Petitions to impose term limits circle the Web like mindless birds. Maybe you’ve seen them, maybe you’ve even signed them, which doesn’t make you mindless. It just means you probably haven’t thought this thing through.
We’re frustrated that government doesn’t seem to work in behalf of the people anymore. Health care works for insurance and drug companies, and foreign policy is crafted in favor of global corporations that see
We don’t even have an energy policy.
Extended political terms for office-holders won’t solve any of this. Stopping them from taking bribes would sure help though. The bribes I’m talking about are often legal because the lawmakers made them so. They come in many forms -- not just campaign contributions. They’re jobs, financial opportunities, you name it. Shut down one source of income and twelve more pop up. Here are some you might know about:
* A congressman sponsors a Medicare prescription bill and the very next year goes to work for the corporations that wrote his legislation.
* The federal budget director quits and goes straight to Citi, which pays his salary, bonuses, stock options, and other perks with some of the billions it got from the government in zero-interest loans.
* The wife of a Supreme Court justice openly hangs a red light outside her home and invites in weasels desiring her favors. The justice-pimp fails to recuse himself from any of the cases involving her clients.
People are so desperate for a cure to these ills that they sign silly petitions, figuring any change has got to be for the better. Not so. Some changes make things worse.
Why worry about how long politicians stay on the job? We could change them every month and still be in the same mess. Let’s stop the bribery. Then if we get a good office-holder, let’s hang on to her.