Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Rand Paul: The time is now for term limits

The following is as good a case for Congressional term limits as any I have seen anywhere. That it was penned by a U.S. Senator is evidence that the issue has momentum at the federal level that we have not seen in over decade. This short essay is lifted from the Rand Paul for Senate website.

By U.S. Sen. Rand Paul

More than 95% of incumbent politicians win re-election to the U.S. Congress. Incumbents win re-election at a higher rate than they did in the Soviet Politburo.

With each successive term, politicians grow more and more distant from the people. It is hard to understand the plight of ordinary citizens when Congressman make over $170,000 per year, have health care benefits worth another $15,000 and become fully vested in a lucrative pension plan within a few years.

Some pundits like to remark that we already have term limits they’re called “elections.” This glib response ignores the fact that incumbent U.S. Senators start each election cycle with an average of $8 million dollars in the bank. The average U.S. Representative starts with over $1 million in the bank.

Most of this incumbent cash comes in the form of $5,000 checks from special interest groups that want federal contracts or federal favors.The challenger must raise his or her contributions largely from individuals, typically averaging under $100 per check.

Is it any wonder that incumbents win almost every election?

Long term incumbency leads to politicians who seem to care more about what is best for their career than what is best for their country.

After the vast enlargement of government under FDR, the country reacted fairly quickly to limit the terms of the President. Over 80% of the public, both Democrats and Republicans, favor term limits. What will it take to force a vote on Congressional term limits?

Today we are drowning in a sea of debt, teetering on financial ruin if we don’t get our house in order. Will this crisis be the one that finally convinces us as a nation to bring these politicians home, to replace them?

You can help Rand enact Congressional term limits. Please sign the online petition here and send this article to your friends, family and coworkers. You can use the SHARE tab atop this page to share this post via email, Facebook and Twitter. -- pb