Career politicians always tell us how long it takes to learn the ropes, to climb the seniority ladder and “get things done.” In a recent debate, a candidate for Congress refused to make a term limits pledge saying he thought it would take him 17 years to gain enough seniority to be effective. In other words, just elect and reelect me eight times and then look out because maybe I’ll finally get around to doing something.
Of course, too often what the career politicians call “getting things done” is often better described as pork-barreling for fun and political profit. For instance, Rep. Doug Bereuter of Nebraska, a 22-year incumbent, candidly admits what he and fellow GOP careerists are up to this year, [quote] “avoiding political difficulties and helping constituencies that are favorable.”
In other words, they’re using our tax dollars to reward their supporters and win votes. That’s what they’re getting done. Sound noble to you?
But Rep. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, a freshman, is getting things done right now. He just passed legislation to take $4 billion of the surplus out of the hands of congressional politicians, and instead use it to pay down the national debt. Long-serving members were amazed that a freshman could get such an important bill passed.
Why is Toomey getting things done instead of just marking time? Well, he has no time to waste. He pledged to go to Washington for a short period of public service, three terms, not a career. So waiting around isn’t part of his plan.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.