Best way to display displeasure is to show incumbents the door
|I think the entire Congress of the United States is corrupt. I mean both houses and both major parties.
I realize that a few members of each house are trustworthy but, as a group, I think they are absolutely the most corrupt bunch to ever disgrace our nation.
In November of 2010, the entire House of Representatives will stand for re-election — all 435 of them.
One third of the Senate, a total of 33, will also stand for re-election.
Vote every incumbent out — no matter their party affiliation, or how much you like them.
Let’s start all over in the House of Representatives with 435 people, who have absolutely no experience in running that body, with no political favors owed to anyone but their own constituents. Let’s make them understand that they work for us. They are answerable to us and they simply have to run that body with some common sense.
Two years later, in 2012, vote the next third of the incumbents in the Senate out.
We can do the same thing in 2014; by that time, we will have put all new people in that body as well.
We, the people, have got to take this country back and we have to do it peacefully. That’s what the framers of our Constitution envisioned.
I am also suggesting term limits on the new bunch: eight years for representatives and 12 years for senators — no exceptions. The longer they stay in office, the more power they get. They love it and will do anything to get re-elected.
We have term limited the president; now let’s term limit the legislators.
This thing can permeate the country in no time. Let’s make it happen.
If you doubt what I am saying, think of this: Is it possible that anyone can do a worse job? If they all fell asleep at the opening gavel, it would be an improvement.
So no matter who is elected, it will be an improvement. We could send rats, let them vote randomly and it would be an improvement. Throw the bums out!
We don’t need to have Congress impose term limits. We, the people, can do it ourselves.
We need to take our country back
|The Democrats and a few R.I.N.O. Republicans are pushing hard to transform the health care system in this country into a European/Canadian system that is sure to provide less-than-quality care for all. We also will be taxed now for a health care system that won’t be implemented until 2013.
That doesn’t make sense, or does it?
If the Democrat health care bill passes the Senate, the federal government, for the first time in our history, will force citizens to buy a product whether they want it or not. If anyone refuses to purchase a government approved health care policy, the government, via the Internal Revenue Service, will impose an added tax and can impose prison time. Of course Congress, the body that wants to pass this bill so badly, will be exempt from this mandate.
When did we lose our liberty? When did the federal government become so powerful that it became the master instead of the servant? It was when we baby boomers were busy making a living and leaving the matters of governing to our elected officials.
These officials, wanting to ensure their continued stay in a cushy government job, saw the vast wealth that had accumulated in the Social Security fund and began creating social programs giving the “less fortunate” among us the funds that were earmarked for our Social Security payments.
Congress promised to repay these funds but as history has shown, the federal government has a bad track record of keeping promises; see the history of Native American treaties.
Now that we boomers are starting to retire, there aren’t enough funds for the federal government to keep its promise of Social Security payments so they now plan to tax us again under the guise of “healthcare reform,” while tearing down a health care system that 80 percent of Americans are happy with. This bill is a sham and a travesty that will elevate our federal government to the power that England had over us when the colonies revolted.
We are almost at the point of imposing on ourselves the very thing that we hated and broke away from 233 years ago; total government control.
We need to take back our country. We need to impose term limits on Congress and end all perks after they leave office including retirement; they are not royalty. We need to demand that when Congress votes on a bill that they only vote on that bill and do not add last minute pork or amendments. Lastly we must demand restraints on how Congress spends our hard-earned tax money.
Federal Term Limits: DeMint Is Not Deterred
|Sen. Jim DeMint’s (R-S.C.) is resurrecting the debate about federal term limits with a new push to limit service by Members of the House and Senate to a maximum of twelve years. The main reason he is renewing efforts on this front is to curb the growth of government.
“We know a number of states have gone to this, and we. know the reason for this,” said Demint. “Accumulated power corrupts. And it’s certainly corrupted the current Congress.”
DeMint is shooting for the stars with this project. He’s trying to pass a constitutional amendment to enact it – something that’s required, after the Supreme Court ruled that states were not allowed to impose term limits on their federal representative. Two thirds of both the House and Senate and three quarters of the states would need to approve the amendment for it to take effect.
DeMint is not deterred.
“Regardless of whether or not term limits has a chance to pass, I feel like I have the responsibility to put the bill forward, because so many more Americans are saying, ‘why not?'” he said. “Term limits and a balance budget are two things that could get at the root cause of what’s wrong with Congress.”
