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Fri Jan 29, 2016, 02:36 PM

 

Congressional productivity - Would you be in favor of a single term limit for all congresspeople?

I realize the 2 year House terms would probably need to be adjusted upwards given the learning/ramp-up period for a new congresspeople, so I'm thinking something like 3 year terms for representatives, 6 years for senators.

After one term (as either), they are ineligible to serve in either chamber again. 75% of the country is over 18, I don't think we'd have a shortage of people eligible to serve just because we eliminated the permanent political elite.

Their egotistical need for re-election (and the changes to their behaviors/voting patterns that come from that need) disappears. Sure they'll still lie/promise anything to get elected (not sure how we would ever fix that), but once in, you can pretty much trust that they're going to vote their conscience because future votes/campaign dollars are no longer at play. Promises of future cushy jobs, etc. would still be an issue but that's another topic.

Yes, we would lose some good long-term legislators. But I think what we gain by being able to in a very short time move on unproductive/obstructionist legislators would fair outweigh the few quality legislators that we would be losing with such a setup.

The one negative I see (have heard this before, can't claim I had this insight) is that the non-politicians (advisors, consultants, etc.) would be more powerful than ever, as those would be the only people with long-term experience on how the system works.

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Reply Congressional productivity - Would you be in favor of a single term limit for all congresspeople? (Original post)
MadDAsHell Jan 2016 OP
phleshdef Jan 2016 #1
MadDAsHell Jan 2016 #3
phleshdef Jan 2016 #17
Hortensis Jan 2016 #34
atreides1 Jan 2016 #6
MadDAsHell Jan 2016 #10
Hortensis Jan 2016 #35
Volaris Jan 2016 #26
KamaAina Jan 2016 #15
yeoman6987 Jan 2016 #22
phleshdef Jan 2016 #24
villager Jan 2016 #30
jeff47 Jan 2016 #2
Donald Ian Rankin Jan 2016 #13
jeff47 Jan 2016 #19
Donald Ian Rankin Jan 2016 #31
immoderate Jan 2016 #4
LineLineNew Reply +
struggle4progress Jan 2016 #42
99th_Monkey Jan 2016 #5
MadDAsHell Jan 2016 #14
99th_Monkey Jan 2016 #16
SheilaT Jan 2016 #7
etherealtruth Jan 2016 #8
Orsino Jan 2016 #9
Xolodno Jan 2016 #11
LanternWaste Jan 2016 #12
Nye Bevan Jan 2016 #20
LanternWaste Jan 2016 #23
Nye Bevan Jan 2016 #25
MadDAsHell Jan 2016 #27
LanternWaste Jan 2016 #37
LanternWaste Jan 2016 #36
WillowTree Jan 2016 #18
Nye Bevan Jan 2016 #21
Snobblevitch Jan 2016 #28
SDJay Jan 2016 #29
Iggo Jan 2016 #32
oberliner Jan 2016 #33
Aerows Jan 2016 #38
hunter Jan 2016 #39
jwirr Jan 2016 #40
lunatica Jan 2016 #41
Stinky The Clown Jan 2016 #43
ljm2002 Jan 2016 #44
nadinbrzezinski Jan 2016 #45
former9thward Jan 2016 #47
Bigmack Jan 2016 #46

Response to MadDAsHell (Original post)

Fri Jan 29, 2016, 02:38 PM

1. No. Term limits are a horrible idea for legislative bodies.

 

You need people who are able to "learn their committees" and teach newly elected reps. That experience is very valuable when it comes to crafting credible legislation. A lack of term limits isn't the problem. The problem is money. We have to get the money out of politics.

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Response to phleshdef (Reply #1)

Fri Jan 29, 2016, 02:42 PM

3. You make a good point, but money is much harder to control.

 

You can make all the laws/rules in the world related to campaign finance, and plenty will still go under the table (see the NCAA and paying college players).

With term limits, noone can get around that unless they undergo major plastic surgery and get a new identity.

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Response to MadDAsHell (Reply #3)

Fri Jan 29, 2016, 03:02 PM

17. I'd rather take my chances with controlling campaign finance than have no-nothings writing bills.

 

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Response to phleshdef (Reply #17)

Fri Jan 29, 2016, 03:45 PM

34. Agree emphatically. BUT,

these guys like their jobs way too much. And we need to break up that permanent in-crowd that's developed in Washington.

How about, say, 12 years -- time to learn the job and do it for some while, plus add stability, -- then out, with cashing-in jobs and contracts strictly forbidden for another 3 years? That'd be enough time for the "Rolodex" to get dusty.

