Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney took aim at Dodd-Frank financial reform during Wednesday's debate, but Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), who co-authored the reform bill, didn't take the criticism too seriously.
"Whether it's tax deductions or Obamacare or financial reform ... the lack of specificity is really an admission by Romney that what he's proposing is impossible," Frank told The Huffington Post in an interview after the debate. "It's the notion, 'Oh, I'll just sit down with Congress and negotiate with Congress.'"
Romney, who said he would "repeal and replace" Dodd-Frank if elected president, said he thinks the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010 has "hurt the housing market."
"We don't know what a qualified mortgage is yet, so banks are reluctant to make loans, mortgages," Romney said.
Frank slammed this attack as "totally inaccurate," noting, "The housing market has been getting better, not worse." He added that since regulators have not defined what a qualified mortgage is, the policy "has no effect" on loans now, which "will not be covered by this."
Romney also claimed during the debate that Dodd-Frank "designates a number of banks as too big to fail, and they're effectively guaranteed by the federal government."
Frank said that, in fact, banks have "resisted" getting labeled too big to fail. He added that Dodd-Frank subjects financial firms to "much tougher supervisions" and that if a firm "gets into so much debt that they can't pay off all their debts, they are put out of business."
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Obama Doubled The Deficit
When Obama took office in 2009, the deficit was projected to be $1.2 trillion during that year, and it <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/04/us/politics/a-closer-look-at-what-the-presidential-candidates-said-in-the-debate.html?hp">ultimately turned out to be $1.4 trillion</a>, according to Congressional Budget Office data cited by <em>The New York Times</em>. The deficit is expected to be $1.1 trillion for fiscal year 2012.
Obamacare Killed Jobs
The Congressional Budget Office estimates that healthcare reform will reduce the health care industry's workforce <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/03/mitt-romney-obamacare-jobs_n_1937929.html">by only about 0.5 percent</a>, largely because workers will decide to retire early or work fewer hours. And if Romney's Massachusetts health care reform law is any indication, job loss won't be a big problem; employment trends in the state have mirrored national trends since Romneycare took effect.
Dodd-Frank Hurt The Housing Market
The Dodd-Frank regulations aim to prevent another housing crash like the one that helped to cause the 2008 financial meltdown by <a href="http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505245_162-57517942/why-it-matters-wall-street-regulation-and-reform/">banning high-risk lending practices</a>, according to CBS News. In addition, the housing market has <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2012/10/02/home-prices-rising/1608957/">been on a slow rebound</a> since Obama took office. If anything, it may be banks that are holding back the housing recovery. Many are <a href="http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390443890304578006482230678780.html">slow to lend</a> because they're concerned Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will make them take back any bad loans, the <em>Wall Street Journal</em> reports.
The indirect effects of Obamacare have yet to be determined, since the law has yet to be implemented. But as the law is written now, <a href="http://abetteriowa.desmoinesregister.com/2012/10/03/obama-romney-debate-fact-check-claims-on-tax-cuts-and-job-gains-need-second-look/">Obamacare doesn't cut seniors' benefits</a> as part of its plan to curb health care costs, according to <em>USA Today</em>. Obama's healthcare law would curb benefits to health care providers and insurers, but doesn't directly cut seniors' benefits. <a href="http://abetteriowa.desmoinesregister.com/2012/10/03/obama-romney-debate-fact-check-claims-on-tax-cuts-and-job-gains-need-second-look/">Critics allege however</a>, that the cuts in payments would have the unintended consequence of hurting seniors because doctors would stop accepting Medicare patients, according to <em>USA Today</em>.
Health Care Panel
Though Obamacare does create an independent board,<a href="http://www.sfgate.com/business/bloomberg/article/Romney-Plan-Needs-Economic-Growth-to-Add-Up-3918731.php#page-3"> the law prohibits the board</a> from making recommendations to "ration health care," or "otherwise restrict benefits or modify eligibility,” according to Bloomberg.
Employer-Based Health Insurance
Some workers may switch from their employer-provided health plans, according to the Congressional Budget Office, but that number is more likely to be closer to <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/04/obama-romney-debate_n_1938067.html">between 3 and 5 million</a> per year between 2019 and 2022.
President Obama's proposed budget is estimated to <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bernard-whitman/reason-22-1-trillion-in-s_b_1819355.html">cut about $1.1 trillion</a> over the next 10 years and, so far, Obama has signed $2 trilion worth of spending cuts into law, according to Democratic Party Pollster Bernard Whitman.
Balancing The Budget
President Bill Clinton managed to balance the budget during his time in office with a <a href="http://www.newsobserver.com/2011/07/16/1346965/under-clinton-the-budget-balanced.html">tax boost for those in the top 2 percent </a>of earners, according to Duke professor William Chafe.
Adding To The Deficit
Romney's tax plan would<a href="http://firstread.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/10/03/14207584-truth-squad-the-debate?lite"> cost the country $4.8 trillion</a> over the next 10 years, according to Tax Policy Center data, cited by NBC News.
Clean Energy Failures
Businesses that got government clean energy loans failed at a rate of <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/wp/2012/10/03/footnoting-the-debate/">about 1.4 percent</a> at the end of 2011, according to <em>The Washington Pos</em>t.