Up until quite recently, I have been a big proponent of term limits on Congress, thinking that it was one of the best things we can do to fix things. The vast majority of people are for having term limits.
I’m not so sure anymore.
I think, with all things, you really need to consider the unintended consequences. I don’t think term limits would solve the problems that need to be fixed, it would only shift things.
Term limits could actually make matters worse.
Currently, politicians worrying about re-election is a double-edged sword. They are susceptible to corruption by lobbyists and the “establishment” because they need money and support for re-election, but at the same time they are still accountable to the people, so they can’t go too far.
Can you imagine the level of corruption when you remove the worry about being accountable to the people?
During that last term, when no re-election is possible, there is nothing stopping them from full-on corruption. They will do whatever is needed to secure their own future without having to worry about those pesky voters. Making matters worse, depending on how term limits are structured, we’d probably be looking at having at least 1/3 of Congress as lame ducks during every session. If we think Congress is a circus now, adding that dynamic in would make it much, much worse.
I’ve come to view term limits as a band-aid solution that only covers the wound but allows it to fester even more, and less visibly.
Do you want to end career politicians? Do you want to take “money out of politics”? Do you want to end the corruption?
Term limits is not the answer.
You need to get to the root of the problem – consolidated, centralized power in Washington is the driving force of every problem.
Career politicians are a result and a symptom of that.
Restore the power to the states and guess what? A career in Congress doesn’t seem as appealing to power-hungry people.
If the Constitutional government as envisioned by the Founders is restored, there is no need for term limits. Creating them on top of all of the root problems, can and probably will exacerbate those problems, not fix them.