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Response to phleshdef (Reply #1)

Fri Jan 29, 2016, 02:44 PM

6. That dam has been opened

We'll never get the money out of politics...not even if the Democrats were to take back both houses!


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Response to atreides1 (Reply #6)

Fri Jan 29, 2016, 02:48 PM

10. That's how I feel. nt

 

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Response to MadDAsHell (Reply #10)

Fri Jan 29, 2016, 03:51 PM

35. And I feel that is nonsense. There are 150 MILLION

of us. We can pass laws requiring them to spend the rest of their lives hanging upside down painted purple if only a majority of us agree to it. Although it'd be overturned in the courts, it'd make the point. And, even with Constitutional protections, we can strip them of virtually everything they have. They should be afraid of us and it is well within our power to make them very afraid.

Don't be such weenies. Our grandparents' generation was in worse condition than us when THEY hung the greedy, corrupt bastards of their day up by their heels and shook them down. It was called The New Deal because they took the cards and redealt them.



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Response to atreides1 (Reply #6)

Fri Jan 29, 2016, 03:23 PM

26. Then the money has to start coming from US...

We can elect all the President Sanders' we want, and keep electing them until the end of time.

Unless all federal and state elections are PUBLICLY-Funded (at least as a baseline--you can always go ask REAL PEOPLE for more) we won't get squat.

Publicly-funded elections are the keys to the kingdom. If we do that FIRST, the rest is just the simple math of 50%+ 1+time.

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Response to phleshdef (Reply #1)

Fri Jan 29, 2016, 02:58 PM

15. California's experience illustrates this.

 

Unelected staffers who hang around and move from office to office pretty much run Sacramento these days, because as soon as the members figure out what they're doing, they're termed out and looking around for a new office to run for.

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Response to phleshdef (Reply #1)

Fri Jan 29, 2016, 03:12 PM

22. I like the governors having term limits and it doesn't seem to have any negative outcomes

 

I think 4 2-year terms would be enough for a congressperson to get done what they need to. And 2 6- year terms for senators. Do we really need a senator for 40 years?

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Response to yeoman6987 (Reply #22)

Fri Jan 29, 2016, 03:18 PM

24. I don't see why it matters if they are serving those they represent.

 

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Response to phleshdef (Reply #1)

Fri Jan 29, 2016, 03:38 PM

30. They might have been, once upon a time. Unchecked money is now a "horribler" idea, though

 

...and has just about finished off the vestiges of our "democracy..."

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Response to MadDAsHell (Original post)

Fri Jan 29, 2016, 02:40 PM

2. No. I oppose all artificial term limits.

If the candidate wants to run, and the voters elect that candidate, there's no reason to forbid them from taking office.

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #2)

Fri Jan 29, 2016, 02:54 PM

13. Term limits are a useful protection against elected autocrats and cults of personality.


That said, that's probably less relevant for Congress than for heads of state or government.

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Response to Donald Ian Rankin (Reply #13)

Fri Jan 29, 2016, 03:09 PM

19. Then make the case that the elected official is an autocrat

or otherwise "bad". You shouldn't rely on term limits to do the job for you.

Term limits lead to lazy opposition, like "impeachment is off the table" because term limits will "get" him anyway.

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #19)

Fri Jan 29, 2016, 03:42 PM

31. Not so easy if they control the media, sometimes. N.T.

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Response to MadDAsHell (Original post)

Fri Jan 29, 2016, 02:42 PM

4. There is a way to end terms, it's called an election. That's how democracies work.

 

You want to replace it with a 'termocracy?' How is that better?

--imm

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Response to immoderate (Reply #4)

Fri Jan 29, 2016, 10:11 PM

42. +

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Response to MadDAsHell (Original post)

Fri Jan 29, 2016, 02:44 PM

5. I don't think that's the best answer to the corruption in DC

 

Last edited Fri Jan 29, 2016, 03:19 PM - Edit history (1)

because it doesn't really address the underlying issue of how billionaires & mult-millionaires
buy elections with lobbying, huge "speaker fees" (i.e. bribes), and huge campaign contributions.

Plus, it would throw out the baby with the bathwater, i.e. it would deny office holders like Bernie
Sanders and Elizabeth Warren (and many others who are fighting the good fight) a chance to
gain experience and expertise in how gov't works & how to get shit done. We would never have
had a President Johnson under such rules.

I'd much rather get big money out of politics, return power to We the People on election day,
and replace unworthy corrupt politicians every election cycle.

