America is a democracy.
I thought the U.S was a free country. By putting term limits on congress you are taking our rights away. We live in a place where the government listens to us. Our people have common sense. If they want him/her back, so be it. If they don't, well obviously they won't vote for him. If they notice that a congress member is doing nothing, they'll vote him out. If they notice that he is corrupt, they'll vote him out.
Not Worth Fixing
There is no reason we should "fix something that isn't broken." If the congressmen are doing their job right, keep them. If not, they can be voted out. The citizens keep them in office for a reason! I also think that Presidents shouldn't have term limits either. Not worth fixing.
Young ones in? Do you really want that? Have you thought about it?
By putting congress in terms your getting the younger people to be the ones to make our big decisions in the state. Do you want our kid to be in congress when he's 21 or a 60 year old man doing it? The choice is yours so make it the best opinion you have.
It sounds great but will most likely have the opposite effect of what you're looking for.
1) Term limits will create an entire congress of little experience. Would you put "term limits" on policemen so that they have no incentive to become corrupt? Your police force would be filled with rookies who would make poor decisions, well meaning or not. Congress will similarly make poor decisions (notice the house is being driven by new tea party members) and will begin to learn from these decisions just as they are on the way out.
2) The power to change your representative is clearly in the hands of the people. If you don't like your congressman, vote him out. If the majority of your district likes him, well then you're out of luck. If the majority of the district is not paying attention to someone who should be voted out, well that's too bad to. Don't call in term limits as a babysitter for your civic responsibilities.
3) if you don't like THAT congressman the other district is voting in, well that's too bad too. You can limit his terms, but it doesn't mean they won't send someone you like more and he'll probably be apt to do stupider things as he lacks any real experience (see 1)
4) corruption? Hell, I'll take my 2 or 3 years, make some friends and go to work earlier for bigger money. I've got nothing invested in this job. No need to learn about legislating in congress. I'm out of here anyways. Tell me I've got the job, but only for a limited time and I see no reason to become good at my job. I'll start looking at my future options.
The bottom line is that term limits is a feel good option that you will bask in until you start calling to lift them once the capable people that could make a difference get chased out of town and the current congress can't tie their shoelaces.
Nothing Would Change
One of the arguments for term limits is that it will curb corruption and help congress do what is “right.” Even if you get new congressmen and senators they will still be looking out for their interests and their party’s interest and re-election because that’s the nature of politics. New politicians arguably could be more corrupt because in order to get their foot in the door they are going to have to back scratch a little bit and are gonna do what they have to do to get elected. This is includes being backed by certain lobbyists that people in government are already backed by.
Party to-ing and fro-ing
Term Limits doesn't represent the true will of the people and leads to voters swaying to one party for 8 years then to the next for another. What people actually think in the see-saw cycle of American politics. How can progress be achieved when you have 8 years max to do something which will be reversed by the next government in 8 years... Silly
Term limits are not the problem
There are some good points on the "for" side, in that while it wouldn't eliminate corruption, it would serve to limit the amount of damage a corrupt individual could do. However, term limits are not the problem with politics being rigged in this country.
The real problem with incumbency is our single-member district electoral system. If you can get rid of gerrymandering, that would force any candidate, regardless of affiliation, onto relatively equal ground. Also, everyone's vote would actually count. So long as politicians can alter lines on a map to rig elections, votes lack any kind of meaning. What I'm trying to say here is that through re-districting, the elections are won/lost years before anyone votes. And not only does it protect incumbents, but it virtually assures should the incumbent individual be ousted for any reason, they will simply be replaced with someone exactly like them, with the exact same policies and ideas. IE different face, same crap.
If you want a real solution, drop the single-member district electoral system, and adopt a proportional representation system.
By the people, for the people.
The common belief from the Pro side of this debate seem to be that Congress is corrupt, and needs to be fixed, because the longer someone stays in Congress, the more corrupt they become. I believe that is both an unfair blanket statement, and also a genuinely incorrect assumption of human nature. While it is true that corruption exists in the government, the power of selecting the officials who would become corrupt still lies with the people. We are, after all, a representative democracy - run by the people, for the people. Therefore, if it is the will of the people to have their Congressman - even a corrupt one - stay in office for ten, twenty, even fifty years, then why should laws be enacted to stop that will? I also argue that if a Congressman can become more corrupt the longer he stays in office, then he can also become just as experienced in that same amount of time. And while experience doesn't do the best job of generating new ideas, the older ideas do help to balance out what would be an overflow of new ones. This is necessary because not all new agendas are good ones, and the last thing we need is an influx of inexperienced politicians providing a lot of new ideas that may be more detrimental to the country than the old ones.
There is no need for term limits.
There's a reason Congress doesn't have term limits. Don't you think that when they implemented term limits on the president, they didn't think about term limits on Congress? They didn't impose term limits because the American people can tell if they have a good Congress and by implementing term limits, they don't have a choice but to say good-bye.
