Friday, January 29, 2010

Term Limits

I can not believe that people are calling for Term Limits for Congress.

Here are some reasons that this is a bad proposal.

First off, the Founding Fathers discussed and debated Term Limits when they were drafting the Constitution. Alexander Hamilton wrote in the Federalist, No. 72, “Nothing appears more plausible at first sight, nor more ill-founded upon close inspection.”

Next, is the issue of a lame-duck congressman, what incentive would they have to follow the Constitution? Would they be easier prey for lobbyists? Do you remember the lame-duck special session of Congress back in 1994, when a lot of congressmen lost their seats, but they came back in November after the election and voted and passed GATT? Most Americans were against this treaty, and the elections had been held already, and the congressmen who were voted out did not have to worry about facing re-election.

Some say it is too hard to vote out ‘bad’ congressmen. Well remember House Speaker Tom Foley? Yep, voted OUT, beat by a political Novice. House Ways and Means committee chairman, Dan Rostenkowski, voted Out. The voters Term-Limited them!

Oh and remember the election of 1992, we got 124 NEW freshmen members of Congress… remember the 1994 election, 87 new Representatives and 11 New senators. And the voters did this without term-limits.

I would even say that term-limits would make some of us lazy. Right now we have a congressman’s voting record to view to see if we want to re-elect them or not. But if there were term-limits, then some might say, well it doesn’t really matter if my congressman is doing bad, he will be term-limited next time anyway. People want a quick fix.

Another point with term-limits, congressmen will be ‘new’ at the game and will have to rely on their staff more and more. These congressmen’s staff will be in high demand and then staff personel will start to wield their power, because the congressmen will need them to ‘get things done’. And these office staff are not voted into office by the voters, so we will have no voice in this.

And if you think there will not be career politicians, you might want to think again. After the politicians make their rounds from the house and perhaps the senate, where will they go? They will look to the executive branch, as there are plenty of federal jobs in the various executive departments. So once the congressman is term limited, he may want to help the current president with a bill or two so that the congressman can get that cushy job.

And speaking of Term-Limits and the President…. How is that working out for you? We have Term-Limits for Presidents, but has that helped us have better Presidents?

I think the internet will help us become better voters because we will have the advantage of doing our own research, analysis, and comparison. We will have more dialog with our elected officials and with each other. We can have our own virtual town-hall meetings, our own soap-box and we can help each other stay informed on our current congressman and together hold his feet to the fire.

But in the long run, I don’t think the issue is Term-Limits, it is a Constitutional Convention. Term-Limits is just a sound-byte that the establishment is trying to hook unthinking voters into wanting to change the Constitution. They have been trying for years to force the states to call a Constitutional Convention. Once is was for Equal Rights, then it was for a Balance Budget, next even a Line-Item veto, now, it is the Term-Limit issue. The laymen here in the trenches are unhappy with the government and term-limits seem to be a ‘easy’ way to fix the problem. Make no mistake about it, they want to rewrite our constitution, and make you think we need just a little change here or there. And remember, those that voted for the current elected officials would vote you a new constitution. Will they vote a better one in than the one we have now? I don’t think so. Don’t Do IT!

8 Comments:

Blogger Bill Walker said...

The author urges we should never amend the Constitution. How different might be had those in the past heeded his well thought out advice. We'd still have slavery. Women could not vote. There would be no freedom of speech, religion, rights of trial.

He fails to realize or acknowledge that the Constitution as amended is what has kept this nation strong and vital. He would have this nation stagnate and remain unchanged despite the obvious needs of change that only amendments can serve to accomplish.

The author is also obviously unaware of public record. The Congressional Record shows all 50 states have submitted 750 applications for a convention call. You can read the texts of the applications at www.foavc.org. The Congress, under the terms of Article V, is obligated to call a convention but has refused to obey the Constitution and do so.

The author would have us disobey the Constitution as well ignore history. He must rejected as a constitutional hypocrite, that is one who says he supports the Constitution but then in some fashion demonstrates he believes no such thing. In this case he demonstrates he supports Article V being vetoed and therefore does not support the Constitution. For this reason his advice must be rejected.

