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Sat Oct 28, 2017, 09:57 AM

 

My Case Against Term Limits

Those who believe that seeking term limits leads to better government certainly have their point. I believe the opposite. I believe that term limits result in worse government and deprives me of my right of choosing the most qualified person for an elected position.

(1). Every office is already term limited. 2 Years for a Congressman, 6 Years for a Senator and 4 Years for a President. The constitution already term limits the President and some states term limit other offices, including Congress, but essentially, terms have definite ending points and the person has to resubmit to the voters, or retire.

(2). Term limits deny me of my choice of an elected official to represent me. You see, I think experience matters and I know how to vote based on an incumbent's record in office. Why should I lose a Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren, only to have a chance of more Ray Moore's in the U.S. Senate? Term limits tell me I'm not smart enough to remove a poorly performing elected official.

(3). Pitch until you get it wrong. In a "wave" election, such as 2010, Tea Baggers would have taken control of Congress if it wasn't for incumbents from both parties. If we change Congressmen every 4 or 6 years, eventually, we'll get an untested moron. I trust my judgement more when I can evaluate a political record.

(4). We have term limits for President. It resulted in the worse piece of shit, moron, fucking asshole, idiot, thief, con-man, liar who ever held public office at any level, controlling the entire Executive Branch of our Government. Our whole Democracy is at risk. I certainly would have preferred an Obama third term.

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Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 11 replies Author Time Post
Reply My Case Against Term Limits (Original post)
louis c Oct 2017 OP
Persondem Oct 2017 #1
louis c Oct 2017 #2
madokie Oct 2017 #3
louis c Oct 2017 #4
Yupster Oct 2017 #5
Freddie Oct 2017 #7
Freddie Oct 2017 #6
cyclonefence Oct 2017 #8
mopinko Oct 2017 #9
JHB Oct 2017 #10
Martin Eden Oct 2017 #11

Response to louis c (Original post)

Sat Oct 28, 2017, 10:05 AM

1. I agree. Election reform is needed, but term limits should not be part of it.

Elections need to be fairer and more transparent with less money involved. They should be far shorter than they are now.

My biggest gripe about term limits relates to your 2nd point - If I have a representative that I like, term limits deny that rep the chance to continue to do good things just when they have things in D.C. figured out.

K & R

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Response to Persondem (Reply #1)

Sat Oct 28, 2017, 10:10 AM

2. We're on the same page

 

In my OP, I was going to write about election reform. If we limit money in elections and mandate more transparency, that would level the playing field.

30 second spots are for casual voters who don't pay attention to the day to day operation of government. and I don't agree with the notion that the "average American doesn't have time" argument. The average American has time for "America's got Talent", they should have time to know how their government works.

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Response to louis c (Reply #2)

Sat Oct 28, 2017, 10:19 AM

3. I agree with what you're saying

We have to get corporate/rich man money out of our elections. As it is now they're buying our politicians. Our electoral campaigns should only last for a couple months at most. Right now we have a bought and paid for government

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Response to madokie (Reply #3)

Sat Oct 28, 2017, 10:29 AM

4. Trump is an example

 

Instead of wealthy, rich men buying our politicians, they can now cut out the middle man.

They can buy the seat and sit in it themselves.

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Response to louis c (Original post)

Sat Oct 28, 2017, 10:54 AM

5. Would you go for a mandatory retirement date?

Maybe no one can run for office once they've passed their 90th birthday?

The company I work for has a mandatory retirement date for the CEO of 65. I thought it was pretty weird as there are thousands of employees over 65.

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Response to Yupster (Reply #5)

Sat Oct 28, 2017, 11:03 AM

7. Or an upper as well as lower age limit to running for Pres.

Like age 70. Sorry Joe Biden. Possibly make an exception if running for a 2nd term. We already had one old president with Alzheimer's and we may be looking at another.

