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Sun Jan 31, 2021, 08:08 PM

Term limits: another way to kill off the government

Last edited Mon Feb 1, 2021, 08:09 AM - Edit history (2)

I listened to Thom Hartman the other day and once again learned something I didn’t know.

Term limits do away with the ongoing presence of experienced and skilled legislators in government positions. That I knew—it’s pretty logical and I’ve always been against it. But there’s more that I didn’t know.

Most new representatives rely upon experienced members to show them the ropes—or where the bodies are buried so to speak. Imagine people like Bobert and MTG being the most experienced. The prospect is dismal.

The institutional memory of a government body is only as long as the experience of those serving. With term limits, the maximum experience of any legislator would be eight years.

The problem is exacerbated because lobbyists have no time limits and would remain in place as elected officials come and go. Only lobbyists would know where the bodies are buried giving them an advantage over the government and the people.

Scary.

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Arrow 32 replies Author Time Post
Reply Term limits: another way to kill off the government (Original post)
live love laugh Jan 2021 OP
Dem4Life1102 Jan 2021 #1
live love laugh Jan 2021 #2
Mr.Bill Jan 2021 #3
LiberalFighter Feb 2021 #25
bottomofthehill Jan 2021 #4
live love laugh Jan 2021 #5
bottomofthehill Jan 2021 #6
live love laugh Jan 2021 #9
bottomofthehill Jan 2021 #7
Lucinda Jan 2021 #8
Silver1 Jan 2021 #10
live love laugh Feb 2021 #12
AwakeAtLast Jan 2021 #11
Silent3 Feb 2021 #13
Tanuki Feb 2021 #14
Hekate Feb 2021 #15
Hortensis Feb 2021 #19
Progressive Jones Feb 2021 #16
winstars Feb 2021 #17
JI7 Feb 2021 #18
Hortensis Feb 2021 #20
VarryOn Feb 2021 #21
JI7 Feb 2021 #22
VarryOn Feb 2021 #26
JI7 Feb 2021 #27
VarryOn Feb 2021 #28
JHB Feb 2021 #23
LiberalFighter Feb 2021 #24
live love laugh Feb 2021 #29
LiberalFighter Feb 2021 #30
live love laugh Feb 2021 #31
crickets Feb 2021 #32

Response to live love laugh (Original post)

Sun Jan 31, 2021, 08:10 PM

1. Term limits are not democratic

 

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Response to Dem4Life1102 (Reply #1)

Sun Jan 31, 2021, 08:12 PM

2. You're absolutely right. +1

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Response to live love laugh (Original post)

Sun Jan 31, 2021, 08:15 PM

3. I've always been against term limits.

I also think no judge should be appointed for life, though.

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Response to Mr.Bill (Reply #3)

Mon Feb 1, 2021, 09:31 AM

25. Totally agree. And they should not get full pay for their pension.

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Response to live love laugh (Original post)

Sun Jan 31, 2021, 08:16 PM

4. There are already term limits

2 years for the House
4 years for the President
6 years for the Senate

Pretty simple

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Response to bottomofthehill (Reply #4)

Sun Jan 31, 2021, 08:18 PM

5. Term limits for life are not the same as the duration of a term.

Term limits prohibit any future appointment versus the end of a particular term duration where the official is eligible for reelection.

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Response to live love laugh (Reply #5)

Sun Jan 31, 2021, 08:19 PM

6. If people are not happy, there is a lengt of term and that person can be removed.

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Response to bottomofthehill (Reply #6)

Sun Jan 31, 2021, 08:20 PM

9. Of course and removal can be irrespective of the term duration.

Still term limits prohibit reelection and that is a major difference a very important difference.

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Response to live love laugh (Reply #5)

Sun Jan 31, 2021, 08:20 PM

7. If people are not happy, there is a lengt of term and that person can be removed.

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Response to live love laugh (Original post)

Sun Jan 31, 2021, 08:20 PM

8. ❤️ ✿❧🌿❧✿ ❤️

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Response to live love laugh (Original post)

Sun Jan 31, 2021, 08:29 PM

10. Thanks for taking the time to post this.

It's an interesting and really important point I hadn't thought of before.

But I am really glad that we have presidential term limits! And I think that's perfectly fine as far as institutional memory since there are other elected officials who can pass on the wisdom of governance.

