Term limits

Washington DC - Capitol Hill: United States Ca...

Washington DC – Capitol Hill: United States Capitol – East front (Photo credit: wallyg)

Our Federal government has three branches, executive, legislative and judicial, and two of the three are elected periodically. Only the judicial branch is not elected and enjoys lifetime tenure. I think that it is time to end the lifetime tenure of the Federal judiciary, especially the US Supreme Court, which tends to lag behind necessary change by years or decades.

This is what I propose to put all three branches of the Federal government on an equal footing; limit all Federal elected offices and the Federal bench to serving a maximum of 12 years. Judges would continue to be nominated and confirmed, but they would serve only for 12 years. Judges are expected to be non-political, but some try to game the system, timing their retirements to when their party is in the White House. That must stop.

For the other two branches, I would also limit their terms to 12 years.
Six 2-year terms for members of the House
Two 6-year terms for Senators
Three 4-year terms for Presidents.
Under the present two-term limit for Presidents, speculation begins immediately about the next election after a President is-re-elected. That reduces a President’s ability to enact needed reforms during his/her second term. The possibility of a third term would give an incumbent President more time to accomplish the will of the people who elected him/her.

Repeal

repeal!

repeal! (Photo credit: skampy)

I favor the repeal of the second amendment to the Constitution (gun rights) and the twenty-second (presidential term limits). I realize that neither amendment is likely to be repealed anytime soon, but I still support their repeal.

Some on the Right have a longer list they want to repeal in addition to the enactment of the cut, cap and balance amendment. I oppose that amendment not only for the straitjacket it would impose on Federal spending during emergencies, but also because the proponents of the amendment want to cap Federal expenditures at a ridiculously low-level, 18% of GDP. Historically, Federal expenditures have been around 21-22% of GDP, and higher during recessions and war. If the supporters of cut, cap and balance have their way, most of the government safety net will disappear permanently, and that is their goal. The key word in cut, cap and balance is “cut.” Supporters don’t talk about what they will cut; they emphasize balance instead.

Money and happiness

"The Third-Term Panic", by Thomas Na...

“The Third-Term Panic”, by Thomas Nast, originally published in Harper’s Magazine 7 November 1874. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Money can’t buy happiness, but it can buy almost everything else. The GOP are counting on buying the 2012 election. If it becomes apparent to them that Mitt can’t win, and so I believe, they will direct their cash hoard to ensuring enough GOP members of Congress to continue their obstruction. Thus we will be able to look forward to 2 or 4 more years similar to the past 4 years. Almost immediately they will start to be jockeying for position for the 2016 election. To prevent President Obama being labelled a lame-duck, I think that an effort to repeal the 2-term limit would be a good idea.

Experience

English: Seal of the President of the United S...

English: Seal of the President of the United States Español: Escudo del Presidente de los Estados Unidos Македонски: Печат на Претседателот на Соединетите Американски Држави. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Barack will soon have four years of experience being President of the US; Mitt has none. If the GOP continue their obstruction and the economy turns sour and international tensions mount, we will continue to need Barack’s experience. We will not have the luxury of training someone new to the presidency. In fact, it may be a good idea to consider repealing presidential term limits. Like FDR, we may need Barack for a third or fourth term.

Bill of Rights

Manuscript of the Constitution of the 3rd May 1791

Image via Wikipedia

Some on the Right consider the Constitution a divinely inspired document. If that is the case, why do so many politicians want to amend it in so many different ways. Not only do many on the Right want to further amend the Constitution by adding amendments to it, they advocate the repeal of most, if not all, of the current amendments save for the Second, gun rights and the Tenth, states rights.

If the term limits amendment were repealed, then Ronald Reagan might be nominated to run again. There is nothing in the Constitution to prohibit a deceased candidate from running for office. If he were re-elected, his vice president, whoever he or she might be, would serve out the term.