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Disruption never helps your cause. It just looks like you're afraid to have rational discussion.

BARNEY FRANK, towh hall meeting, Aug. 18, 2009

There are periods when innovation reaches critical mass, when there is such a combination of new things, it often means that with new technology combined with new ideas, that the existing regulatory framework is left behind. And the role of the public sector is to come up with regulations that allow society the benefit of those innovations in the private sector while curtailing some of the abuses. The problem with the current situation, I believe, is that we had for too long a dominant idealogical viewpoint that rejected that--which rejected the notion that innovation of a very, very substantial sort, innovation that just was turning around a whole lot of previous assumptions and that very much changed existing patterns, that that did not require new regulation.

BARNEY FRANK, speech, Jul. 27, 2009

I was a little troubled when one of my Republican -- soon to be no longer a colleague -- in his campaign in Indiana said that if the Democrats won, Nancy Pelosi would allow me to implement the radical homosexual agenda. The problem is that he lost. He was the first Republican declared defeated on Election Day, and that apparently left some people expecting me to produce a radical homosexual agenda, and I don't have one. I felt inadequate. I mean, I do think we should allow gay and lesbian people to serve in the military and get married and have a job but, by tradition of radical standards, being in the military, working for a living and getting married are not the stuff of radicalism. So I'm still looking for a way to satisfy that demand.

BARNEY FRANK, speech, Jan. 3, 2007

A riddle, Madam Chairman. When is government spending not government spending? And on the other hand, when does government spending which, according to the conservatives, destroys jobs, in fact create jobs? The answer is when it's for weapons. We have, on the other side, a form of weaponized Keynesianism. When it comes to spending money to build roads or improve medical infrastructure or do other things that are enhancing the quality of life, they tell us that government spending doesn't create a job. But when we are talking about continuing to produce weapons that have the admirable purpose of defeating the Soviet Union in the Cold War, and we're still producing the weapons, then somehow we have to keep them going because of its job creation capacity.... I am amazed that people can lament spending and forget the elephant in the room. And when the elephant forgets the elephant in the room, I suppose it's even more surprising, because it is massive military spending now and for the future that is the problem.... The budget that my friends on the other side would like commits us to spending billions of dollars to defend Prague against Iran. I'd rather protect old people against poverty.

BARNEY FRANK, congressional budget resolution for FY10, Apr. 2, 2009

You know, when I was in college, there was a big debate: Do unions raise wages? Well, with regard to industrial unions, there were arguments back and forth -- international competition. It is now clear, I think, that whether or not you think unions raised wages 50 years ago, the absence of unions and their weakness that is inflicted by anti-union public policy depresses wages. The fact is that people who are not represented, in the service industries in particular, are the victims of policies which depress their wages

BARNEY FRANK, speech, Jan. 3, 2007

Nothing in the world is as mobile as capital. It can move anywhere in the world instantaneously.

BARNEY FRANK, Q&A at National Press Club, Jul. 29, 2009

Memory eventually fails us all, but apparently the decline strikes one party far more than the other. In recent weeks, my friends across the aisle have expended a lot of breath proclaiming that the Democrats caused the present financial crisis by failing to pass legislation to regulate financial services companies in the years 1995 through 2006. There is only small one problem with this story -- throughout this entire period the Republicans were in complete charge of the House and for the most critical years they controlled the House, the Senate, and the Presidency. In the House of Representatives, the majority party has almost unlimited power over the minority party. The majority party owns the committee chairmanships; it controls what bills come to a vote; and it is under no obligation to consider the ideas of the beleaguered minority. When the Republicans were in the majority they ruled with an iron first; it is no accident that Tom DeLay was known as "The Hammer." That is why I find it particularly flattering the Republicans now claim that in the years 1995 to 2006 I personally possessed supernatural powers which enabled me to force mighty Republican leaders to do my bidding. Choose your comic book hero -- I was all of them. I wish I had the power to force the Republican leadership to do my bidding! If I had had that power, I would have used it to block the impeachment of Bill Clinton, to stop the war in Iraq, to prevent large tax cuts for the extremely wealthy, and to stop government intervention into the private life of Terri Schiavo. Yet that power eluded me, and I was unable to stop those things.

BARNEY FRANK, The Huffington Post, Mar. 18, 2009

It has generally been an accepted fact that economic growth is a good thing and that the rising tide will lift all boats. I will tell you as an aside that I'm a great believer in free speech. It never occurred to me to tell people not to watch rude and stupid things if they wanted to do that. If I was going to limit free speech, I would make it a misdemeanor to use metaphors in the discussion of public policy. They almost always mislead you, especially in foreign policy. The rising tide lifts all boats has always been a problem. If you think about that analogy, the rising tide is a very good idea if you have a boat. But if you are too poor to afford a boat and you are standing tiptoe in the water, the rising tide goes up your nose. And so that's a mistake.

BARNEY FRANK, speech, Jan. 3, 2007


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