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Response to 99th_Monkey (Reply #5)

Fri Jan 29, 2016, 02:56 PM

14. Agreed, but how? In what area of American life (or politics) have we ever successfully...

 

removed the influence of money?

That's not a sarcastic question by the way, I'm really hoping there's an example I'm not thinking of, that could be a template for change.

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Response to MadDAsHell (Reply #14)

Fri Jan 29, 2016, 03:00 PM

16. Scrapping CU is a start, then move towards public financing

 

which used to be a popular progressive position to take.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Publicly_funded_elections

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Response to MadDAsHell (Original post)

Fri Jan 29, 2016, 02:46 PM

7. Oh My God No!

 

There would be zero institutional memory, which is hugely important in any organization. There would be zero consequences to any vote or stand because no one would ever be up for re-election. With every single Congress person a newbie, the ones who perhaps hire experienced staff would have a huge edge. Or would you want every single staff member to be new also?

And yes, the Senators and Representatives would be completely at the mercy of lobbyists and outside "experts" as they would not ever have the opportunity to come up to speed on anything at all. I suspect a lot of local elections would wind up being totally a one-issue race, something that candidate would hope to accomplish in the one term, with almost no focus on anything else.

That is perhaps the worst single idea I've ever seen.

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Response to MadDAsHell (Original post)

Fri Jan 29, 2016, 02:46 PM

8. No ... as others have said, we already have term limits

The term limits are called elections

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Response to MadDAsHell (Original post)

Fri Jan 29, 2016, 02:48 PM

9. No. Why would I want MORE of them becoming lobbyists? n/t

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Response to MadDAsHell (Original post)

Fri Jan 29, 2016, 02:50 PM

11. No. It was disastorous in California.

Before they "adjusted" it for longer terms. Lobbyist had all the power. Because the legislatures were so inexperienced and most around them were as well, lobbyist essentially wrote the bills the wanted.....and screwed over the constituents. Particularly when the person was on his way out and going to need a job, guess which bills he pushed? And where he landed afterwards.

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Response to MadDAsHell (Original post)

Fri Jan 29, 2016, 02:53 PM

12. 100% publicly funded elections with zero term limits.

 

100% publicly funded elections with zero term limits. That to me, is as fair as it can get.

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Response to LanternWaste (Reply #12)

Fri Jan 29, 2016, 03:11 PM

20. Do you mean that it would be illegal for third parties to spend their own money

to influence the presidential race, under the system you advocate?

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Response to Nye Bevan (Reply #20)

Fri Jan 29, 2016, 03:14 PM

23. I mean precisely and exactly what you want it to mean...

 

I mean precisely and exactly whatever you want it to mean... regardless of what that is

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Response to LanternWaste (Reply #23)

Fri Jan 29, 2016, 03:23 PM

25. "100% publicly funded elections" can mean a few different things.

Is the 100% public funding optional or compulsory? Can a billionaire still self-fund a campaign? If so, is his spending limited by law? Is third party spending permitted? If so, is it limited by law? It's easy to say that you want "100% publicly funded elections" without really thinking it through and then to obfuscate by saying "I mean whatever you want it to mean" when asked for details.

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Response to Nye Bevan (Reply #25)

Fri Jan 29, 2016, 03:26 PM

27. ^^That's your boy Lantern's MO. nt

 

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Response to MadDAsHell (Reply #27)

Fri Jan 29, 2016, 03:57 PM

37. Welcome back to DU!

 

Welcome back to DU!

Cowering behind implication is trendy. :0

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Response to Nye Bevan (Reply #25)

Fri Jan 29, 2016, 03:57 PM

36. Them asking for clarification would have been in order

 

Them asking for clarification would have been in order rather than asking "do you mean B...?" if A, B, C, and D are all equal possibilities.



I simply want to see private money gone from the picture. I don;t pretend to know each and every consequence... I leave that pretense to you.

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Response to MadDAsHell (Original post)

Fri Jan 29, 2016, 03:07 PM

18. There may not be a shortage of people eligible to serve.......

.......but I assure you, there won't be enough willing to. I'd say after it turns over once, there would be problems finding people to fill the openings. I can tell you for a fact that I wouldn't quit my job in order to run (without any income or benes for that period, by the way) for a job that I may or may not get on the chance that I might get a job that is guaranteed to end in two or three years and then I'll have to find something else to do.

Among the numerous reasons why I don't think this is such a great idea.

