Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

To be effective in reversing the big-government tide, the new GOP majority in the House must exercise the discipline to shake off bad old habits. Where to start? Term limits.

And the term limits can start with leadership.

In 1994, the GOP imposed term limits on committee chairmen. Although there was a little wavering around the edges of that reform, the party did retain it until the Democrats gained the majority in 2008 and promptly chucked the idea of committee chair term limits.

Having regained the majority, some Republicans are mumbling about “granting exceptions” to committee chair limits for this guy and that guy and the other guy. But rampant exceptions to sensible reforms would show that nothing much is changing in how Congress does business. And a lot’s got to change.

Other Republicans, though, are talking about term limits not only for committee chairmen but for all leadership positions. The new Majority Leader-to-be, Eric Cantor, tells The Hill he’d support “a six-year term limit for each position.”

Hear, hear. Bravo!

But let’s shout out loudest for term limits on all members of Congress. Senator Tom Coburn and others have sponsored a constitutional amendment to impose a maximum of two six-year terms in the Senate, three two-year terms in the House. A hard sell to the entrenched incumbent? Sure. Fifteen years ago, a similar effort failed. But like most good failure, it can be built upon.

Let’s start at the top.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

By: Redactor


  1. Ellen says:

    “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” I am in favor of term limits. I also believe that the “lame duck” Congress should be restricted as to what they can do during that period. They have paid no attention to the American People who spoke loudly during the last election. We will be forced to live with decisions made by people we have voted out of office.

  2. Drik says:

    In all of history, Washington and Lincoln are 2 of the few notable exceptions of people that have seized power and then voluntarily relinquished it back to the people. To expect that we have a majority in Congress capable of meeting that standard is a probability bordering on the infintesimally small.
    More likely they will only do this under threat and duress and then kicking and screaming and snivelling about how they need to keep power because they earned and deserve it.

  3. MoreFreedom says:

    At least put the proposal to a vote. Then voters would know who’s against it.

  4. Jay says:


    I don’t beleive that Lincoln relinquished power voluntarily.

    He was assassinated (by John Wilkes Booth).

    However, if one goes back to pre FDR- no president that i am aware of ran for a 3RD term.

  5. Andrew Terhune says:

    I agree with Ellen. The 20th amendment was designed to do away with lame duck sessions, but its spirit if not letter has been compromised by the Congress’s habit of holding sessions after elections. We should amend the constitution again if necessary to require that the term of congress ends the Monday before the election.

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