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Response to louis c (Original post)

Sat Oct 28, 2017, 10:59 AM

6. Agreed

With term limits we would never have a true leader like Ted Kennedy. Look at Amateur Hour both in the WH and Congress. Normally seasoned legislators know how to get things done, not just obstruction games like now. Not sure about term limits for POTUS. If Bill Clinton and PBO could have run for a 3rd term they would have won.

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Response to louis c (Original post)

Sat Oct 28, 2017, 11:35 AM

8. Don't forget pensions

The more frequently we churn these guys in and out of office, the more pensions we have to pay. Senators are eligible for pensions after serving only one term.

...Members of Congress are eligible for a pension at the age of 62 if they have completed at least five years of service. Members are eligible for a pension at age 50 if they have completed 20 years of service, or at any age after completing 25 years of service. The
amount of the pension depends on years of service and the average of the highest three years of salary. By law, the starting amount of a Memberís retirement annuity may not exceed 80% of his or her final salary. There were 620 retired Members of Congress receiving federal pensions based fully or in part on their congressional service as of October 1, 2015. Of this number, 344 had retired under CSRS and were receiving an average annual pension of $74,136. A total of 276 Members had retired with service under FERS and were receiving an average annual pension of $41,316 in 2015.

https://www.senate.gov/CRSpubs/ac0d1dd5-7316-4390-87e6-353589586a89.pdf

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Response to louis c (Original post)

Sat Oct 28, 2017, 11:51 AM

9. i always thought that term limits were aimed at teddy kennedy.

and yeah, they are bullshit. elections do a fine job.

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Response to louis c (Original post)

Sat Oct 28, 2017, 12:08 PM

10. Term limits move the actual levers of government farther from the voters

I'm pretty much ok with a term limit for president, with particulars varying for governors and other executive-office holders, but for legislatures they turn the elected officials into pass-throughs and cut-outs.

There is a huge amount of things people need to know when they are drafting legislation, moving it through the process, and passing (or defeating) it. It takes years to build up the knowledge of how to do it and what the tricks are: how to slip something in, how to spot and counter something someone else has slipped in, how to move it forward, how to stall it, how to bring people on board to support it, how to undermine support, etc. Even how to do all of the above and not be obvious about it.


It takes many years to build up that knowledge base, that institutional memory. And it's not just the politicians who need to do that, it's their staff too.

Now throw in term limits, especially tight ones: Just as people develop this institutional memory, they're kicked out... or are they? Some pols and staff may go back to what they were doing before, but others can make careers of sticking around and offering their services to the new class. And to lobbyists. "Permanent Washington" (and state capital equivalents) doesn't go away -- it's actually reinforced as pols are forced to rely on them to get anything done -- it's just moved even farther away from accountability to voters.

People who want term limits think it will make politicians more responsive, but what it really does is outsource the actual work of government to persons who are not getting paid by the voters.


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Response to louis c (Original post)

Sat Oct 28, 2017, 12:16 PM

11. I have additional reasons for being against term limits:

(5). It does not address the root problems. Bad politicians keep getting re-elected due to gerrymandered districts and the corruption of special interest money. We need to eliminate gerrymandering and overturn Citizens United, not restrict the number of terms for what should be a public servant.

(6). True public servants would be cast aside just as they are getting good at their job. Learning all the nuts & bolts of government and becoming an effective legislator is a career progression just like any other. Rookies have less job knowledge and make more mistakes.

(7). Term limits would discourage a career in elected public service for the kind of people best suited for the public good. Choosing a career path that would be terminated long before retirement is not viable for many people. Instead, we would see a revolving door of opportunists looking to get in and get out with rewards for serving the big money interests that financed their campaign.


If we're going to fix what's wrong with our highly dysfunctional electoral system let's fix the root causes. Let's have universal voter registration; standard balloting which accurately records voter intent, is recountable, and can't be hacked; ample polling places with no long lines; instant runoff voting (ranked choice); and elimination of the Electoral College.

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