I was in the Boston airport late this morning flying to LaGuardia. As I was talking on my phone, I recognized Congressman Barney Frank walking past me. Not wanting to miss the opportunity, I hung up my cell phone and approached Congressman Frank. Here is our conversation:
Me: "Congressman Frank (handshake), why are you holding H.R. 1207 in committee?"
Frank: "What is 1207?"
Me: "Ron Paul’s bill to audit the Fed."
Frank: "Oh, yeah. Ron and I have talked about that. We are going to attach it to a comprehensive monetary Fed bill."
Me: "But you’re not going to water it down, right?"
Frank: "No, we don’t want people to trade off of what the Fed is doing so we don’t want it released the same day."
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Me: "Cause the American people deserve to know what the Fed is doing?"
Frank: "That’s what I just said. You come up to me and you’ve got a chip on your shoulder. And I don’t understand it!" Turns and walks away.
(Frank’s statement that he "doesn’t want people to trade off what the Fed is doing" is absurd. An audit takes place after an action. Even releasing it the same day wouldn’t matter as one would need foreknowledge to take advantage of the Fed’s actions in the way Frank is talking about. Besides, the Fed already publishes press releases, policy statements, speeches, etc. In addition, how perverted is it that every investment decision is subject to the actions of a small group of central planners?)
Now, to be fair, I should have introduced myself to Congressman Frank and thanked him for some really great piece of legislation he had introduced — except that as a libertarian, I couldn’t think of anything worthwhile to thank him for — but I was excited and wanted to catch him before he boarded his plane (he was flying to Reagan, one gate down from mine). However, I was pleasant, courteous, and respectful during the entire encounter and would have gladly thanked him for his time given the chance. Instead Congressman Frank stormed off like a petulant child.
I guess when it comes to politicians and their constituents (read employees and their bosses) courtesy and respect are a one-way street.