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Response to MadDAsHell (Original post)

Fri Jan 29, 2016, 03:12 PM

21. I'm not even in favor of term limits for the presidency.

Which came about, by the way, because the Republicans were pissed that FDR kept winning.

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Response to MadDAsHell (Original post)

Fri Jan 29, 2016, 03:26 PM

28. As far as the idea of term limits,

a limit of one term is ridiculous.

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Response to MadDAsHell (Original post)

Fri Jan 29, 2016, 03:32 PM

29. I'm Not a Fan of Term Limit

but I do think that if these people didn't spend so much time campaigning and raising money and instead did their damn jobs things would work out much better. Does that mean outlawing private money in public campaigns? Perhaps. The folks in the House almost have to start campaigning and fundraising for reelection as soon as they're sworn in, especially if they're relatively new. How does that lend itself to representing their constituents? And based on who's cutting the checks, who are their constituents at this point?

What we have now is a relatively small number of people exerting huge influence on all elections, and I think we all agree that's not good. I don't think term limits solves that problem.

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Response to MadDAsHell (Original post)

Fri Jan 29, 2016, 03:44 PM

32. Nope.

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Response to MadDAsHell (Original post)

Fri Jan 29, 2016, 03:45 PM

33. Absolutely not

 

More experience on the job is a good thing. The tea party neophytes tend to do the most damage.

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Response to MadDAsHell (Original post)

Fri Jan 29, 2016, 04:01 PM

38. I wouldn't limit it to one term

 

I would limit it to two, and then they are ineligible for two terms. That way you get rid of the cliques without getting rid of all of the experience. You can serve as a representative for 2 2year terms, then cannot serve again for 4 years. You can serve for 2 six year terms as a Senator, and then are ineligible for 12 years.

We limit governors and presidential terms, I think limiting legislative terms is an idea whose time has come.

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Response to MadDAsHell (Original post)

Fri Jan 29, 2016, 04:07 PM

39. Hell no. It hands all the real power over to professional staff and lobbyists...

... with a huge revolving door between the two, even to the point where staff and lobbyists are indistinguishable.

Most long term politicians in the U.S.A. are equally bonded to their lobbyists and campaign contributors but they can, at least, be voted out of office if their bad behavior becomes especially obvious and egregious.

Here in California, with term limits, many of our representatives flit in and out of Sacramento never really knowing what's going on, some of them never getting past the "deer in the headlights" look before they are run over by the machine.

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Response to MadDAsHell (Original post)

Fri Jan 29, 2016, 04:17 PM

40. No, I am sorry, I realize why people ask that because there

have been bad representatives. But think of the good ones. Do we want to throw the baby out with the bathwater? Do we want to lose a Ted Kennedy just because there is also a bad congressman?

Supposedly that is what an election is for - if they are bad toss them - if they are good keep them. The problem is with the voters. They are not doing their job.

Also gerrymandering is a real problem. Lets find some way to correct this.

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Response to MadDAsHell (Original post)

Fri Jan 29, 2016, 04:26 PM

41. No. I want people who know what they're doing from experience

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Response to MadDAsHell (Original post)

Fri Jan 29, 2016, 10:18 PM

43. I have long favored term limits. But that one downside you cite is HUGE

Unelected staffers would be running the country. Way more scary than even some of the clowns we have now.

I would favor undoing gerrymandering (on BOTH sides) and term limits, but with longer tems. Maybe 12 years in the senate and 8 years in Congress.

And end the WAY TOO GENEROUS retirement. Make the states pay the salary and benefits of their reps. You realize that you are paying for Tom Delay's pension, right?

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Response to MadDAsHell (Original post)

Fri Jan 29, 2016, 10:20 PM

44. Absolutely not.

All that does is make the permanent members of the federal bureaucracy even more powerful than they already are, thus further diminishing the input of voters into our democracy (or what's left of it).

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Response to MadDAsHell (Original post)

Fri Jan 29, 2016, 10:39 PM

45. Nope, mostly I see what has happened in Mexico

 

where they are thinking of expanding it... and in California where it is two terms and now it is three becuase of the same issues.

Here is what I could see though. A standard career is 20 years, You term out after 24 years in the house, or 24 in the Senate, or a combo of both.

Mind you, term limits also tend to make staffers that much more powerful

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #45)

Fri Jan 29, 2016, 11:47 PM

47. Although I am on "soft ignore"

You had the best post in the thread.

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Response to MadDAsHell (Original post)

Fri Jan 29, 2016, 11:06 PM

46. We already have term limits. They're called elections. nt

 

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