General Question

KNOWITALL's avatar

Do you think the US should have term limits for Congress?

Asked by KNOWITALL (26126points) September 14th, 2018

Based on the fact that Feinstein (D-CA) is now 85 years old, and many are living longer due to medical advances.

See averages here:
The average age of Members of the House at the beginning of the 114th Congress was 57.0 years; of Senators, 61.0 years.

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25 Answers

ragingloli's avatar

I think there should be an age limit.
They should not be allowed to be older than 50.

stanleybmanly's avatar

That’s because you’re immature. You shouldn’t be allowed to answer this question until you turn 50.

elbanditoroso's avatar

No – bad idea. You would lose collective wisdom.

Zissou's avatar

NO!!! The rationale for term limits in the executive branch does not apply to the the legislative branch. Term limits for legislators at the state level have have been a disaster. Age limits are a different question.

stanleybmanly's avatar

What would be the positives?

KNOWITALL's avatar

@stanleybmanly Positives of term limits?

Some people believe that the President being temporary (in the grand scheme) means that these people who are serving most of their adult lives, are actually running the country into the ground.

Some of us were talking the other day about age and how much has changed in technology and various aspects, and wondering how a 85–90 could relate to issues such as Same Sex Marriage and other issues, as well as a (for instance) 50 year old could.

For instance John Dingell Jr of Michigan has served 59 years consecutively. Replacing his own father.

Also remember the House gets $175k a year for life.

rojo's avatar

Absolutely, and not only for congress.

Public service should be just that, a service. You should not be able to make a living at it but serve the people, get the hell back to work at your real job and allow others to do the same.

BTW I have often said of the presidency that we have allowed the office to become too much like our version of royalty.

We spend so much more than necessary to keep them safe (same goes for all government officials) but with the prez, we can (and should) replace them every four years so if they only make it three, no big deal. Get a new one, they are not gods but mere mortals. I am not implying that we should use assassination as a tool of governance but that the life of a president is worth no more than that of a school child or a fast food worker and should be afforded the same level of protection.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Old folks may be rooted in the past, but that doesn’t mean they are necessarily out of touch. Feinstein is 85 years old, but was ready to endorse same sex marriage in her 30s, along with the rest of San Francisco’s population. If I thought term limits might help brake the corruption inherent in our legislative branches, I would be all for them. But there are strong arguments in favor of long term legislative careers, particulary when it comes to garnering expertise on the functions and requirements of governance.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

@KNOWITALL That’s for the voters to decide.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@stanleybmanly Hey, I don’t have an issue with the elderly at all. I was a little surprised so many people, younger than me btw, had a problem with the lack of term limits, and the state of the union, deficit, etc…

@RedDeerGuy1 It doesn’t work that way in our country. They can’t vote on it until it’s on the ballot, there’s a whole process.

rojo's avatar

@stanleybmanly there is something to be said for residual knowledge to be sure but what we have now is a continuous cycle of running for office, not governance. And any expertise they garner seems to be in fund raising and the associated graft that comes with it. How do we keep the knowledge while bringing in fresh talent and ideas? Perhaps with a non-voting council of elder statesmen? and yes, I know the definition of a statesman is a dead politician, but maybe term limits could change that. Any thoughts?

stanleybmanly's avatar

The courts have declared that that the buying and selling of legislative seats is perfectly legal, as long as the process is sufficiently convoluted. Term limits are unlikely to change this. Term limits might reduce the power legislators accumulate through long term incumbency—power enhancing their money magnetism.

rojo's avatar

So term limits along with repeal of Citizens United and implementation of strict lobbying laws?

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

@KNOWITALL No. not a referendum , but the nomination process and the election should could be decided by the voters.

stanleybmanly's avatar

@rojo Lobbyists (bribery) are a matter of free speech (money). Those receiving the bribes have little incentive to close the tap. And to guarantee the perpetuity of so lucrative a setup, the judiciary has been coopted in its pursuit. Once money became speech, the pretense of our land as a Republic need no longer be bothered with.

Caravanfan's avatar

Absolutely not.

JLeslie's avatar

I’m conflicted on the topic. I lean towards saying no term limits. If there were limits then I would want them to be able to run again after taking a term off.

MrGrimm888's avatar

There should ABSOLUTELY be term limits. I cannot think of a public office, that shouldn’t have term limits.

Trump mentioned term limits, in his campaign. Well?.........

Zissou's avatar

Here’s what resulted from term limits for state legislators in Michigan:

@rojo If people cannot make a living from elective office, then only wealthy people or people with incomes that do not depend on work will be able to afford to hold office.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@rojo It shouldn’t be a living, imo, it should be considered public service and everyone should serve so they learn what’s really going on.

rojo's avatar

@Zissou I did not mean that it should not pay a living wage, only that you should not make it your lifes calling. And, if it did pay a living wage, why wouldn’t anyone give it a try and not just the rich.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

Yes. Should be zero terms.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@rojo The wage for life is obscene.

JLeslie's avatar

Maybe we need to encourage more people to run for office and make digging into personal things more taboo. If you have good candidates to vote for, then the representatives would probably change more often, because new people would be more likely to get voted in. Changing the system firvrunning would help too. Even the playing field for advertising and length of time the campaign can be.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Jleslie Limiting advertising will never happen, thats part of the sponsorship-money game.

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