Petition Tag - barney frank

1. Legalize Medicinal Marijuana Now

After getting feedback, I have been advised to limit the purpose of this petition to medicinal advocacy. I am proposing that the federal government clarify its non-intervention in state affairs concerning respective medicinal laws.

Our prisons are now overflowing with Americans who are there because of this plant, that has been proven to posses medicinal qualities.....

Let's reduce our deficit by legalizing and taxing this product.

2. Barney Frank STAY WITH US!

Representative Barney Frank (D-Mass) has announced he will not seek re-election in 2012. We, the people, need you Representative Frank!

You have been a clear, strong voice for the rights of all our citizens, and you don't play political games. You are the voice of transparency. Now, more than ever, we need your intelligence and stalwart stance to speak on our behalf.

We are all tired of the shenanigans being pulled by the GOP, and assume you must want to divest yourself of the fray. However, we NEED your voice AND your vote to help lead the way back to sanity in government.

Please, Representative Frank, reconsider and run again.

3. Independent Financial Oversight Commission

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October, 2008
Heritage Foundation (David Mason) - "Reaching Political Consensus: Some blame "deregulation" for the recent market crisis; others point to government mistakes, such as lax lending fostered by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Excesses by some private companies also played a role. Sorting out the roles and mistakes of government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs), regulators, private companies, and even Congress will not be a simple process. An independent commission would provide the perspective to assess Congress' own role in the crisis, along with other factors, without needing to defend past policy choices. A well-supported report might reduce political posturing and focus policymakers on remedies most likely to improve markets."

"Appointing a commission now would avoid losing the three months until the next President takes office and allow the commission to work in concert with the newly elected President's transition team."

March, 2009
Washington Post (Senators Byron Dorgan and John McCain) - "More than $9 trillion -- in taxpayer dollars -- has been pledged, committed, lent or spent by the federal government in response to the economic crisis. Some say that if the economy continues to deteriorate, trillions more might be necessary to prevent another Great Depression."

"The recovery and growth of our economy depend on the confidence of the American people. That will be restored only when we have investigated, analyzed and fixed the things that caused today's economic crisis."

This petition's author couldn't agree more with the above excerpts from both of these articles. However, I also agree with David Mason's subsequent opinion (published by Human Events) that, "The senators [Dorgan and McCain] are right, but their prescription -- creating a Senate Select Committee on the Financial Crisis -- is wrong," and his conclusion that:

"While Congress and the president must make the ultimate policy choices, an independent, expert commission can help make those choices better informed."

That's the main reason this petition only supports the Financial Oversight Commission Act of 2009 (1, 2), even though there are three other related bills in Congress in addition to the one submitted by Senators Dorgan and McCain. The Financial Oversight Commission Act is the only one that is assured of creating a thoroughly INDEPENDENT Commission because the following clause in its text (1, 2) precludes the inclusion of any political office holders or other government employees:

NONGOVERNMENTAL APPOINTEES- An individual appointed to the Commission may not be an officer or employee of the Federal Government or any State or local government.

This provision was taken word-for-word from the authorization for the 9/11 Commission, as well as the unsuccessful Independent Katrina Commission legislation (1, 2). By contrast, consider the far less exclusionary wording in the four related bills in Congress:

1. Select Committee on Investigation of the Economic Crisis (1, 2) - The Select Committee shall consist of 7 members of the Senate of whom 4 members shall be appointed by the majority leader of the Senate; and 3 members shall be appointed by the minority leader of the Senate.

2. Commission on Financial Crisis Accountability (1, 2) - Qualifications- The members shall have knowledge and expertise in matters to be studied by the Commission, except that the members shall not have a conflict of interest with any matter the Commission is required to review .....

3. Financial Markets Commission Act of 2009 (1, 2) - Qualifications- It is the sense of Congress that individuals appointed to the Commission should be United States citizens with national recognition and significant depth of experience in such fields as governmental regulation, finance, economics, and housing.

4. Financial Market Investigation and Reform Commission (This commission is included as a section of the more inclusive Taxpayer Protection Act) (1, 2) - LIMITATION ON PUBLIC SERVICE- Not more than 2 members of the Commission may be appointed from among Federal, State, or local government employees.

If some form of independent financial committee or commission had been established when it was first proposed in 2008, this petition's author believes that our country's economic future might look a lot better than it does now. However, with even the most optimistic economists still predicting it will take years for a full recovery, it's certainly not too late for one to do a great deal of good. The sooner we enact legislation establishing an independent Bipartisan Financial Oversight Committee or Commission, the sooner we can move past the petty partisan politics in our nation's capital. Then, and only then, will Congress and the Obama Administration have any hope of forging a consensus on the best economic policies for our country to pursue.