Ten Reforms to Save America: Reform Number Two

What Most of Them Need

If we are to save this country, we must begin to clean out the permanent political class that infests Washington DC.  Some of our elected officials serve across generations, and while some may make the argument that it’s not always a bad thing, I can think of too many reasons it’s awful.  Once in power, if the politician can sustain power through one or two re-elections, the politician begins to accumulate favors, but also accrue debts to be paid in favors, whether to lobbyists or other members.  The longer they stay, the more powerful they become, and with that power frequently comes arrogance.  At some point, what typically happens is that they forget about you until the last two months of an election season.

The only way we’re ever going to tackle this is by limiting their terms, their benefits, and their various perquisites.  For those who would argue that this somehow limits voter choice, I thoroughly reject their claim.  This is to suggest that any of these people are indispensable, but I know that for every long-serving member of Congress, there are thousands of people in their home states or districts who are equally qualified, diligent, and ambitious enough to do the peoples’ business. It’s time to drop the charade:  There isn’t a single one of them that couldn’t be easily replaced with another competent American.

I would argue that rather than simple term limits, we limit total federal elected service.  (We’ll get to the un-elected folks in another article.)  I propose that we limit elected federal service to a maximum of sixteen years. You can serve three terms in the House, one in the Senate, and one as President or Vice President, or any other combination that adds up to a maximum of sixteen years.  These terms need not be consecutive.  This should be a lifetime limitation. The limit is hard, meaning that if you seek re-election to your office, but your limit on years will expire before your term, you will still leave office upon the expiration of your limit.  In that way, if you had been elected to three terms in the House, and then one in the Senate, if you sought re-election for a second term in the Senate, you would be eligible only to serve the first four years of that second Senate term.

The idea is to restore the notion of a citizen legislature, and also to return more power to the states.  This proposal would accomplish this by making the political farm teams of state and local politics far more important to the nation as a whole.  It would also negate a goodly bit of the accumulated power that some long-serving members now wield.

The other thing we could add to make this interesting is to write into the necessary amendment that sixteen years of service does not make one eligible for retirement benefits.  I think we would all be better served if the politicians could derive no back-end benefits from their service.  To be honest, I can’t understand for the life of me how we let them construct such endless benefits for themselves.  Limiting their service ends any “moral” claim they might make to such benefits.

The other thing is that I would expressly forbid grandfathering of years already served.  At the point this amendment would take effect, any already having attained sixteen years or more of service would be ineligible for re-election.  You want to get rid of the bums?  This is the way to do it, and this would get rid of most of them. Are you sick of Harry Reid? Mitch McConnell?  Nancy Pelosi?  John Boehner?  Yes, this would rid us of these all.

The greatest two benefits of this system would be to eliminate the extensive kingdom-building in which politicians engage, and destroy the incentive to do so in the first place.   The real system is comprised of people many of whom use their time to consolidate their stranglehold on their office, and once they have it firmly in hand, to use their office to enrich themselves.  I don’t think we should let them linger there so long.

If you want to save the country, this step is critical.  Nothing spoils our nation so much as the competition for dollars to fund earmarks that are effectively vote-buying schemes of one description or another.  We should cut this off, and the way to do that is to say that there is no such thing as unlimited elected service.  Let them return to private life as our founders intended.  To those who say this will cheat democracy, I continue to dismiss their claim.  I am fairly certain that an overwhelming majority of my readers are at least as fit to serve as those who now occupy those offices.


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7 Responses to Ten Reforms to Save America: Reform Number Two

  1. carlirwin12 says:

    The big lie that gets to me more than anything, is when one of these lifetime loons who have been in office for years says that no one else can do the job, they do not know Washington like they do. Well they got that partly right, most people do not know how to be that dishonest, so I guess it does take a few terms to really get corrupted. The hard part of your plan means getting these thieves to pass legislation that would amount to them cutting their own throats, so not much chance of that happening. The only why to do it is to get enough people in office to have a majority to pass the changes, that means both Houses and the White House to stop any veto from that branch. Problem is so many people think their man/woman representing them in office is okay, its the other guys.

  2. 1. Term Limits. Absolutely.

    2. Reading every word of every bill mandatory BEFORE signature.

    3.Author(s) should also be identified and all relationships to congress vetted.Summarized in clear, laymans English (not legalese.)

    3. No "future" laws that kick in should be allowed. Also, see point #2 again.

    Look at this mess, and what else do we not know???

    Quote" The National Association of REALTORS is all over this and working to get it repealed, before it takes effect.But, .. a ploy to steal billions from unsuspecting homeowners.

    Did you know that if you sell your house after 2012 you will pay a 3.8% sales tax on it? That's $3,800 on a $100,000 home, etc. When did this happen? It's in the health care bill and goes into effect in 2013.

    Why 2013? Could it be to come to light AFTER the 2012 elections? So, this is "change you can believe in"? Under the new health care bill all real estate transactions will be subject to a 3.8% Sales Tax.
    If you sell a $400,000 home, there will be a $15,200 tax.

    This bill is set to screw the retiring generation who often downsize their homes. Does this make your November and 2012 vote more important?
    Oh, you weren't aware this was in the Obamacare bill? Guess what, you aren't alone.There are more than a few members of Congress that aren't aware of it either

    4. No mandates or laws should "HAPPEN TO" the American people where their elected representatives are exempted. Period.

    • eyetooth tom says:

      That is good information. I've heard it before on some radio programs. Now there is some home value one has to reach to be subject to that tax like "tax the rich"…and I don't know what that is.
      But still…I paid with after tax dollars for my wife and my my home , raised three kids and now slowing down a bit.
      So maybe I can sell it for more now than it cost in the '70's(was able to pay off before 30 yrs)…whew…maybe they can tax me for what it could have been sold for prior to the housing collapse.
      But I guess I must be fair…O and OWS needs it more!

      • eyetooth tom says:

        And in the Clinton years he proposed in speaking, not as a proposed formal law, that for someone who had paid off his home loan, that person should be taxed for an income equal to what others in the neighborhood had to pay for mortgage or rent. Forget now the actual name of his proposal. Old mind will remember later…keeps trying to come back now…but alas…still escapes me. That idea is on google if one has the right name. It'll probably come to me soon as I hit Post:
        'nother progressive idea of being more being fair I guess.
        Hitting post…still haven''t had name come to me.

  3. eyetooth tom says:

    Finally…"imputed tax". I doubt Clinton thought of it. Maybe Saul Alinsky's book has it in there for benefit of both B and O.

  4. eyetooth tom says:

    Lastly 1thingingwoman…story out of UK in last few weeks….older folks who have raised kids, now living in large home should move out allowing larger families to move in, maybe OWS folks? Didn't say they wouldn't get paid, but if they don't move to smaller place would lose tax advantage, like maybe what my state has as "homestead exemption." Will cost you old folks if you will not move. Article said they would get tax break in smaller place. But forget memories of the old place from living and raising family. Thanks for the memories (that's the Hope I remember, who for 100 years entertained our patriot Soldiers!) I'll keep the USA, you can keep the change.

    • eyetooth tom says:

      Agreeing totally with 1thinkingwoman…."I'll keep the USA, you can keep the change." Not directed toward her… an endorsement.
      Now I'm out of here! Explained all I can…and no more proof reading and correction…(til next time :) ).