Some Changes At The Top
- Posted by Jeff Carter
- on November 12th, 2012
A lot of folks are deploring the lack of imagination coming out of Washington DC. Never think that you are going to get imagination out of an elected official or bureaucrat. One thing occurred to me.
Check this out:
Senate Majority Leader-Harry Reid 25 years (5 terms)
Senate Majority Whip-Dick Durbin 15 years (3 terms)
House Speaker-John Boehner 20 years (11 terms)
House Majority Whip-Eric Cantor 11 years (6 terms)
House Minority Leader-Nancy Pelosi 25 years (13 terms)
House Minority Whip-Steny Hoyer 32 years (16 terms)
God bless them all for their service to their country. But, they have been there a long long time. Ignore political parties. Look at who leads committees as well. Check out the stagnation of the House Democrats when they ran the house. Check out the length of terms for current Republican committee chairpeople today. The Senate isn’t any different.
Why don’t we have term limits? We limit the President. Why isn’t a Senator given a three term limit (18 years) and a House Rep the same or shorter? After all the House is supposed to be the boiling tea kettle and the Senate the cooling saucer.
How are we supposed to get new ideas brought forward and cooperation when the same old battle axes fight it out year after year? Companies change their management teams after awhile. Why shouldn’t the government? Don’t say, “Vote them out.” They can be voted out but remember, in most House of Representative districts the lines are so gerrymandered that being an incumbent is enough of an advantage to win. In addition, even if there is a primary fight, that fight slants to the incumbent as well.
It’s bad enough that these guys vote bills into law that they don’t have to adhere to-like Obamacare, but once elected it’s rare to have an incumbent lose. Jesse Jackson Jr. has been unable to perform, rumored to have had an affair, and bought a $40k watch for his beau, decorated his DC townhouse with campaign cash-and still receives 60% of the vote! He had a primary fight too!
Not only have the elected officials been there so long that moss grows on their clothes, but they generally came from a different government position before they went to DC. Double and triple dipping on government pensions and benefits. The problem is that there is so much pork to dole out from DC to the states, no state in their right mind would vote for term limits without other states doing the same thing. Because it’s such a cushy job with great benefits, no elected official is going to make the first move on writing and passing a bill on term limits. It has to come from a groundswell.
Government is always behind the curve when it comes to keeping up with innovation and cutting edge ideas. It can’t change fast enough. Some of that stability is good-but too much is silly. We ought to have term limits today. If we did, we’d get fresh ideas with people from both sides of the aisle that don’t have skeletons or grudges to hold.
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Jeffrey Carter is an angel investor and independent trader. He specializes in turning concepts into profits. He co-founded Hyde Park Angels one of the most active angel groups in the United States in April of 2007. He previously served on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange Board of Directors. He has done market commentary for (More...)