Government can’t be effective if the people in government don’t want to be effective. And sometimes, being in one place for a long time breeds ineffectiveness.
That’s Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul’s argument for creating term limits within the Senate and House of Representatives. What he wants to get rid of is elected officials who are no longer concerned with doing what’s best for the people they represent.
At the Reagan Library this past May, Paul explained his reasoning (via MOFO Politics):
“To win in California again, Republicans should side with voters that, frankly, want to throw the bums out…We need more citizen legislators…So I say term limits. Terms limits for all of ’em. And I include myself in that. You’ll lose some people you think are good, but you’d get rid of a lot of people who have become infected with power.”
See the clip here:
Paul is the co-sponsor of S.J. Res. 1, a joint resolution that calls for a constitutional amendment “which would place a limit on the amount of time a Member of the U.S. House or Senate may serve in office to a maximum of 12 years per chamber,” as it’s worded on his website.
In that same statement, Paul clarified his remarks.
“Long term incumbency leads to politicians who seem to care more about what is best for their career than what is best for their country. With each successive term, politicians grow more and more distant from the people. It is time to put an end to the profession of ‘career politician,’ and impose limits on how many times a member is allowed to seek re-election.”
Paul also sent out a an e-mail to supporters this past August, tying those comfy term limits to the country’s ever-inflating budget. In the e-mail, he writes:
“I can already tell you, my colleagues here in Washington, D.C. are going to FIGHT my Congressional Term Limits Amendment every step of the way….
After years of raiding the national treasury to buy more votes for their next elections, our federal government is saddled with over $17 TRILLION in debt.
Yet cutting spending is barely even mentioned in Washington, D.C.
Instead, my colleagues are falling all over themselves to find solutions to allow them to keep up the Big Government, big spending gravy train for just a little longer.”
Is that a reasonable argument? Would government – and the people it’s supposed to serve – be better off if there were term limits for Senators and Representatives? Let us know what you think in the comments.
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