He’s emphasized that a Democratic agenda, leading to high federal deficits, is another reason for his term limit push. That’s similar to the term limit push from 1995, when Republicans pushed for the limits in the Contract with America. That measure failed 227-204 when Republicans had the majority.
DeMint says the issue transcends party politics and Congressional tides.
“I’ve supported term limits when Democrats were in the majority and when Republicans were in the majority. It could create a fresh rotation, and someone who believes in something,” he said.
Sens. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), Sam Brownback (R-Kan.), and Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) are cosponsors. Both Coburn and Brownback are notorious supporters of term limits; Coburn retired from the House in 1994 after three terms, and Brownback announced that he will not run for Senate in 2010 after three terms.
Hutchinson, too, has an ax to grind. Her opponent in the 2010 Senate race is Rick Perry, who, if elected, will serve a third term. That’s longer than any other governor in Texas history.
Latin American leaders look to repeal term limits
|Horrified by the excesses of dictatorship, Latin Americans discarded the strongman model at the end of the 20th century and limited politicians’ time in power.
Now a new wave of populist presidents is trying to do away with those limits, arguing that they impede real change. As leaders in country after country move to extend their rule, opponents fearing a return to the “caudillo” era of authoritarian power have done everything to stop them – from throwing eggs to staging coups.
“It’s a new political model of what I call low-intensity dictatorships,” said Manuel Orozco, a Central America analyst at the Washington-based Inter-American Dialogue.
Term limits were the backdrop for a June coup in Honduras, where proponents said they were trying to prevent an illegal attempt by President Manuel Zelaya to extend his time in office. Mr. Zelaya denies any such intention.
Nicaragua joined the fray with a Supreme Court ruling giving President Daniel Ortega the right to seek re-election as many times as he wants. Opponents, calling it an illegal power grab, threw eggs at the judge in charge.
Similar scenarios have played out in Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador and Colombia, where some leaders have made progress on entrenched issues such as poverty or violence but are accused of quashing dissent.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has spent his country’s oil wealth liberally on education, health care and food subsidies for the poor. He also has closed critical media outlets and used a majority in Congress to vastly diminish the powers of opposition mayors and governors.
In December, Venezuelans voted to allow Mr. Chavez, known as “el Comandante,” to seek indefinite re-election.
Mr. Chavez first gained prominence for staging a failed coup in 1992. Far from being appalled at the assault on a 30-year-old democracy, many poor Venezuelans considered the young army lieutenant colonel a hero for trying to overthrow a president accused of stealing millions in public funds.
Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison backs term limits for Senate
|WASHINGTON – Three-term Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison has thrown her support behind a constitutional amendment that would cap Senate service at two terms.
The stance echoes her argument that Texas governors should also face term limits and that Gov. Rick Perry, in particular, has served too long already. But it contradicts her own career.
When she won the Senate seat in a special election in 1993, she pledged not to seek more than two six-year terms. She argued in 2006, however, that it made no sense for Texas to voluntarily give up the seniority and influence she had acquired.
“[She] did not believe that Texas should unilaterally disarm,” said spokesman Jeff Sadosky.
Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., filed the term-limit amendment Monday. Two other GOP senators are co-sponsors: Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, who is seeking a second term next year, and Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas, who is retiring next year to fulfill a two-term pledge. (Coburn gave up a House seat in 2000 after three terms, as he had promised six years earlier.)
“Sen. Hutchison has fought for term limits throughout her career, and was proud to support Sen. DeMint’s efforts,” said Sadosky.
The move drew snickers from the Perry camp.
“The senator has no credibility on the issue of terms limits, considering she broke her own promise to serve only two terms and then ran for a third,” said Perry spokesman Mark Miner.
The amendment would limit House members to three two-year terms. Passage requires a two-thirds vote in the House and Senate, and ratification by three-fourths of the states, and is very unlikely.
Governors serve four-year terms in Texas. Perry has held the office nearly nine years, the longest of any Texas governor.
Hutchison said this summer that she would quit by next month, to focus on challenging Perry.
Critics of legislative term limits argue that it purges experience and discourages long-term thinking. But, DeMint argued: “Americans know real change in Washington will never happen until we end the era of permanent politicians.”
Time for Term Limits in Congress?
|By Peter Roff, Thomas Jefferson Street blog
In the early ’90s the Republican march to majority included the idea that it was time to impose term limits on members of the U.S. House and Senate. A part of the Contract with America, term limits died thanks in part to a disagreement among its supporters over just what those terms should be.
