How to Clean Up Our Government
As I mentioned yesterday, we’re talking about term limits this week.
Don’t get me wrong-- I believe that public servants who are doing a good job should continue to govern in one capacity or another. But what I am tired of seeing is politicians whose entire reason for being is to win more elections, to the detriment of the actual work they do to represent their constituents.
Today, let’s home in on the Senate.
The top 10 longest serving senators spent at least 4 decades in office.
Does that seem right to you? For some people to spend half a lifetime in office, with no real connection to life outside of politics?
It doesn’t seem right to me.
There are some senators who serve for a long time and go on to higher office-- a guy named Joe Biden, for example, served as a senator for over 36 years.
But I believe that a good career politician is the exception, rather than the rule.
Senators have the longest term in elected federal office-- 6 years.
I believe that 2 terms, or 12 years, should be the limit for a senator.
That’s more than a decade to govern, with only 2 campaigns to distract.
To me, that sounds like more than enough.
It’s 12 years of making a salary that is more than twice the current median income in the U.S. ($174,000 vs. $61,372).
It’s more than a decade of making life-changing decisions for your constituents. It’s a long, but not impossible amount of time to remain engaged and energized as a public servant.
A decade-plus of governing while receiving employment benefits like health insurance, pensions, and retirement funds that many of their constituents could never dream of.
Given how dang quickly our world is changing, 12 years is practically a lifetime. 10 years ago, only 35% of American adults had smartphones-- now, over 85% do. Think about that one simple fact and its implications for our culture, community, and country.
12 years is plenty of time to act as a senator.
And 40 years is WAY too much time.
Rather than shoving pork into bills, participating in insider trading, and generally making a lucrative career out of being a politician, I am a guy who is determined to go to Congress to do my job: representing you.
Thanks for reading.