Reader’s Remorse

You know what buyer’s remorse is, right? The New York Times doesn’t.

When you purchase something and then realize it wasn’t worth what you paid, that’s buyer’s remorse. The Times stretched the concept to enacting a public policy and then realizing the policy isn’t working.

David Chen and Michael Barbaro’s recent article on term limits led off by informing us that “A decade after communities around the country adopted term limits, at least two dozen city governments are suffering from a case of buyer’s remorse.”

But hold on. City governments [read: city politicians] didn’t bring us term limits. It was the voters, using the initiative process. Because politicians never “bought” the idea, they can’t have buyer’s remorse.

Politicians do complain about term limits. For instance, Tacoma, Washington, Councilwoman Connie Ladenburg fears that if she has to give up her seat a $2 million pedestrian and bike trail she’s been pushing might not be completed.

In Rowlett, Texas, a Dallas suburb, the mayor decries that term limits make it harder to land positions on national organizations like the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

New Yorkers have twice voted for term limits. Still no voter’s remorse. That’s why Mayor Bloomberg and the City Council are scheming to repeal the limits, without a vote of the people.

Many have talked about Bloomberg as a possible independent candidate for president. But it looks like he’ll go down as just another politician.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

6 Comments so far ↓

  1. Oct
    2
    11:33
    AM
    Harry Pool

    I agree completely. Your point is well stated.

    HP

  2. Oct
    2
    11:57
    AM
    Rubicon

    I also read the article touting that politicians were upset over term limits. Most despicable was the idea that “the city council” planned to overturn the concept.
    Nothing like those who have been limited, to pass laws that eliminate the limits.
    “The council” feels the public got a raw deal, so “the council” plans to overturn “TWO” votes for limits.
    Which part of terms are limited do they NOT understand?
    These folks remind me of those pressing for illegal aliens to get the vote or for criminals in jail to get the vote. Break the law, lose your priveledges until you have served your time. Illegally sneak into a country & you do not get to decide the future of that country.
    While there may be some credit to the concept that long term politicians can get experience & they can get leadership positions due to tenure, the very fact they become adjusted to the system with all that experience & they get to determine agenda based on how long they’ve been there are also good reasons to have term limits.
    Too many politicians get to the point they think they are entitled to something when in fact it is always the people who are entitled!
    If the city council overturns voter determined term limits, those same politicians should face charges of obstruction of justice or other for breaking the law the people confirmed they wanted. In the very least they should face recall.
    Looks like some politicians are counting on folks not making waves because they cannot afford to fight city hall!

  3. Oct
    2
    12:09
    PM
    seth hubbard

    there should be term limits on every position in the U.S. government.
    there is far to much abuse of power in the government.
    term limits would help slow that down I think. the politicians would have to actually listen and work FOR the people, not their own interests ( which is usually money ).

    also term limits would mean new people with new ideas, some better some maybe worse but what we have now doesn’t seem to be working so good any way.
    we need real change, this would help.

  4. Oct
    2
    6:44
    PM
    al lenza

    How does one stop a BILLIONAIRE

    who contols the political system?

  5. Oct
    3
    10:22
    AM
    Peter Bearse

    PAUL: Thank you for another perceptive piece on term limits, which I support. On my campaign handouts, I pledge to serve no more than five terms.

    I find your latest just after reading a somewhat negative piece on citizen initiatives (I&R) in the current issue of GOVERNING entitled “Seizing the Initiative: Legislators can’t make unwanted ballot measures go away. But they can put them through some extra hoops” — like prohibiting out-of-state signature gatherers. Colorado House Speaker Andrew Romanoff is quoted as saying: “citizen initiatives have given his state’s constitution conflicting and all-but-irreconcilable mandates.”

    You might want to check out the article and comment upon it. PETER BEARSE, Independent Candidate for Congress, NH CD 1

  6. Oct
    5
    1:11
    AM
    Bob Hawkins

    Rather than term limits we should stipulate that no citizen can hold elective office for longer than ten years TOTAL. After that yo must find honest work. You have given enough to your country.
    I’m not wed to “10 years.” Less would be better. Best would be one term in one office only. That way there would be no “campaign contributions” (formerly called “graft.” Right now “We have the best government money can buy.”

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