www.JohnForUSSenate.com
Term Limits

Unfortunately the system is so well structured for the incumbent it's almost impossible (campaign finance laws favor those in office) to get them out once they get in.

Members of the Libertarian Party are split down the middle on this issue. Deadlocked On Term Limits lists arguments for and against. However, I believe if term limits are good enough for the Governor and the State Legislature of Ohio they should be good for the U.S. Congress. If term limits are not enacted or campaign finance laws abolished, I will limit myself to two terms in office.


I support the following efforts of U.S. Term Limits and encourage you to do the same.

U.S. Term Limits produces Common Sense, a unique perspective on the latest insanity from Washington. Paul Jacob's 3 weekly commentaries can be heard on 259 radio stations in 48 states. Subscriptions are FREE, just call, e-mail, fax or mail us, and three new commentaries will be sent to you each week. E-mail: Commonsense@ustermlimits.org
Call: (800) 733-6440
Fax: (202) 379-3010
Write: Common Sense / U.S. Term Limits / 10 G
Street, NE / Suite 410 / Washington, DC 20002.
To check out more about the Term Limits Movement
click on http://www.ustermlimits.org


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COMMON SENSE
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U.S. Term Limits
Weekly Commentary #147
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"The Washington Temptation"

Career politicians love to be perceived as reformers, just as long as they don't have to submit to any actual reform. Term limits have teeth. We like term limits but politicians don't.

Better for politicians to favor some sort of complex reform scheme that offers lots of wiggle room and a scapegoat to blame when the planned failure occurs. That way they can play the corrupt game even while condemning the game they're playing.

The Washington Post recently defended campaign reformers who only talk the talk, writing, "It seems too much to demand that a campaign reformer raise no money from the lobbyists he denounces..." Only in Washington do people justify raising money from those they denounce as evil.

If you don't like this squishy thinking, there is a different view. Rep. Matt Salmon of Arizona knows the problem is careerism. That's why he has term- limited himself to three terms.

Why doesn't Congress reform? Salmon says, "I have seen countless people come to Washington with a zeal for reform only to be seduced by the power, status and privilege that come with the office. And like an addictive narcotic, many people simply can't give up power and influence after they've taken their first hit."

"Only term limits can change the character of the people who aspire to serve in Congress," says Salmon. "And until we do that, real reform will have to wait."

This is Common Sense. I'm Paul Jacob.


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COMMON SENSE
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U.S. Term Limits
Weekly Commentary #150
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"Proof Positive"

People can make a difference. The proof? Term limits are now the law for 18 state legislatures -- 40 percent of the country.

These laws were the work of thousands of activists -- retired senior citizens who petitioned in store parking lots in bitter cold and sweltering heat; young people who took time away from their families; small businessmen who took time away from their firms.

And they won. They changed politics-as-usual. Their goal wasn't to throw the bums out so much as to let new people and new ideas back in.

But, many politicians are taking it personally. They think politics is all about them. That's why they ignore the people's vote. Again and again they sneak around looking for some way to overturn the clear will of the people. Again and again good citizens, whose whole lives aren't politics, are forced to take time away from their jobs and loved ones to battle the politicians.

Benjamin Franklin pointed out that, "In free governments, the rulers are the servants and the people their superiors and sovereigns. For the former, therefore, to return to the latter is not to degrade them but to promote them."

Some of our elected officials, whether they agree with term limits or not, have been willing to abide by the will of the people. They deserve our thanks. But those politicians who sow the seeds of cynicism by their un-American maneuvering only make the case for term limits stronger.

This is Common Sense. I'm Paul Jacob.

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COMMON SENSE
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U.S. Term Limits
Weekly Commentary #165
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"Getting Things Done"

Career politicians always tell us how long it takes to learn the ropes, to climb the seniority ladder and "get things done." In a recent debate, a candidate for Congress refused to make a term limits pledge saying he thought it would take him 17 years to gain enough seniority to be effective. In other words, just elect and reelect me eight times and then look out because maybe I'll finally get around to doing something.

Of course, too often what the career politicians call "getting things done" is often better described as pork-barreling for fun and political profit. For instance, Rep. Doug Bereuter of Nebraska, a 22-year incumbent, candidly admits what he and fellow GOP careerists are up to this year, [quote] "avoiding political difficulties and helping constituencies that are favorable." In other words, they're using our tax dollars to reward their supporters and win votes. That's what they're getting done. Sound noble to you?