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Response to Silver1 (Reply #10)

Mon Feb 1, 2021, 12:50 AM

12. I agree that presidential limits are useful. Universal limits aren't.

There’s too much potential damage if hundreds of representatives served knowing that they would not get another term—in addition to the loss of institutional memory.

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Response to live love laugh (Original post)

Sun Jan 31, 2021, 09:16 PM

11. I think this should include Presidents

Republicans are the ones who term limited FDR, and did not want another one.

Obama could have possibly been President for four terms.

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Response to live love laugh (Original post)

Mon Feb 1, 2021, 12:56 AM

13. How about term limits just for Republicans?

After all, the "experienced and skilled legislators" thing doesn't apply,

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Response to live love laugh (Original post)

Mon Feb 1, 2021, 02:00 AM

14. Meanwhile, the Kochs and Mercers, accountable to no one, can continue

to purchase a succession of representatives, for as long as they want, to do their bidding and advance their agenda. They are the ones who benefit from "term limits."

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Response to live love laugh (Original post)

Mon Feb 1, 2021, 02:13 AM

15. Every time it comes up here I say that. My fellow Californians were talked into voting for it...

...and it has been pretty much as predicted: a constant churn as people term out and seek the next higher office, a political game of musical chairs in which lobbyists are the ones who get to “educate” the freshmen.

Term limits are already written in to the US Constitution. They are called “elections,” and occur every 2, 4, and 6 years.

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Response to Hekate (Reply #15)

Mon Feb 1, 2021, 04:41 AM

19. This. 'They're called "elections," and occur every 2, 4, and 6 years.'

We lived in California in the 1990s and saw that happening. I've read that among various negative consequences, legislative oversight of the executive branch declined big time, so it also enables the rise of authoritarianism that way as well.

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Response to live love laugh (Original post)

Mon Feb 1, 2021, 02:43 AM

16. Another downside to term limits -- laziness and corruption.

Absolutely no motivation to do good for the people of the United States.

Let's say I'm a "get rich quick/easy money/scammy" kind of guy looking for a meal ticket.
I run for office. Let's say I'm elected to the House, and there is a 2 term limit.
What's to stop me from not doing a damned thing for 2 years,
and simply taking the paycheck and the benefits? I could also
go on a bribe taking binge for that entire term. Plus, I get a big pension !

But wait, there's more!

Let's say I'm from a "safe" district for my party. I didn't do shit for
the people of my district (except those bringing the bribes), but I have a great chance
for re-election because of that political safety.

I win re-election !!!

Now I can continue not doing a damned thing for another 2 years, and simply collect the paycheck and benefits, again !!!
Throw in some more bribery and I leave Congress, after 4 short years, a very wealthy and well connected man. With a big pension !!!

Now, onto my lobbyist career...

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Response to live love laugh (Original post)

Mon Feb 1, 2021, 04:01 AM

17. So of course my MAGA "friends" are all about term limits these days. All of them.

What a coincidence.

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Response to live love laugh (Original post)

Mon Feb 1, 2021, 04:22 AM

18. California state legislature is a good example of this

and how we have so many propositions on ballots which can often confuse voters where they think they are voting a certain way but is actually opposite of it.

Term limits make sense for executive positions where it's just one person at the top.

But not for things like legislatures where people have to work with others to pass things.

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Response to JI7 (Reply #18)

Mon Feb 1, 2021, 04:46 AM

20. A CA power figure some decades ago used to say he could get anything passed

by the initiative process. Because he (they) could.

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Response to live love laugh (Original post)

Mon Feb 1, 2021, 04:50 AM

21. I'm against term limits, but I would be in favor of maximum age limits...

Last edited Mon Feb 1, 2021, 08:50 AM - Edit history (1)

We have minimum age limits, so discrimination on age already happens against younger folks.

I could go for 75 years as the maximum. Right now, there are 10 Senators over 75. There are between 70 and 75, meaning 25 Senators are 70 or older. I'm guessing that once they get to DC, they don't want to leave. The power and prestige nice, and they aren't exactly the hardest jobs in the world.