4:32 PM, January 31, 2010  
Blogger MickeyWhite said...

I only said no amendments VIA a constitutional convention.

there has to be 34 states calling for a con-con for the SAME THING.

TN has called for a con con many times. the last one, the Balance Budget, had up to 32 states calling for a con con.

So far Not the required majority of states have call for a con con for the Same thing.

Yes we can have an Article V con con but I SAY NO, WE WOULD LOSE ALL OUR FREEDOMS.

5:18 PM, January 31, 2010  
Blogger Michael Morrison said...

Limiting public officials' terms is one of the most important, vital steps we can take toward limiting government and enhancing freedom.
Al Hamilton was wrong about a LOT of things, so I would be very reluctant to quote him.
Instead I would just think, think how people, such as Zach Wamp, promise and swear not to try to make a career out of "service" in government, then stay and stay and stay, and spend and spend and spend, and rake in all kinds of benefits at the expense of the working and producing and creating people.
There is no rational or moral reason any person, not even a Ron Paul, should make his living at the expense of the working and producing and creating people.
Government is not supposed to be the ultimate control of people's lives. It is supposed to be a very limited agency, limited to protecting the rights of the people, not to running them, and certainly not to stealing from them.
Yet that -- stealing -- is what government does best.
Here is a good question: When is it ever right for a group to do what it is wrong for an individual to do?
Individuals are forbidden to steal; so should governments be.
Then, when governments are reduced to their moral size and function, no person would be able to make a career of sponging off the people.
And, perhaps if their terms were limited, those political parasites would be less likely to keep increasing the size and scope of government.

6:42 PM, July 06, 2010  
Blogger MickeyWhite said...

I still support my case. Term limits do not work. An educated populace is the answer.

5:18 PM, July 07, 2010  
Blogger Michael Morrison said...

Well, sure. And if your grandmother had wheels, she'd be a wagon.
That's a huge IF, Mickey, but with government running the schools, and pro-big-government types running the "news" media, the populace is NOT educated, is in fact mis-educated.
Otherwise why would the likes of Barack Obama or Joe Biden or George W. Bush ever be elected?
Also for all those reasons it will be hard to get term limits.
However, rational people, people who want freedom, will continue to be aware of the need for term limits and smaller government.

2:12 PM, July 08, 2010  
Blogger KJ said...

Mickey said: "I still support my case. Term limits do not work. An educated populace is the answer."

For many years I have given serious thought to the pros and cons of Term Limits.

You are correct that an educated constituency is the best answer. But that is a long long road. I observe my fellow citizens and I think it is easy to tell that most people are lazy when it comes to politics. VERY lazy.

They can tell you amazing details about their favorite sports team, but couldn't name one federal bill they cared about or how their senator voted on it.

Priorities!

That said I recently came to believe in term limits. Our form of government was laid out to overcome a lot of human fallibility.

One example of this is that while many people don't approve of congress. When it comes time to vote we see that disapproval is focused only on "the other congressmen". My guy is the one who got money for our park or some other local pork that they thank him/her for.

Term limits will assist in culling politicians. By keeping people in office LESS than 3 terms (2 for senate) they would be closer to the people. Isn't that what our founders intended?

No one would get to build a political machine lasting decades. Lobbyists would always be faced with fresh new people. They wouldn't be able to count on knowing the scene like the back of their hand.

Added benefit - they wouldn't need retirement plans and other perks. And one could hope that many politicians facing their last term would be able to vote their true convictions. After that they would have to return home and live under the laws they have passed.

Lame duck sessions? Well that is a topic unto itself!

7:49 PM, December 27, 2010  
Blogger MickeyWhite said...

Funny thing you mention Lame Duck Sessions. I don't think the one we just had (2010) was very good for the country... but all sessions will end with lame ducks with Term Limits.

We have over 100 new congressmen (house and senate)... no need for an amendment wouldn't you say?

8:47 PM, December 27, 2010  
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