I, for one, believe there is a problem with how America is governed.
I know many of you agree. You voice your frustration to me every week.
It’s not “one” problem. There are many.
Congressional insider trading (still alive and well)… an inability to work together… fiscal irresponsibility… the ridiculous taxpayer-funded benefits and perks our leaders enjoy, while we struggle… highly politicized capital markets… and the financiers and money men our “leaders” are in bed with.
The worst problem of all – or perhaps the reason all of the above is allowed to persist – is the “permanent political class in Washington [that] is able to skirt the rules and laws that apply to the rest of us.” That’s what author Peter Schweizer of “Throw Them All Out” fame – referring to our leaders – said to me when I interviewed him for you in 2011.
So what if there was one “resolution” that, by itself, would set in motion a chain reaction that would fundamentally change how America is governed?
I’d be for it. Better yet, I am for it. It’s here. It’s on the table as of Tuesday.
The idea, introduced in Congress on April 23rd by Rep. Matt Salmon (R-Ariz.), is a proposed amendment to the Constitution to limit how long legislators, Representatives and Senators, get to represent us.
Take a look at H.J. Res. 41…
Sounds good, right?
Don’t get your hopes up too much.
According to government transparency website www.govtrack.us, there have been 28,537 bills related to “term limits” since 1973. Their prognosis, or probability that the bill will be enacted, is a sincerely disheartening 0%. (Click here to see how they calculated this probability.)
Yes, “throw them all out” may be a tired refrain and one that you’re getting sick of hearing.
But instead of defaulting to our collective cynicism (which is wholly justified) that “this” will never happen, today I want us to discuss the pros and cons of this Resolution.
Personally, I think it could work as a first step to return us to Democracy. It’s pretty simple.
If we limit the tenure of legislators, we theoretically impose on them a time limit in which they have to exercise their efforts to realize the campaign promises they make. They get a couple of tries and they’re out.
If they are successful, they get another shot. Or if there is more work to do on what they’ve started, new candidates would want to promise to finish what voters elected their predecessors to do.
Conversely, voters would replace agents of inaction, self-serving shysters, or ineffectual panderers more quickly, simply because regime change calls for it.
Now, I’m guessing here, but I imagine that this would cause the whole electorate to become more engaged in the issues, the debates, and outcomes, because they would start believing, and eventually know, that change isn’t just possible… it’s the law.
The U.S. Constitution is nothing short of magnificent, in every way. For all it lays down, it also leaves plenty of room for change. Our Founding Fathers knew that the young nation would forever experience growing pains, so instinctively, the Constitution was written to accommodate our evolution from our revolution.
Why shouldn’t our evolution include another revolution?
Let’s exercise our collective voices and march our tens of millions of pairs of boots on the ground to “demonstrate” and vociferously demand the return of the Democracy that’s been stolen from us.
This space, right here, is where I respectfully ask you, us, to start discussing whether we need a new revolution, or whether the status quo is the way to go.
Help me figure this out…
- What do you think about term limits?
- What are the pros and cons of term limits vs. the status quo system?
- Is this an “all or nothing” proposition, or should we consider allowing additional terms if high percentages of voters (popular votes not any of this Electoral College stuff) want a good person back in office?
- What are the unintended consequences we might face with term limits?
Today there are more than 250,000 of you who read Wall Street Insights & Indictments. That’s an army. Let’s mobilize and be part of the solution, part of the revolution, part of the army to save Democracy.