Why go through all the fus?
I just dont understand why we have to wipe away our whole congress board because of what? They have been there too long? Sure the president has a term limit, who wants Obama or any president for that matter to "lead" our country until he/she dies? That would be a big mess, nearly half of the country would be frustrated because NO ELECTED PRESIDENT has had 100% votes. Congress is a different story, we need to have a stabilized congress that we are familiar with and that they are familiar with. It's common sense. In addition it would cost a lot of our money and waste too much of all of our time.
Arguments for term limits
- With term limits in place, Congress will be more responsible toward their constituents because they will soon be constituents themselves. They will have to live under the laws they have created while in office.
- Members of Congress will have less time in office to develop financially beneficial commitments to lobbyists and other special interest groups, thereby undermining the threat of lobbyists being a primary influence on legislation.
- Since the time of the Founding Fathers, a general consensus states that people, when given power, will eventually be corrupted by it. If Congress has term limits in place, their power will also be limited. Candidates will be more likely to run for the purpose of serving the people, and they would have to leave office before corruption dominates their decisions.
- Congress is heavily entrenched in partisan politics, resulting in gridlock when trying to pass any legislation. If term limits were enacted, toeing the party line would be less important, as the need for re-election and holding onto party seats would no longer be the driving force behind most legislative decisions. Congress would have an easier time passing the legislation that would make a positive difference for the nation.
- Money is a major factor in who will win an election. Incumbents have the benefit of the profits they made while in power — plus the backing of their party, contributing organizations and special interests — to get re-elected. However, these wealthy incumbents are often not the best person for the job, as they are so far-removed from the daily realities of the American people. A middle class person who better understands the problems facing the average citizen is highly unlikely to get elected over a wealthy incumbent. Term limits will help to eliminate the shady, profitable relationships between members of Congress and special interest groups, and therefore reduce the wealth gap between candidates. In turn, more qualified people will have a real opportunity to win elections.
- Within Congress, most legislation is written by a committee that handles a specific duty or topic. Committee appointments can be very prized positions for the power, influence and financial backing that can be attained. These positions are often assigned based on political favors and a willingness to support causes or projects. Therefore, career politicians who have formed the most self-serving relationships can often be given the most power in Congress. Term limits would work to stop this cycle of political reward and power abuse. Committee assignments would be determined by merit and expertise, resulting in fair and informed decisions.
The arguments against term limits
Career politicians should be valued for their experience. If we regularly fill a Congressional office with a newcomer, we will lose the valuable experience on-the-job that person can offer in government.
- On occasion, there may be a member of Congress that has fought for his constituents and resisted the corrupt system of power abuse that is considered normal on Capitol Hill. The Founding Fathers discussed the need for a “rotation of office.” When one’s terms are up in one office, that politician can run for another office (such as a member of the House running for Senator, Governor, etc.) and put their experience to use in other helpful ways.
- The notion that only one person — the incumbent — can do the job well is absurd. Problematically, we continue to elect the incumbent because of name recognition and party affiliation rather than a proven track record. Realistically, there is usually someone just as qualified to take over the incumbent’s office.
Term limits are not necessary because members of Congress must be regularly re-elected. If they are not doing a good job in office, we can simply vote for someone else.
- While this would happen in an ideal world, historically the incumbent is re-elected 90% of the time. The playing field is simply not level between incumbents and challenging candidates because of the ability to raise money. In 2010, the average incumbent in the House raised around $1.4 million, while the challengers averaged $166,000. In the same year, Senate incumbents averaged $9.4 million for each campaign, while challengers raised $519,000. With that incredible discrepancy, it is no surprise that the incumbent usually prevails. If a member of Congress is limited to one or two terms, the party itself and other major donors would not invest nearly as much in an incumbent, giving challengers a better chance of winning the race.
Term limits would give more power to bureaucrats and lobbyists.
- This argument is based in the notion that incoming legislators will be entirely unqualified for their jobs and will be easily led astray by staff, bureaucrats, special interests, etc. The way the system works today suggests that the real problem is in longevity of office and the complacency that can come along with it. For instance, lobbyists invest heavily in long-term relationships with sitting legislators. Congress members currently shirk many responsibilities by delegating them to bureaucratic agencies.
- Term limits have the potential to greatly reduce these problems. When more Congressional races are won by challengers from outside the Beltway, this change is likely to bring new staffers with new ideas into Washington, rather than recycling the same old corrupt insiders.
Term limits are unconstitutional.
- Clearly this is not the case, as the President of the United States is limited to two terms because of a Constitutional Amendment. A 28th Amendment would be necessary to impose term limits for Congress, and that is precisely what we are seeking. Since Congress will not willingly do so on their own, it is imperative that Americans make their voice heard on this issue.