Monday, April 15, 2013

An Argument for Term Limits in Congress

Congress (Noun) - An institution run by money, channeled through public figure heads known as Congressmen or Senators.  These are professional poker players, developed to play a game of No Limit Texas Hold'em at the expense of an entire country.

Corruption is synonymous with Congress, and unfortunately is not improving as we move forward in history.  People running for government positions are now bribed and tempted with more money than we can ever dream of, from corporations and private investors alike.  Politics is an explicitly a dirty business, one that is done by swift under the table maneuvering, and dirty foul bashing in the public forum.

What I humbly present to you now is not my idea, but one I have grown quite fond of the more I have postulated about it's ramifications.  Think about the idea of limiting the terms of Senators and Congressmen.  Seriously, think about it.  I'll get back to it in a second

One of the issues plaguing the American political system are iron triangles.  Now iron triangles are personal relationships between Interest Groups, Members of Congress, and governmental agencies.  How these relationships function is quite complex, and is simply a give and take relationship.  Interest groups give money and social backing to Congressmen, who in turn make friendly legislation to back the interest group's stance on issues.  Congressmen work with governmental agencies, who lobby for the legislation the Congressmen is currently working on.  Essentially, everyone is sleeping with the enemy with no regard to the ramifications it has on America as a whole.  The interest groups are dominant here, as they control the funds and thus the fate of members of the government.  Once you bite at the hook, you're never getting off.

Any way, my argument for term limits is rather simple.  I think that if you have lower term limits, you reduce the probability (or at least the practicality) of interest groups lobbying as effectively in the past.  Instead of developing these close friendships, lobbyists are now forced to
1)  Develop relationships quickly with new Congressmen
2)  Decide which ones to get in bed with, because that Congressmen needs to have a strong voice

Simply put, having term limits disrupts the flow of the iron triangle, and I also believe alleviates much of the gridlock in the American political system.  The cost and risk of investing in any candidate is extraordinarily high, and is something that is much more of a risk than it is now.  Long gone are the days of the career politician, the staunch liberal/conservative who retains his seat year after year, bringing little to no consensus or fresh ideas to the table.  Why would anyone oppose this candidate?  He's a sure fire victor, and his years at the table have amassed him enormous power and wealth.  Having new faces every 6 years would be an incredible breath of fresh air to Congress, while also ensuring that more people are running for the position who want to serve, and are not simply playing for a power move.

One of the arguments against term limits is that it would cause a lack of leadership in the federal government.  My retort is, "Can it get any worse?"  Like seriously, can it get any worse?  We have a Congress who, in my opinion, is starving for new ideas and rationality.

I remember reading an article in 11th grade that said "Smart men do not run for office."  Why?  It isn't a place for the smart man.  Congress right now is a place for the mischievous, for the shifty and shadowy figures playing a game.  A game that tip toes the line of legality, and a game that is destroying our government piece by piece.  All I know is, some action needs to be done.  Because eventually it is going to be too late, and we will have sat on our hands a little too long.

Congressmen:  Maximum service time of 8 years
Senators:  Service time of 12 years

No comments:

Post a Comment