John Ransom

Newt Gingrich made headlines in October because he suggested that Barney Frank and Chris Dodd should go to jail for authoring the so-called Dodd-Frank banking reforms. Taken together the “landmark” reforms look a lot like an Obama speech: very wordy, very partisan, but full of inaction, cross-purposes and the typical liberal confusion about economics, society and man.

The legislation crafted by Dodd and Frank has reformed none of the systemic failures in our banking system, but it sure has made it harder for banks to loan money, or for you and me to buy a house.

Much of the failure of the housing sector to recover since 2008 can be laid at the feet of the misshapen and misanthropic Dodd-Frank reforms. And much of the failure of the economy in general to recover since 2008 can be laid at the feet of the failure of the housing sector to recover.  

Loaning money was not a problem when Dodd and Frank both were getting favors from the industries they regulate. Dodd got a VIP loan from one of the most reckless sub-prime lenders, Countrywide; and Frank got his live-in lover- boyfriend, husband, wife, whatever- a job at Fannie Mae, the largest of the government mortgage mills- and Frank went on to staunchly defend Fannie as safe and sound in the run-up to the mortgage meltdown.

So naturally when Congress was looking for a pair of geniuses to fix the banking sector, Dodd and Frank had comedic resumes that stood out. It’s the way Congress has always done business.

"All being corrupt together," wrote E.L. Godkin, of Congress in 1873, "what is the use of investigating each other?" Godkin made a name as a muckraker and a reforming journalist who helped found the periodic magazine The Nation. Note that Godkin was a fierce critic of socialism.         

But of course Frank and Dodd’s chances of seeing a jail cell are not just remote; the chances are nonexistent mostly because they would be judged by others who share the same ethical lapses that Dodd and Frank do.

You are either part of the club or not.

And it’s gotten to the point that we are just not even surprised anymore at the depth of depravity of our political class.

John Ransom

John Ransom is the Finance Editor for Townhall Finance, host of Ransom Notes Radio and you can catch more of the best money advice and monetary commentary by him daily 10am PT, 1pm ET at or on Comcast Cable