Term Limits Now

The recent John McCain scare points out that we need to pass term limits.  I am not a Constitutional scholar and do not know if term limits can be legislated or if it would require a constitutional amendment.  We can forget about the legislative effort; why would someone fire themselves after a few terms in office?  Congress is a bloated country club with all the perks associated with an exclusive club.  America is run by an aristocratic group of elites.  Once elected congressional members are almost always guaranteed a career position from their district.  In addition members have tremendous advantages over anyone challenging them for re-election.  First, and most importantly, they have name recognition.  Most people know who are their Senators and Representatives for Congress and any challenger must spend large amounts of money for people to know who they are.  Congressmen and women have completely free franking privileges (do not pay any postage) and can mail out thousands of letters and other election materials at no cost to them.  These same members have a staff and travel expenses that are paid for by Washington, not themselves.  The result is a Congress with members who have served for many decades.  It is commonplace to have Senators and Representatives in their 60s and 70s unwilling to “retire.”

Medical illnesses, such as heart disease, diabetes and even dementia are more often seen as we age.  How productive can our representatives be when they are battling illnesses and age itself?  This is not even taking into account that job security tends to lower productivity since we are not faced with the possibility of losing our job.  New ideas are more likely to arise from new blood.  People that have been in a position for a long period of time are complacent and unable to see innovation in their job.  I think term limits should be imposed, by whatever means necessary.  Perhaps 2-3 terms for Senators and 6-8 terms for Representatives.  Something must be done because our Congress is failing all of us, regardless of your party affiliation.

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