It also didn’t help the cause that those who followed Newt Gingrich and Dick Armey as leaders of the House GOP determined that voluntarily ceding power to other people might not be the most prudent of ideas, especially after the party had spent 40 years in the political wilderness.
Tuesday a group of U.S. Senators, led by South Carolina Republican Jim DeMint, attempted to bring the issue back to life. DeMint, along with co-sponsors Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas and Sam Brownback of Kansas, introduced a constitutional amendment that would apply term limits to all members of Congress. Under their plan, members of the House of Representatives would be limited to three consecutive two-year terms in office and Senators to two, six-year terms.
“Americans know real change in Washington will never happen until we end the era of permanent politicians,” DeMint said in a release. “As long as members have the chance to spend their lives in Washington, their interests will always skew toward spending taxpayer dollars to buyoff special interests, covering over corruption in the bureaucracy, fundraising, relationship building among lobbyists , and trading favors for pork—in short, amassing their own power.”
Arguing that the only way to change the policies coming out of Washington is to change the process, DeMint and the others have proposed a most radical step, one that strikes directly at the heart of the power structure inside the national capital but one that is consistent with the voter outrage directed at the big-spending, grow the government initiatives coming out of the White House and the Reid-Pelosi Congress.
“If we really want to put an end to business as usual, we’ve got to have new leaders coming to Washington instead of rearranging the deck chairs as the ship goes down,” DeMint said.
As a constitutional amendment, the DeMint-led initiative would need to be approved by two-thirds of the U.S. House and by an identical percentage of senators before being sent to the states for ratification, where three-quarters would have to approve before it could become part of the U.S. Constitution.
Letter to the Editor: Term limits would attract better lawmakers
|Everywhere I go, I meet someone who is out of work, had their pay cut back, been sick without medical insurance or been hit by a combination of these calamities. Republican state Rep. Glen Casada said it is time to look at cutting the per diem pay of state legislators.
Republican U.S. Rep. Zach Wamp said it is time to impose term limits on Congress. This staunch Democrat agrees with both ideas. I think it is time for our leaders to put their mouths where their money is, cut through the hypocrisy and do the right thing.
They can begin in the state House of Representatives by phasing out their pension plans. State representative is a part-time position. Retirement pensions should be reserved for full-time workers. Congress almost enacted term limits several years ago. With all the notorious lawbreakers this august body of lawmakers has produced lately, is there any doubt that we could attract a better quality legislator with term limits?
Gubernatorial candidates can do their part, too. I’ve only seen one candidate (there may be others) who has taken the time to clearly state his position on all the major issues of the day, and that is Ward Cammack.
http://secure001.timberlakepublishing.com/alg25/framegen.asp?categoryid=2&optionid=11 It would be nice to see all candidates put forth the same effort. And would it be asking too much for just one out of the 10 candidates for governor to promise a state bank of Tennessee if he or she gets elected?
Term limits would cure Congress
|We read a lot in the news these days about Big Oil, Big Pharma, Big Insurance, big this and big that in the context that these industries are intrinsically evil and bleeding the public of its life blood. Truth be told, these industries are led by people who are simply fulfilling their responsibilities to provide their stockholders with a return on their investments while satisfying the almost insatiable demand for their products and services.
The problems facing us do not evolve from large corporations but from the United States Congress wherein the members try to exercise their power by controlling free commerce. It is said that the “big” corporations are buying favors from congressmen and senators, thereby fouling the legislative process. But no corporation could buy favors from a senator or member of the House without there being a “taker” of the largesse being offered. Don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against lobbying. Lobbying is the means whereby corporations and, yes, even individuals, make their wishes known to those in a position to enact legislation favorable to their causes. There’s nothing wrong with that except when the senator or member of Congress must find something to trade for this incoming favor. This is the beginning of using our resources for the personal gain of individual lawmakers.
These activities must stop, and efforts have been made in the past to do so. Laws controlling lobbyists have been passed, and both the lobbyists and the lawmakers have found loopholes to crawl through. Most legislation takes a long time (sometimes years) to get to the floor of the House or Senate. Lobbyists target career politicians, knowing that they will most likely be there for the long term needed to get the job done. I believe that the only way to curtail the power of lobbyists is to put an end to career politicians. Term limits would achieve this.
Probably few people realize that two-thirds of our U.S. senators have been in office for over 15 years. The senator from West Virginia has been in office over 50 years. Daniel Inouye of Hawaii has served over 46 years. Our founding fathers envisioned citizen legislators serving their constituents temporarily while they took leave from their careers.
