Term limits, now

Friday - 2/1/2013, 2:00am EST

A few months ago, Congress was talking about extending the 2011-2012 federal pay freeze (still in effect) even longer. Then it got cold feet and proposed, instead, that if it doesn't get its own act together its members should go without pay. That would be a hardship, but not much of one because so many of our elected leaders today are millionaires.

Although they work for the same government and are paid from the same source (the U.S. Treasury), representatives, senators, presidents and Cabinet officers are very different from rank-and-file civil servants. They can make "mistakes" with their taxes that would get the typical IRS employee fired on the spot.

They can and do tailor congressional districts so that the party that controls the state legislature can almost guarantee that its candidate for the House will win. Again and again. What that means is that in many districts the people don't decide who gets elected, but rather that the politicians decide who can vote for them. Both political parties have done it. And both continue to gerrymander congressional districts. Most people agree that the worst example (and there are many bad ones) is Maryland's 3rd Congressional District. It is home to tens of thousands of feds in the Washington-Baltimore area and it looks more like a paint splatter than a voting district.

Lots of feds feel they have sacrificed enough and are tired of being used as a political football. Here's a note from one who says it's time for term limits:

"As you know, with threats from Congress of layoffs and shutdowns to make themselves look good with the voters, the public really doesn't understand what's going on. When House Speaker Newt Gingrich and President Bill Clinton had that little tiff a few years back, they told the public that they were shutting down the government but, in fact, you know that wasn't the case. They shut down selective parts of the government but this never occurs to the general public. Were they to shut down the entire federal government, the country would come to a complete standstill! If the population were to understand this, they might not be so quick to criticize federal workers who are loyal, hard-working civil servants and the whipping boys and girls that Congress uses whenever they find themselves in the hot seat.

"This is the worst do-nothing Congress this country has ever had and it isn't the fault of the federal employees! Since they aren't doing anything, why don't we not only furlough them but fire them for non-performance. No pay is a ploy, how about "NO JOB!" We can hold special elections across the country and replace them quickly if we put our minds to it but that would mean instead of being a nation of sheep which is what we've become, we would start to get our frontier spirit back and get some you know whats!

"If we don't demand a good government, we won't get one! They have had their way with us for far too long and are taking more and more liberties with our laws and the Constitution in the dead of night or in closed-door sessions or in tacking on bills that would never pass on their own merit to other bills that have to pass. They can give themselves raises. Huh? The people should vote whether they get a raise or not, don't you think. It's our money! They have also exempted themselves from the laws they passed but we have to live by. huh? What's good for the goose is good for the gander! If they had to live by the laws they passed, there would be far fewer laws on the books.

Time for a personnel change on the Hill, Mike: One six-year term for everybody — Congress, Senate, President! — An old grumpy Washington guy!


NEARLY USELESS FACTOID

Compiled by Jack Moore

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