger government.“Now they do this in other countries where the people are not free — government as part of the family, taking care of us, making decisions for us,” she said during a rally in Sioux City, Iowa. “I don’t know what to think of having in my family Uncle Barney Frank or others to make decisions for me.”Also on Saturday, the House Republicans’ campaign arm sent out an e- mail trying to link Democratic candidates in competitive races to Frank. The e-mail from the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) highlighted Frank’s proposal for a 25 percent cut in military spending.Backing Democrats will mean “a stronger majority to enact destructive tax hikes on middle-class families and weaken our national defense,” according to the e-mail.Frank called for the spending cut in an interview this week with The Standard Times of New Bedford, Mass. He said that reducing military funding would mean that the United States would have to get out of Iraq sooner. He also argued for a stimulus package that would help pay for healthcare coverage, food stamps and infrastructure projects and could allay investing and credit fears.Frank, known for his intelligence and sharp tongue, has increasingly been in the spotlight in the late stages of the campaign season. He was a lead negotiator in talks over the $700 billion economic rescue package opposed by most House Republicans, who voiced concern about increased government control of the financial sector. Republicans have also charged Frank and Democrats with failing to recognize the mortgage crisis in 2004, when it was beginning.Frank’s office didn’t respond when contacted for comment. But a Democratic strategist said that the Republicans are merely mounting a last-ditch effort at a time when the economy is in trouble.“Eleventh hour attacks from desperate Republicans that rode shotgun while George Bush drove the economy into a ditch are pathetic and laughable,” said Doug Thornell, a spokesman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “The GOP’s answer to the economic crisis is to continue the same failed Bush policies that got us into this mess in the first place.”But NRCC spokesman Ken Spain said Frank’s remarks are important because they provide a preview of what Washington could look like.“At a time when Americans are faced with serious crises at home and abroad, Barney Frank is providing voters with a glimpse into the future if Democrats are given a blank check from the White House on down to both houses of Congress,” Spain said.