Should Senators and Representatives in Congress Be Limited to a Certain Number of Terms in Office?
In a Nutshell
- The current Congress is a dismal failure and is desperate need of new ideas, procedures, and influence.
- Political machines (local party voting infrastructure, redistricting power, media contacts, etc.) of incumbents make it very
difficult to remove them from office.
- Lobbyists and big-money campaign contributors usually direct their efforts at those in power, making it difficult for a new
candidate to get off the ground.
- Politicians are less likely to be focused on special interests and pork-barrel spending if they cannot stay in office indefinitely.
- Lack of term limits leads to a system of seniority, meaning those who have spent the most time in office gain more power (in committees, procedures,
etc.); consequently, politicians focus on staying in office, districts & states don't receive equal power in Congress, and fresh new elected
officials have limited ability to make changes.
- Term limits lead to a "citizen" Congress, rather than one filled with lawyers and career politicians.
- There is less chance for corruption of government officials if time in office is limited; new politicians are less likely to have
the knowledge to exploit the system for personal gain and are more skeptical of lobbyists & special interests.
- Politicians in their last term of office are more likely to ignore politics and media criticism to target what's best for the
country, and they can work to establish tangible accomplishments that will build on their legacy.
- Term limits kick out the good leaders who may deserve to stay in office for
- Every job has a learning curve, and Congress is no exception. Any new politicians would have to go through that when they come into
- Politicians that leave office take with them a lot of experience and contacts that are essential to get things done. New leaders would
have to develop these from scratch.
- Politicians who are in the last term of office are more likely to ignore the will of the people since they don't face the wrath of the
electorate in the future.
Term Limits: Pros and Cons
Why I Oppose Term Limits
Citizens for Term Limits
Is anything missing? Is any of the material inaccurate?
Please let me know.
Written by: Joe Messerli
Page Last Updated: 01/07/2012