But Rep. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, a freshman, is getting things done right now. He just passed legislation to take $4 billion of the surplus out of the hands of congressional politicians, and instead use it to pay down the national debt. Long-serving members were amazed that a freshman could get such an important bill passed.

Why is Toomey getting things done instead of just marking time? Well, he has no time to waste. He pledged to go to Washington for a short period of public service, three terms, not a career. So waiting around isn't part of his plan.

This is Common Sense. I'm Paul Jacob.

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COMMON SENSE
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U.S. Term Limits
Weekly Commentary #154
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"Pork and Egg"

Folks in Washington get pretty good at not practicing what they preach. Case in point. A Republican fundraising letter complains about the "pure pork spending" perpetrated by those evil big-spending Democrats. One item mentioned was a sewer repair project in Salt Lake City.

Except that the Republicans backed this pork project, not the Democrats. Republican Senator Robert Bennett of Utah was a big backer of the sewer bailout. So was the rest of Utah's GOP congressional delegation. Oops! Suddenly the Republicans have egg on their faces, to go with the pork they're dishing out.

What to do? Well, how about admitting that Republicans are as guilty of pork-barrel spending as Democrats? And that our entire current system of infinite incumbency is deeply flawed? That the desire for power at any price is polluting the principles of both parties? How about a little frankness, honesty, and rededication to purpose?

Not our heroes. A spokesman for Senator Bennett said, "Looks like another direct mail mistake." "A typical direct mail snafu," echoed a spokesman for the Republican National Committee.

Get the picture? Just a typo, really. Don't worry about it. Go back to your TV show.

The next time you hear about another Washington scandal, don't blame the politicians or the bureaucrats. Blame the dimwitted proofreaders who allowed inconvenient facts to reach the ears of citizens like you and me.

This is Common Sense. I'm Paul Jacob.

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COMMON SENSE
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U.S. Term Limits
Weekly Commentary #180
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"Your Contribution"

Why are you contributing money to help every incumbent congressman in every district in the whole country get reelected? You probably haven't asked yourself that question, because you didn't know you were, did you?

On average, each of our representatives spends over $100,000 of our tax money on mailings that help them get reelected. They don't have to ask our permission. How on earth do they get away with it?

Congressmen gave themselves this advantage. It's called the franking privilege. It was originally designed to allow our representatives to respond to our letters, but the career politicians who now rule the roost in Washington have turned it into a reelection mailing fund.

Congressmen like to say that they're just "informing" their constituents with these mailings. Funny though (isn't it?), that congressmen send out far more unsolicited franked mail in election years then in non-election years. But I guess we're supposed to believe that's just a coincidence.

The franking privilege is just one of many advantages of incumbency. Not only do incumbents tend to enjoy much bigger war chests than their challengers, they're also able to send out a heck of a lot more mail than any challenger can -- without spending a dime of their own money. Incumbents spend more of our tax dollars than challengers on average spend in the entire campaign.

No wonder over 98 percent of incumbents are reelected. So much for fair elections.

This is Common Sense. I'm Paul Jacob.


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COMMON SENSE
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U.S. Term Limits
Weekly Commentary #182
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"Passing the Buck"

Our Constitution is the highest law in the land. It establishes the specific powers of Congress, and reserves other powers to other institutions or to the people. That's why members of Congress are required to take an oath to uphold the Constitution. But as with most of their promises and commitments, congressmen don't have a very swell track record of doing what they have pledged to do.

In fact, sometimes I wonder whether they even know what the Constitution says. Sure, the career politicians often don't read the legislation they pass, but since it can be thousands of pages long that's not so surprising. Bad, yes, but not surprising. But the Constitution is short, straightforward and to the point. Leaders who used words to communicate, rather than hide their ideas wrote it. Any person can read and understand the Constitution in 20 minutes.

But Congress has a bad habit of knowingly passing bills of uncertain constitutionality, and treating the Supreme Court as the goalie for the Constitution; let the Supreme Court strike down sloppy laws if necessary. But that's not the way it's supposed to work. And that's why Supreme Court Justice Scalia was right to speak out bluntly against this lazy practice that disregards constitutionality at will.

Mr. Congressman: Pass only those bills you believe are constitutional. Stop passing legislation willy-nilly and peppering the Supreme Court with a zillion half-baked laws. You have a duty under the Constitution; you took an oath. Stop passing the buck.

This is Common Sense. I'm Paul Jacob.