Polls have shown overwhelming public support for term limits in the judicial and legislative branches of the country, whether the respondents were fiscal conservatives, independents, or social liberals.
Polls also suggest that three House terms and two Senate terms are the preferred lengths.
There is probably no other issue where it is clearer that the government thinks we work for them, instead of the other way around. In 2008, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) introduced an amendment that would indeed establish the above mentioned term limits. Not surprisingly, it was not passed. This is due to an overall attitude that elected officials are “specialists” and somehow know what’s good for us better than we do ourselves. We are smart, we are connected, we have access to the Internet (essentially the sum of the world’s knowledge), and we know how to use it. Reasonable term limits are healthy for a vibrant democracy.
Scholarly papers and news articles abound on the subject. We encourage you to read a few. Of particular note is an article by Doug Bandow of the CATO Institute: “Real Term Limits Now More Than Ever,” http://www.cato.org/pubs/pas/pa-221.html Also, “Term limits take effect” by Susan Heavey, the Washington Post, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/special/termlimits/termlimits.htm and “Term Limits for the Supreme Court: Life Tenure Reconsidered” by Steven G. Calabresi and James Lindgren http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=701121
Calabresi and Lindgren suggest that the framers of the Constitution could not have foreseen the dramatic increase in life expectancy that now puts Supreme Court Justices on the bench for an average of over 26 years, up from an average of just under 15 years. They suggest that each justice serve one, eighteen-year term [just under a generation] starting with each new confirmation and staggered every two years, so that eventually, during every Presidential term, two new justices would be appointed—one during each odd-numbered year [so as to not interfere with federal elections].
Government officials may often do great jobs, but essentially, they are employees. And when employees think the company works for them, then we, the citizens, need to get new employees. Why we, as a country of over 300 million people, would accept a few hundred people as a permanent ruling class of politicians is simply shocking. Enough is enough.
Term limits at the Federal level are necessary to remove the President and Congress from office who have become less than effective in performing their Constitional duties. Doing this will reduce the cost of office by elininating the cost of re-election. One term each for the Executive and Congress will ensure a sense of service instaed of entitlement.
IF TERMS ARE ADEQUATE, THERE'S NO REASON TO EVER RE-ELECT
SINGLE TERM LIMITS :: SERVE AT THE PLEASURE OF THE PEOPLE
SINGLE TERM LIMITS :: SERVE AT THE PLEASURE OF THE PEOPLE :: If an elected official has no re-election to worry about, (s)he can spend her whole term fully engaged in the exercise of serving the people, and then move on, either to compete for other opportunities in public service, or to return to private life and pursuits.
IMAGINE A DEMOCRACY WITH NO RE-ELECTIONS :: SUPPORT SINGLE TERM LIMITS
The term of the Presidency of the United States shall be extended to 6 years, from 4 years, and limited to ONE SINGLE TERM.
The term of a US Representative shall be extended to 4 years, from 2 years, and limited to ONE SINGLE TERM.
The term of a US Senator shall remain at 6 years, and be limited to ONE SINGLE TERM.
"The security intended to the general liberty consists in the frequent election and in the rotation of the members of Congress." - James Madison
According to TermLimits.com :: "Polls show that Americans want congressional term limitation by margins of three-to-one, even four-to-one. This is the issue that separates American citizens, who want to recapture their government, from a careerist-dominated Congress and its illegitimate bureaucratic offspring, the Beltway Elitists, who want to run our lives."
In March of 2010 Barack Obama said to Diane Sawyer, "I'd rather be a really good one-term president than a mediocre two-term president... There's a tendency in Washington to think that our job description, of elected officials, is to get reelected. That's not our job description. Our job description is to solve problems and to help people."
Both the house and senate should have one 6 year term. Two years to figure out their responsibilities and 4 years to get something accomplished. Two years for congressman means they must begin campaigning as soon as they win their elections. Senators must raise an average of $40 million to get reelected - more than a half a million dollars a month. Our representative have no time to do their job which is to represent us. You may say we will lose all the experience we presently have. I believe anyone could make better decisions than what we are presently getting. This would considerably reduce the power of lobbyists and PACs. We could change the term "career politicians" to "volunteer legislatures". They would all be "lame ducks".
Also, individuals, not Corporations or PACs should only be allowed to contribute money and only to those candidates in the states they are registered.
18 years is too long for a Supreme Court Justice. Maybe they should be voted for.
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