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Of course, as soon as they won control they scrapped the term limits idea, saying the concept was “unworkable” and some even suggested it could be “unconstitutional.”
Both excuses were crocks. States have term limited governors and other elected offices for years. A President is limited to two terms.
Thomas Jefferson and other founding fathers never intended service in Congress to be a career. They envisioned elected office as public service. But many members of both the House and Senate have served for 20 years or more. Some campaigned on promises to serve a limited number of terms in office. Most forgot those promises as soon as they started to enjoy the many perks of service in Congress.
It’s time, I think to impose consider imposing a limit on the number of terms that anyone can serve in the House or Senate.
Lets limit a House member to five terms: 10 years and Senators to two terms: 12 years. If someone serves at least two terms (4 years in the House), he or she cannot serve more than one term in the Senate if they choose election to the “other chamber.”
And, while we’re at it, let’s scrap the welfare program called the Congressional Retirement Program. Service in Congress is — at best — a part-time job and most part-time jobs don’t come with benefits. Let members of Congress apply for health care individually just like other part-time workers. Scrap the free prescriptions from the Congressional medical office, cancel their right to use Bethesda Medical Center and force them to fend for themselves just like ordinary Americans.
That way, they might have a real appreciation for what most of the rest of America goes through when it comes to trying to obtain medical care or put money away for retirement.
Let’s also reduce the size of Congressional office staffs. Business and industry across the nation is cutting back in a sour economy but House and Senate office budgets and staffs continue to grow. Give each a secretary, a legislative assistant and a clerk to open and answer the phones and mail: No press secretaries, no $100,000-a-year plus chiefs of staff, no free mailings for propaganda-stuffed newsletters.
Think about it. If we make serving in Congress a real chore, we might not even need term limits. Most of them would go home after a term or two and look for real work.