Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Term limits; I think the time has come

We hear a lot about term limits these days, so what are they talking about? It may surprise you to know how few people in our great nation know what a term is for our congressional law makers. (Two years in the House, six years in the Senate) but then you knew that, didn’t you?
So let’s talk about what some perceive as the Pro’s. It takes years to really learn how to be a professional legislator, you need senior members to run the big committees because they have the expertise, and on, and on and on, and on.
So if the job is so hard and we need all these career politicians to get the job done right, then why is congresses approval rating so low? And oh yea; here is another one, we don’t need term limits because we have a national election. Well the truth is this; most Americans aren’t very engaged in who represents them. They vote one of two ways, if they are feeling good about the economy they vote for the incumbent, if they are feeling not so good, they vote for the challenger. Or they just go for name recognition. And notice I did not say if the economy is good or bad, just what they perceive it to be.
Ok so you have probably figured out that I am a fan of term limits, and you would be right. And I don’t mean just for the Democrats, I mean for all members, Democrats, Republicans, and Independents. As a matter of fact I am rapidly becoming a throw the bums out advocate. Let’s just start over we can’t do any worse.
So I went ad did some research because I like to be informed, and here is what some of the pro’s for term limits. (You can find them at
· Builds ‘citizen’ Congress vs career politicians.
· Breaks ties to special interests, lobbyists.
· Destroys seniority/enhances meritocracy
· Improves timeliness of Congress’s thinking.
· Eliminates power of ‘old bulls’ caucus.
· Introduces fresh thinking, new ideas.
· Would provide inescapable, bracing reminders of what life in the real world is like.
· Improves tendency to vote on principle.
· Reduces power of staff, bureaucracy.
· Increases competition among candidates.
· Acts as a natural campaign finance reform.
· Improves the quality of legislation.
· Minimize Members' incentives for reelection-related "pork-barrel" legislation.
· Probably tends to smaller government.
· Overwhelming public favor vs political opposition.
· Would restore respect for Congress.
· Returns incumbent reelection to 50% vs 90% now
So, really anyone have a problem with that? Or think that these are bad things, no, I didn’t think so, and yes I know I answered for you. I’ll tell you why, you can read these and believe it can’t or won’t work, but there is no way you can look at that list and say, wow, that’s “bad”.

It’s really not that hard to understand as I see it; the framers of our Constitution envisioned citizen legislators, not career politicians like we have today, pandering to special interests, and addicted to pork barrel spending, and once again I mean both parties.

We don’t need a bunch of lawyers running the country; we need common people like truck drivers, miners, engineers. (Joe the Plumber where are you)

Ok so I heard this formula that I think makes sense; 12 years, that’s it. Break it up any way you like, 6 terms in the house, 2 terms in the senate, or three terms in the house with one term in the senate. However you want to do it, but 12 years and go home and get a job like the rest of us. I don’t want to hear about the great people we could lose, I don’t buy it, because after 20 years they all, let me say that again, because after 20 years they “all” become corrupt and more interested in keeping their jobs then doing their jobs.

One more thing before I go; how many of you know how many amendments there are to the U.S. Constitution? Ok don’t hurt yourself, there are 27 amendments. I think we need one more, number 28 should go something like this, “Congress will make no law or levy any taxes or programs for the American people, that they themselves are not also subject too.” Like “oh I don’t know” national health care. What so you think? If they had to take part in every program they mandate to us maybe they would really do what is best for the people, just a thought.