Term limits not electoral panacea

First Posted: 1/10/2015

JANUARY 10, 2015 — U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey recently announced that he plans to introduce legislation to establish term limits for members of Congress.

… We don’t support term limits at the local or state level, and would entertain having the term limits on presidential terms repealed as well, although that is not likely to happen.

Term limits are not an answer for good government. They are simply a way of treating the voters like they don’t know what’s best for them.

… Why should the government tell voters that they no longer can elect someone? How is that democratic?

… An inexperienced legislator unfamiliar with the ways of Congress isn’t necessarily a better public servant than someone who has served 20 years.

To us, term limits are a way of tossing in the towel on democracy. …

The truth about term limits is that they don’t prevent career politicians. Look no further than … Ohio. They have a limit in their Legislature of eight years (four House terms, two Senate terms). Instead of encouraging new candidates, it has become a shell game. It’s not unusual for Ohio representatives to serve eight years in one house, then move to the other for eight years, or run for county commissioner for a term or two, then run again for the Legislature.

Still other elected officials who hit their term limit become lobbyists, and lobbyists don’t have term limits. … How is that better for democracy?

Toomey’s plans would limit members of Congress to three terms in the U.S. House of Representatives and two terms in the U.S. Senate. Do we really want a U.S. House where none of the 435 members have more than six years of experience? …

We already have term limits for Congress. They are called elections. If you want to limit someone’s term, vote them out of office.

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