One of the reasons Americans are so fond of term limits is that once in office politicians change right before our eyes.
The longer a person stays in Congress, the more they vote for higher taxes and more spending. There’s logic there. The more you, as a congressman, think of taxes as money you get to spend, rather than just something you have to pay, the more apt you are to favor higher taxes.
Every tax dollar increases the political clout of politicians, meaning they can do more for or against various interests and thus ever more people come to them for special favors. Perhaps that’s why, according to a new study by the Cato Institute, the Republicans in control of Congress are increasing non-defense federal spending at the fastest clip in 20 years.
Yes, many of those who campaigned to put the federal government on a diet are now voting to make it dramatically fatter. Congressmen who self-impose term limits remain consistently for lower taxes and less government spending.
But those pursuing a political career, even when they start out as budget-cutters, soon change. When you’re a career politician when, in effect, you become the government big government isn’t such a bad thing. Stephen Moore of the Cato Institute says, “The dirty little secret is that there are two big government parties in Washington.” Moore is right. The only political leaders consistently on the side of smaller government are those who live by term limits.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.