According to David McCullough in his biography of our second president, John Adams wrote the following to his son Thomas regarding public service:
“Public business, my son, must always be done by somebody. It will be done by somebody or other. If wise men decline it, others will not; if honest men refuse, others will not. A young man should weigh well his plans. Integrity should be preserved in all events, as essential to his happiness, through every stage of his existence. His first maxim then should be to place his honor out of the reach of all men. In order to do this, he must make it a rule never to become dependent on public employment for subsistence. Let him have a trade, a profession, a farm, a shop, something where he can honestly live, and then he may engage in public affairs, if invited, upon independent principles. My advice to my children is to maintain an independent character.”
I believe that John Adams would be appalled to see what has become of those serving in the Senate and House of Representatives. I believe that we should take steps to curtail the abuses of career politicians through strict term limits. I suggest that members of Congress be limited to no more than five two-year terms. Senators should be limited to two six-year terms. Terms could be regulated so that no more than 25 percent of the members of each branch is up for re-election every two years. Of course, in order to make these kinds of changes, we would need the cooperation of current legislators, and that is not likely. It would take a major public uprising to achieve this goal.
It is career politicians who cause our government to feed off itself year after year. We can put a stop to this waste by limiting the time each member is allowed to serve. By letting more “good” people serve for shorter periods of time, I believe the business of government would get done quicker and at considerably less cost. I think we should give it a try.
GOP congressional hopeful touts term limits
|SOLON, Iowa – Christopher Reed wants to enact term limits for members of Congress – starting with 2nd District U.S. Rep. Dave Loebsack.
Reed, a Cedar Rapids businessman, formally entered the GOP race to try to replace Loebsack on Thursday, charging that the Democratic incumbent simply follows his party rather than representing the district and has failed to deliver the help needed to recover from historic flooding in 2008.
In announcing his candidacy in his hometown of Solon and in Cedar Rapids, Reed, 37, spent most of his time criticizing Loebsack’s support of health-care reform, climate change legislation and costly, heavy-handed intervention in the private sector.
“Washington is not listening to the American populace any longer,” he said. “Bailouts for billionaires, stimulus packages, government takeover of private industry, 1,900-page health-care plans that Americans don’t want.
“It’s time we take our country back,” Reed said. “Someone must stand and say ours will not be the last generation to know liberty and freedom.
“I am that someone. I am a conservative running for Congress. I want to restore the principles of this great nation: individual liberty, personal freedom and personal responsibility,” he said.
Personal responsibility extends to the “average person going to Washington to represent his state,” Reed said, explaining why the first thing he’d like to do as a member of Congress is limit the number of terms he could serve.
“The era of the career politician needs to be over,” he said.
His problem with Loebsack, a second-term Democrat from Mount Vernon, is his “determinant effort to vote for a health-care bill Americans don’t want,” Reed said. Noting health-care bill opponents were demonstrating in Washington on Thursday, Reed said Loebsack’s “in his office, but not listening. He’s still determined to vote for this bill even though it’s bad for America, it’s bad for our future and it’s bad for our economy.”
Loebsack has taken a “back seat” on flood recovery, Reed said.
“There have been a lot of empty promises,” he said. “It’s been 18 months and people still are living in FEMA trailers.
“There’s too much bureaucracy. We need people who can make decisions,” Reed said.
Reed will have competition for the GOP nomination to face Loebsack, a retired Cornell College political science professor. Ottumwa ophthalmologist Mariannette Miller-Meeks, who lost to Loebsack in 2008, and Cedar Rapids businessman Steve Rathje have both indicated they will run.
Reed promised to offer voters a “distinct difference” to Loebsack, who captured 57 percent of the vote in his first re-election attempt.
“In 2008, we didn’t offer a very big difference between Dave Loebsack and the Republican who ran against him,” Reed said, referring to Miller-Meeks. “With my candidacy, there will be a huge difference. People will see you are going to get A or B, not two similar candidates to choose from.
“We are going to offer a real difference,” he said.
Former Linn County Republican co-chairman Harold Barnes believes Reed offers the GOP its best opportunity to win back the 2nd District seat held by Rep. Jim Leach until 2006.
“He’s the strongest candidate and I have confidence he can get the job done,” Barnes said. “He’s a Navy veteran, he owns a business, he’s met a payroll. He’s been through all those things Dave Loebsack hasn’t been through. He’s been tested.”
Committee Considers Term Limits, Contractor Spending
|The Louisville Metro Council’s Accountability and Oversight Committee has begun discussing a proposal for mayoral term limits.
