Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank, the ranking member of the House Financial Services Committee, will not seek reelection in 2012, his office has confirmed. Frank is a 16-term Democrat who last year helped pass the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.
Mr Frank is 71 and was first elected in 1980; he made a career out of politics and it is hard to imagine that the people in multiple generations knew enough about his politics to affectively evaluate his sixteen terms in Congress. In most of his bids for reelection he didn’t even have to campaign. Mr Frank is one of many such career politicians in both parties who overstay their welcome.
Mr Frank has a unique distinction however. While no one person can be blamed for the financial crisis and housing bubble, Mr Frank deserves a lot of the credit via pushing for sub prime mortgages, pressuring the federal mortgage agencies and most recently the ill conceived Dodd-Frank legislation. One can only wonder if his constituents even knew of these efforts or the unintended consequences. He is not alone of course, politicians of both parties should be held accountable for similar social engineering disasters.
No matter, he is retiring with his federal pension and related benefits. His thirty-two year career as a “public servant” is over. However, it should have ended much sooner because we should be limiting the terms for members of Congress. Power corrupts and a long stay in Congress creates a lot of power and little accountability .
Sign the term limit petition by clicking on the link at the top of the page.
Tags: Barney Frank, Congressional pensions, Ranking member, Term limits, United States House Committee on Financial Services