My main complaint is Congressional leadership tends to hang on their position for years and years, and young, fresh talent have no real potential for leadership. Just look at the top leadership (e.g. party leaders, committee chairmanship, Speaker, etc.) in Congress. You have to serve several terms before getting a chance to lead. And by then, chances are you're jaded, cynical, wiley, and tired).


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Response to VarryOn (Reply #21)

Mon Feb 1, 2021, 05:03 AM

22. People vote to re-elect them.

And young Paul Ryan was speaker.

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Response to JI7 (Reply #22)

Mon Feb 1, 2021, 09:59 AM

26. That's probably the most compelling argument against...

what I suggest. If a district or state wants to send an 81 year-old back to the Senate and the likely less-than-optimal representation they'll get, let them do it.

But, the law wouldnt allow them to send a 22 year-old to represent them, even voters wanted it badly.

My goal in putting a maximum age limit is to get more turnover in leadership because I see value in having younger leadership. We have some bright young people in Congress today. Think about it though. As is, it's going to be another 20-30 years before they can have influence in leadership.

And by the way, I'm in my 50's, so I'm no spring chicken myself.

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Response to VarryOn (Reply #26)

Mon Feb 1, 2021, 10:01 AM

27. I saw no value in Paul Ryan as Speaker

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Response to JI7 (Reply #27)

Mon Feb 1, 2021, 10:06 AM

28. No one who lurks or posts on this site did either...

Hell, a big chuck of Republicans didnt either.

The problem with him wasnt his age.

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Response to live love laugh (Original post)

Mon Feb 1, 2021, 05:56 AM

23. Yup. I've been making this argument for some 30 years.

Term limits shift the skills and institutional memory, to people who are less accountable to the voters. The legislators will come and go, but they'll be reliant on a permanent class of aides and consultants who know how to get things done or keep things from being done, or do one while looking like they're doing the other.

And when arguing with people about this, it turns the cynicism that is their whole reason for supporting term limits back on itself.

Hmmm, I wonder if I should update the phrasing of that "permanent class" bit to something like "a real Deep State"?

Still, this is for legislators. For executives, term limits make more sense.

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Response to live love laugh (Original post)

Mon Feb 1, 2021, 09:29 AM

24. This is a letter I wrote for the local newspaper about term limits.

Term limits subvert lawmaking's intent

Two recent letters have strongly supported term limits. They are mostly misguided.

One suggested members of Congress only serve one term – a folly and not warranted when elections already serve as a form of term limit. Another stated the Founding Fathers under the Constitution intended members to only serve one term. This was not intended or included, nor followed.

The average seniority of members in Congress is 10.1 years on the Senate side and 8.6 years in the House at the start of 2019. A total of 20 senators were elected in 2016 or later and 144 in the House.

Term limits would discourage better and more qualified people from seeking office. There are already too many unqualified and unethical people in Congress; we don't need more.

Under term limits, the executive branch would become a haven for corruption when the legislative branch doesn't pursue needed oversight. For legislators to conduct proper oversight requires time to build up the knowledge and experience specific to the federal government.

Building good relationships with other members of Congress, including those from the other side, takes time. Experience and knowledge are critical for providing services to constituents and offering or supporting legislation vital for the government's operation.

Focus should be on campaign finances and lobbyists, especially when it is easier for foreigners and corrupt individuals to contribute to candidates or PACs. Then there are the lobbyists, too many of whom are former members of Congress.

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Response to LiberalFighter (Reply #24)

Mon Feb 1, 2021, 10:25 AM

29. Excellent letter. You've encouraged me to send one locally. nt

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Response to live love laugh (Reply #29)

Mon Feb 1, 2021, 04:37 PM

30. I wrote it in January 2020. Average years of service is slightly different.


The current average is here.
The average years of service for Members of the 117th Congress, as of January 3, 2021, when the Congress convened, was 8.9 years for the House and 11.0 years for the Senate. In comparison, the average years of service for Members of the 116th Congress, as of January 3, 2019, when the Congress convened, was 8.6 years for the House and 10.1 years for the Senate.

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Response to LiberalFighter (Reply #30)

Mon Feb 1, 2021, 05:12 PM

31. Thanks.

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Response to LiberalFighter (Reply #30)

Mon Feb 1, 2021, 07:22 PM

32. Agreed with live love laugh, that is a fantastic letter. Thanks also for the info link. nt

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