The resolution would ask the Kentucky General Assembly to change the state’s merger law to reduce maximum mayoral terms from three to two.
Ordinance sponsor Brent Ackerson says the legislation is not aimed at his fellow Democrat Jerry Abramson, who has declined to run for a third term as mayor of the merged government.
“This is not a partisan issue, this is not an indictment of anyone, this is an issue of philosophical examination of whether or not term limits in certain offices are applicable or should not be,” he says.
Instead of debating the issue in its meeting Wednesday, the committee instructed its caucus directors to research why the term limits are set at three and to look into a clearer order of succession and imposing term limits on council members.
Committee co-chair Kelly Downard says the debate will begin in earnest in two weeks.
“Next time we meet, we’ll introduce it and in the meantime I hope the caucus directors will have a list of some people who can maybe come before us and talk about the wisdom of why some of these things are there and also some of the ideas we’ll have come up with by that time,” says Downard.
The committee also passed an ordinance that would require certain contractors to disclose how city money is spent on some projects. It now goes to the full council.
Change in term limits would be a solution to incompetent people
|I have read and reread the “critics” comments in opinion pages of my Item and after all the ranting and hand wringing about our incompetent and haughty politicians, I have yet to read of any solution to their problems.
One letter — The Item of Oct. 21 — cites the mayor as being “unresponsive,” with no “job description.” A political “traffic cop” if you will.
Another continues to extol the ignorance of (Jim) Clyburn’s stance on “global warming,” i.e. “the climate is just not good.” FYI: Both he and (John) Spratt voted for a party sponsored bill (H. Res 805) that prevented the House Ethics Committee’s investigation of good ole Charley Rangel (D-NY) for admitted failure to pay his income tax.
Professor Walter Williams of George Mason University very aptly points out that we, the people, “have no control over Congress” and if we “don’t comply with Congress’ demands, death is not off the table.”
George Will of the Washington Post quantified the “created and saved” jobs and obliquely accuses Obama of “buying” his popularity with Stimulus I, II and III. George is no “boat rocker.”
So, what is my solution? Term limits!
No elected person would be allowed to serve more than two three-year terms.
We have people in office that have been there too long, and we have people who continue to compound the problems by returning them to office.
I have, in the past, suggested that we rescue our country through the ballot box, but when we have “uninformed” voters, we, honest, hardworking citizens must take a stand.
So, I wonder, how many of you would sign a term limit petition? If you wouldn’t, then don’t complain about the erosion and eventual loss of our God-given freedoms. Remember this! A government, be it city, county, state or federal, without morality is destined for socialism. Silence is the cesspool of tyranny. God bless The Item!
RICHARD T. SHADOAN
Term limits needed for all officials
|The case for term limits in government offices has been debated and discussed since before the precedent set by George Washington on presidential limits. The New York State Assembly is now calling for a constitutional convention in New York in which term limits will be a main issue. Currently 15 states have implemented term limits. New York has tried, and failed, with S2408 in 2005 and 2006 to implement term limits for its executive and legislative branches.
The need for term limits is supported by many citizens but ultimately voted on by career politicians. Those who support term limits believe that career politicians are not representing the citizens’ interests.
Special interests and campaign contributors have more voice than the citizens to career politicians. Supporters believe that those with experience and interests in the private sector will be more cautious in making decisions that will directly affect their families and their businesses.
Those who oppose such legislation such as former House speaker Newt Gingrich believe that such proposals are “outdated.” The opponents to these laws believe that experience and contacts throughout the Legislature encourages good government. Although in some cases this proposal would eliminate talented and experienced officials; in the long run we would steer closer to a citizen’s government, have more competitive elections and gain the experience of Legislatures in the private sector. While many who oppose these bills believe term limits are imposed each year by their constituent’s campaign; contributions and incumbency, supplied by unlimited terms, is what allows them to be so easily reelected not the issues important to citizens. The advantage of citizen politicians created by term limits, although in rare cases relying on staffers and bureaucrats would ultimately lead to efficiency and fresh ideas in our government. Term limits would allow all citizens with passion and knowledge, not just political connections, to have a place in our government; as intended by our founding fathers.
Thomas Jefferson wrote in 1788, “I apprehend that the total abandonment on the principle of rotation in the offices of president and senator will end in abuse.” Already having a constitutional amendment on limits of terms of the presidency, we must now demand rotation of all offices. This is best done through term limits.