Best, Most Experienced? Time for Term Limits on Congress

Written by William Pauwels on October 30, 2013

While grandfathering all present members of Congress for the duration of their political careers, new members of Congress should be subjected to term limits.

Term limits are needed if the US Congress is to regain its viability and the respect of the American people.

America’s Founders never intended for our nation to have career politicians – making decisions first and foremost to enhance their re-electability and the power of their party and personal views. 

It is apparent that the Congress of the USA does not have America’s best men and women in its ranks. Obviously, most are not focused primarily on solving America’s real problems – jobs, economic growth, debt, deficit, excessive and out of date regulation, runaway entitlements, corruption, etc.

For instance, Bill O’Reilly recently asked Carl Rove if America is becoming a welfare state. Rove responded with his trademark handwritten chart: He said 151 million Americans – 49% of the population – are receiving government assistance in one form or another.

In his chart, he subtracts 51 million receiving Social Security, 5 million getting unemployment, 3 million veterans assistance, 2-3,000,000 Medicare, and 0.4 million Railroad retirement.

Thus 28% of the 151 million recipients are receiving non-discretionary government assistance. Obviously, that leaves 21% receiving “discretionary” aid.

On the bottom half of his chart, Rove indicates the US has had a 70% increase in food stamp recipients since 2009. That’s 48 million recipients. He says only half of this increase can be attributed to poverty. The other half is the result of the Obama administration’s losening the requirements for food stamps.

How can this kind of situation be addressed by those primarily concerned with getting re-elected?

Term limits would bring America’s best, most experienced men and women to Washington for a limited commitment to public service. Those who wish to make a career out of government work could move into the administrative sector. However, career legislators should be ended – making room for fresh thinkers and problem solvers.

Clearly, this proposed restriction – term limits – will never be passed by the existing members of Congress unless their career interests are protected. They will not vote for it. However, by grandfathering the unlimited career-interests of existing legislators – the quality of Congress would be enhanced at least for future generations.

In God we must trust – but we must do our part to protect the American-Way.

Image: Courtesy of: +Term+Limits

William Pauwels
William A. Pauwels, Sr. was born in Jackson Michigan to a Belgian, immigrant, entrepreneurial family. Bill is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and served in executive and/or leadership positions at Thomson Industries, Inc., Dow Corning, Loctite and Sherwin-Williams. He is currently CIO of Pauwels Private Investment Practice. He's been commenting on matters political/economic/philosophical since 1980.