Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

Who’s the Boss?

Paul Jacob, Gary Johnson, FreedomFest, 2016, Nevada, illustration

This week, Republicans have chosen Donald Trump to be their standard-bearer. Next week, Democrats will nominate Hillary Clinton as their presidential candidate.

But the only candidate on your ballot to take the U.S. Term Limits pledge is Gary Johnson, the Libertarian. Last week, I rubbed elbows with the former two-term governor of New Mexico on a panel about term limits at FreedomFest in Las Vegas.

“I believe that if term limits were in effect that politicians would do the right thing as opposed to whatever it takes to get re-elected,” Johnson told the capacity crowd.

The U.S. Term Limits pledge is straightforward, a commitment to use the bully pulpit of the presidency to help push Congress and the states to propose and ratify the congressional term limits Americans have been voting for and demanding for quite some time.

U.S. Term Limits Executive Director Nick Tomboulides asked me what it says about our democracy that even with overwhelming public support for many decades, Congress has blocked this reform.

Noting that Congress is thoroughly despised by the public, I pointed out that only one incumbent congressman has been defeated for re-election so far this year. And that incumbent, Rep. Chaka Fattah (D-Pa.), was under 23 felony indictments, including racketeering, for which he was later convicted.

I argued that term limitation “is a critical issue at the very core of governance. Are we the boss or are the politicians the boss? Today, I think we all have to be honest and admit the politicians are the boss.”

Adding, “And we have to do something about that.”

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.


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Paul Jacob, Gary Johnson, FreedomFest, 2016, Nevada, illustration


By: CS Admin


  1. JD Munro says:

    Let me preface my remarks by saying that I am totally in favor of term limits at all levels.

    That having been said, observe the effect at the (term-limited) presidential level:

    (1) He does, in fact, do “whatever it takes to get [elected and] re-elected.” 
    (2) As his final term winds down, he feels no constraints on his ability to anything and everything, irrespective of the best interests of the now-moot voters.

    Things to consider in the term-limits debate.  It has much more to do with character (and the candidate winnowing process of modern politics) than with legal constraints.

  2. Tim Lebsack says:

    Term limits – An excellent idea.
    I also like the idea of the U.S. President being elected for one five-year term. More elections would be costly but forcing the POTUS into working with a Congress that is either half-way into or half-way out of their terms might save money for the taxpayer.

  3. Pat says:

    If the people are the boss then let them act like it. People who are serious about term limits will do it themselves: vote them out. The problem is there are too many Americans who think government is something that does things for them. They don’t realize that someone is paying the bill. Too many don’t realize that they themselves are paying the bill. Actions have consequences. Don’t take away from people the responsibility of their vote. If they won’t ‘vote the bums out’ then live with the consequences.

  4. Werner says:

    Paul, no, no, no!!! You have fully imbibed the term-limits Kool-aide and forgotten Thomas Sowell’s exhortation to think beyond Step 1. Enacting LEGISLATURE term limits is Step 1. Step 2 is their realizing they never EVER have to face the wrath of the voters. One third to half the legislative branch has full reign to do what they want. Check out how many taxpayer supported “special commissions” there are in CA. How do you think they get set up? The soon-to-be out of office legislators take care of themselves with the support of the rest because they’re next. Term limits are as simplistic and foolish as Zero Tolerance. Stop thinking like a leftist; people are not static. They will respond and almost always with the least desirable result. 

  5. The typical American voter is too stupid to come out of the rain much less vote against the incumbernt. We have contributed, as a people, to the corruption in government and are now living in a police state as a consequence.

    • Werner says:

      Then the solution is to work on the voters not “help” them with a sledgehammer “cure” whose symptoms are worse than the disease. Without term limits they at least have to be aware there are voters; with term limits their constituency is NOT going to be the voters. 

  6. Rollin L. says:

    I think term limits are only a short term necessity, if we really want to make things better. It’s a good start, but the other benefits of public office are still not being dealt with. First, there should be no pensions of any kind for anyone in elected office. A standard 401(k) would suffice, to which they contribute their own money from salary, no matching. They should be permanently banned from serving on any paid commission or other appointed job if they have served their elected limit. If they have valuable experience to contribute, find. Let them be volunteers for said commission or appointment and do that around their day job. No more professional, career politicians. Term limits are only a starting point, and would become unnecessary if we required public servants to have real careers outside of government and politics.

  7. Golfnut6 says:

    Can’t Feel the Bern anymore. So they can Feel the Johnson!

  8. Brian wright says:

    Common sense says term limits, especially for DC, will be a significant impediment to career politician tyranny. More urgent to me is ubiquitous people’s grand juries, where the people can investigate and indict for gross official misconduct, ESPECIALLY corrupt police, judges, and prosecutors. The people’s grand jury is also a shield against corrupt use of power against individuals.

    • Werner says:

      My bigger fear than tyranny of the political class is the tyranny of the unaccountable permanent bureaucrats: EPA, IRS, DHS, DOE, just to name the first that came to mind. With term limits they know with absolute certainty that they’ll outlive any legislator. Their power will increase dramatically. 

  9. 2War Abn Vet says:

    Ross Perot acted as the spoiler in 1992, tilting the election to Billy Clinton. Now, Gary Johnson is working the do the same thing for the other half of the Clinton Crime Family.

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