Skip to comments.TERM LIMITS
Posted on 10/10/2011 1:33:51 PM PDT by Vintage Freeper
Admission of the fact that the voting patterns of the people or that the desires and wishes of the people who vote influences the behavior of elected office holders is not only an acknowledgement of the superiority of a Republican form of government whether it is recognized as such or not by the people who are opposed to term limits, but it is also an acknowledgement of the absolute need for term limits in order to preserve our Constitutional Republic.
The foundation of the theory of a representative Republic as a form of government is that voters will elect people of the highest moral character, the most experienced, the best educated, or the most intellectually gifted people among those seeking office with the express premise that once elected, the office holders will use their superior judgment to do what the collective wisdom of the office holders deems to be right or in the best interests of the people regardless of any conflicts with public opinion or public preferences that might occur. In a representative democracy, voters tend to re-elect the office holders most responsive to the voting public. In the absence of Term Limits, Gresham's Law (bad money drives out good) applies to politics and politicians; just as it does to money. It follows therefore that Term Limits becomes the "gold standard" of a representative Republic.
History is unambiguous; democracies inevitably degenerate into a tyranny of the majority that collapses in either a bankruptcy or hyperinflation that destroys not only the wealth of the country, but also the wealth of its citizens. In contrast, as the freest and greatest nation in the history of the world, the first 120 years of the American Republic allowed the people of the United States to raise the standard of living for the entire world by a greater amount than all of the combined countries of the world in all of recorded history up to that time. Furthermore, the Gokhale-Smetters report provides the evidence needed to conclude that the current century (1912-2011 and counting) of slow but steady conversion from a representative republic to a representative democracy has brought the United States to the brink of the inevitable fate of all democracies.
Adams said all democracies murder themselves. History tells us that the United States has already outlived most democracies whose lives average 200 years. Our longevity is partly attributable to the fact that we began life as a republic. But the main reason has been that the US has been the most capitalistic of all countries only beginning to embrace socialism on an expanding scale beginning after the 1912 election. How long is the US going to last if it does not embrace TERM LIMITS? A decade? Two decades? I think not more.
If you think bureaucrats are troublesome now, wait until you pass term limits...they’ll run the place. Government union bosses will be running the country in no time.
I’d certainly sign on to a proposed constitutional amendment calling for term limits: 3 for a representative, 1 for a senator. Six years in DC is long enough for anybody to get tainted.
Though the potential is for the bureaucrats to increase in power, I think the overall course of government with term limits would be to decrease the size and scope of government and the power of the Federal government. Thus the bureaucrats and their agencies would be reduce in power rather than have more power.
Term limits don’t work.
Just look at what happened to California after term limits: that is what gave the dems control of the state.
>> “I think the overall course of government with term limits would be to decrease the size and scope of government and the power of the Federal government.” <<
That is exactly the opposite of what has happened wherever and whenever term limits have been implemented.
We need Session limits (two two month sessions per year) and no pension or health plans.
We've had them in place 20 years. They are an abject failure. The elected faces shift seats but the special interests and unaccountable bureaucracy remain rooted in place.
Confronting Unlimited Government: Lessons from the Term Limits Movement
In at least one respect, term limits did achieve their purpose: They reduced the number of years that state legislators may serve in office. Average tenure levels in state legislatures have plummeted, and this has led to greater turnover. However, the evidence shows that term limits have also had many unintended deleterious consequences.
First, term limits promote progressive ambition and careerism to a greater degree than existed before legislators were term-limited. This is because most state legislators plan to run for another office after they are term-limited and use their limited time in office to establish their credentials. Moreover, amateur politicians do not appear to have filled the void vacated by career politicians. Rather, career politicians at the local and municipal levels are moving up into state legislatures. Ultimately, term limits increased careerism by vacating more seats, thus affording greater opportunities for officeholders to advance while at the same time eliminating the opportunity costs of running since they no longer had to worry about retaining their current office while running for a new one.
Second, and most disappointingly for supporters of term limits, there is little evidence that term limits lowered state government spending. The evidence shows that expenditures are, on average, 1.9 percent higher in states with term limits than in states without term limits.
Third, term limits have not encouraged deliberation; rather, legislatures under term limits tend to be characterized by disorganization and disarray as inexperienced lawmakers try to navigate the policymaking process. Term limits have shortened the time horizons of lawmakers. They accelerate the pace of lawmaking as officeholders seek to use their reduced time to prepare for the next office as much as possible. They have discouraged a long-term approach to legislation, making legislators concerned only about the short-term effects of policies. Also, term limits have weakened the influence of party leaders and committee chairmen over policy, preventing legislatures from acting according to a coherent and unified plan. Finally, term limits have reduced civility in state legislatures, as there is little time for members to build the collegial relationships that promote civil discourse.
Ultimately, while the term-limits movement was very successful both in reducing the length of time that state legislators serve in office and in rallying the public against runaway government spending and other ills that plague modern government, it did not accomplish its broader political goals of reducing spending and restoring deliberation. The reason for this failure is that runaway spending and the lack of deliberation are only symptoms of a deeper, systemic problem: the rise of the modern bureaucracy and expansion of the administrative state.
>> “This is because most state legislators plan to run for another office after they are term-limited and use their limited time in office to establish their credentials.” <<
That is term limits, in a nutshell!
I agree. Elections as they imply to incumbents are horrible things. I’d favor 6 year terms for representatives, 12 year terms for senators, and 8 year terms for president, with an absolutely hardcore 1 term limit for all offices.
Campaigning in one thing, and governing another. IMHO, the above would completely eliminate the pressure to govern with not the good of the country, but the results of the next election in mind.
The Dems already had control.
But term limits are what made it possible to get rid of the worst of the worst after a certain amount of time when no election could dislodge them.
And they throw open the possibility that the New Guy just might be a Republican, because the Dem loses the incumbency advantage.
Term limits are how we’re getting rid of our horrible mayor in Los Angeles next time around.
I’m all for them. And for the Supreme Court, too.
You’re nothing but a dreamer.
California was GOP-safe when term limits came in.
The termed out bums just run for a different office now. (or draw a fat pension)
Um, remember Willie Brown? How was he ever going to be dislodged by anything but a term limit?
And irrespective of term limits, CA’s population has decidedly shifted to a Democrat majority. Just because the shift happened around the same time as term limits being enacted doesn’t mean term limits is the cause.
A Dem majority means Dem pols will be elected, whether we have term limits or not.
At least we get DIFFERENT bums every few years. The ones who’ve been in office the longest do the most harm.
Willie was a dem, but he wasn’t a jerk.
What we’ve had since he left has been 100% criminals.
Legislatures (state and federal) could be part-time jobs with 1/10th pay, NO retirement, NO insurance, NO benefits and NO perks. These POS politicians can get a full time job doing something productive not progressive.
Their part-time job could be spent DEFUNDING/DISMANTLING socialist collectives, foreign and domestic (our government in particular).
--That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
Thanks for the ping/post, Vintage Freeper. Very good thread. Thanks to every poster.
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