Thursday, October 22, 2009

U.S. Sen. DeMint Pushing Term Limits - #tcot

Here is the full transcript of U.S. Senator DeMint's podcast today (Oct. 22, 2009). DeMint is a Republican from South Carolina. You can listen to that podcast here. Also see Sen. DeMint's official Senate web site and his re-election campaign web site. Hello again. I’m Senator Jim DeMint, and this is Freedomcast for October 22, 2009. You know, the longer I stay in Washington, the more I have come to realize that the problem in the federal government isn’t just the people… it’s the process. The system itself is so much more powerful than either party or interest group, let alone one president or congressional leader. In Washington, the rules of the game are rigged – in favor of bigger government, higher taxes, more debt, and the time-honored system of political back-scratching of “go along to get along.” Fifteen years ago, Republicans – who had been out of power in Congress for forty years – made term limits a centerpiece of their “Contract with America” agenda. The term limits constitutional amendment ultimately failed, in part because so many new reform-minded congressmen imposed term limits on themselves. After six or eight years, these members voluntarily went home, leaving behind those Republicans and Democrats who fully intended to make a career inside the beltway. The fact is, party doesn’t matter when it comes to reform. If you want to change the policies, you have to change the process. That’s why in the next few weeks I will introduce a new constitutional amendment to limit members of the House of Representatives to three terms (which is six years), and members of the Senate to two terms (which is twelve years). As long as members have the chance to spend their lives in Washington, their interests will always skew toward fundraising, relationship building among lobbyists, and trading favors for pork – in short, amassing their own power. Since all that power is going to disappear in a few years, anyway, term-limited legislators will be far less likely to make compromises with the system. Opponents of term limits say that the nation needs wise and seasoned leaders to lead the nation through crises and find consensus on difficult issues. Well, that’s exactly what we’ve got now… How do you think it’s working out for us? It wasn’t the “people” who gave us a 12-trillion dollar debt, trillion-dollar deficits, 100-trillion-dollar long term shortfall in Social Security and Medicare, the Wall Street and auto bailouts, and the health care takeover. It was those wise and seasoned leaders, who enjoy lives of privilege almost wholly immune from the consequences of their policy failures. Term limits are not enough, of course. I hope my amendment will eventually be ratified, and then followed by other structural reforms to make our public institutions more transparent and accountable. But term limits are a good start. Because if we really want reform, we all know it’s not enough just to change the congressmen – we have to change Congress itself. Thanks for checking in. This is Freedomcast, and I’m Jim DeMint. Conservative Caps, Shirt and more! Leave a Comment - Chicago News Bench RSS Feed Visit us on Twitter!