Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

A Wisconsin lawmaker has changed his mind about term limits. Maybe.

Power that politicians shouldn’t have in the first place is easily abused. And it’s easy to see how incumbents who come to regard inherently abusive power over others as “normal” may succumb to other ethical laxities.

That is, power tends to corrupt. Lord Acton had a point.

On the other hand, some incumbents are morally derelict before they reach office — for example, with respect to the pledges they make to voters as a way of appealing for votes.Scott Krug

Which breach did Scott Krug commit? That of swerving from fidelity to the truth in 2010 about whether he would limit his tenure (“I’m for real. . . . Four years, done.”)? Or that of scuppering an “honest” pledge only after it dawned on him that if he kept his promise not to run again after serving four years, it would mean not running again after serving four years?

Does it matter? If Krug wasn’t lying back then, he’s lying right now when he expatiates about how his newfound appreciation of the Value of Experience trumps any formal vow.

I’m gratified, and not surprised, when candidates keep their term-limit pledges. I’m saddened, but also not surprised, when others fail to. Krug’s cruddy conduct is just one reason I must dispute Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s recent pronouncement that although a hyper-corrupt state like Illinois may need term limits, Wisconsin does not.

Acton’s principle is no respecter of geographic boundaries.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

By: Redactor


  1. JFB says:

    The only manner by which government can be controlled is by a absolutely strict limit on its powers. As long as the governments are the most powerful economic entities serfdom is an inevitability.
    The issue is not term limits, it if power limits.

  2. Jay says:

    I basically agree with JFB.

    But, two downsides to term limits:

    1. the career bureaucracy will have even more power, knowing that their “enemy” will soon be out, and they will push for a friend.

    And 2 –knowing that they ( the politicians ) are leaving office, they can do various things that they could not do if they had to face an electorate.

    The second-recall Obama’s statement to Medved after Congress would not do something that Obama wanted? Obama said he would do it, anyhow after the election (should have been called the erection, as we were screwed). (My opinion).

  3. Paul Jacob says:

    The best friends the bureaucracy has are the long-term incumbents. Studies I saw many years ago, showed that the bills to cut the bureaucracy were overwhelmingly introduced by first and second term members of Congress.

  4. Rick says:

    If you look around, all these issues are basicallly a centralization vs decentralization fight. Everybody in DC loves centralization(and of course they need bigger budgets to make it all better) and the Libertarians are fighting for states rights and decentralization.

    In Europe, the fight is beginning over the EU and it’s bureaucratic chokehold on all it’s members. In Iraq, it’s the Kurds, Sunnis & Shia vs the central govt for control. In Spain Catalonia(Barcelona) is trying to separate becuase they send more dough & power to Madrid than they receive. Scotland has a referendum shortly to split from the UK. In England the UKIP & Nigel Farage(one to watch) want to leave the EU because of loss of autonomy, money & power. Basically the status quo has gone on in the western world for long enough that power is totally centralized and that’s the fight that we will witness for probably a decade.

  5. Politicking at Scott’s?

    I’m shocked! Shocked! To find that there’s politicking going on in there!

    Go to do good.

    Stay to do well.

  6. Pat says:

    The bureaucracy gets more power only if those in power give it to them. If people are serious about shrinking government, it will happen.
    As for term limits, politicians who insist on running again don’t have the final say in how long they stay in office. Their constituents do. If people who lie continue to win election, then we get the government we deserve.

  7. David says:

    “If people who lie continue to win election, then we get the government we deserve.”

    Who is “we”? There isn’t one collective mind, The Voters, determining an election. And, unfortunately, the _known_ conduct of an incumbent is never the only factor a voter has to consider when he has only one realistic alternative to the incumbent at election time (if that).

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