Sunday, March 28, 2010

Term Limits

It is time for Congressional term limits. I know this has been debated and promised by many candidates who just as quickly back down on the issue the minute they have the reigns. For the greatest part of our history there was a great deal of turnover in Congress because of "voluntary quits." the idea that a representative had to go back to his/her district and live under the rules that they had created. Today's representatives (both Democrats and Republicans) have seized the reigns of power and refuse to give them up. It is easy to pad their own cells because they have consistently made laws that apply to the common man, and have excluded themselves specifically. They have voted themselves raises, and given themselves a permanent retirement account. They will never have to live under the laws that they passed. Instead they can keep fleecing the public by drawing their 6 figure retirement income, and Cadillac health care plans until they die, all on the public dole. Do you realize that you, we, all the taxpayers are paying out of our pockets 6 figures per year for congressmen and representatives that are no longer representing us? And they also get to charge enormous engagement fees for speaking to groups after they are no longer in Washington. It is not unusual for them to charge another 6 figures to groups per year just to show up and make comments. Sounds like a real cushy life.

But just putting term limits will not put an end to this shameless pilfering. The congressional retirement benefit would also need to be limited to the time served, which unfortunately is currently around 10 years or more. "Between 1789 and 2002, 13.9 percent of House members and 21.9 percent of senators served 12 years or more, according to the Congressional Research Service. " In today's Congress, 42.9 percent of House members and 45 percent of senators have been in office for 12 years or more," according to data compiled by the authors of the textbook "Congress and Its Members." These people are so out of touch, they no longer represent us, as can be witnessed by the passage of health care reform. They think the people who put them in office (all those years ago) are too stupid to take care of themselves. Instead it is up to the government to know what is best for the people and make sure it becomes law, no matter how unpopular with the people it affects.

This is the very reason the Constitution was written in the first place. This is the reason for the American Revolution and the Declaration of Independence. Our founding fathers and the early American settlers were upset with the lack of input they had with the English Parliament, who had the idea that the colonists should just shut up and pay their taxes because they didn't understand that what Parliament was doing was for their own good. Sound familiar? The current administration would like us to just shut up and pay our taxes like good little law-abiding citizens and forget about the Constitution and the people's rights. They are after all, all knowing and altruistic; only they know what is in our best interest, and the electorate be damned. The Constitution begins with the words, "We the people," for a reason. It is because the government was meant to be truly representative. The members of the legislature and Executive Branch were to be elected by the people, in order to represent the people.

We have limited the terms that the President can serve, but why not the Legislature? Are they not also prone to corruption? Can they not also be out of touch with the people they represent? Our government was meant to be "of the people, by the people and for the people." It is time we the people take back our power and vote them out, and then ensure this level of tyranny never happens again by limiting the number of terms a representative and congressman can serve away from the people they are supposed to speak for.

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