Tax Guru – Ker$tetter Letter

Helping real people win the tax game.

Archive for September 27th, 2002

Posted by taxguru on September 27, 2002

Breaking Promises

One of the main areas in which I differ from my fellow Libertarians is the issue of term limits. They make the point that we do have terms limits in the form of the ballot box. That would be true if there were anything close to an even playing field in elections. It has long been a job for life once a politician has made it into office. The power of incumbency is next to impossible to beat, which is why 99% of them win each time they run for re-election.

Over the past decade, there have been some politicians who have actually had the nerve to take a voluntary term limit vow. They swear that they will only serve two or three terms and then they will retire. When it comes time to actually honor that pledge, guess what. With very few exceptions, they decide that their vow is no longer relevant, such as this joker in Colorado, Tom Tancredo. Having tasted the awesome power of the throne, there is no way they are going to go back to the real world in which we peasants are forced to reside. They know that, with the vast powers of incumbency, they can easily overpower any resentment over the broken promise.

I sincerely believe that if our founding fathers had known how our elected rulers would refuse to leave, they would have included formal limits to prevent this kind of royalty. That is what the Revolutionary War was all about, being governed by average real world people instead of lifetime royal rulers.

We now have 280 million people in this country. It is such extreme arrogance to believe that there aren’t enough talented people among them to allow a constant supply of fresh faces in the Capitol. To say that the 535 rulers we have in DC are the absolute only ones capable of doing the job of ruling us peasants is no different from any other society governed by an elite few. I have much more faith in the people than do the worshippers of professional lifetime politicians. In fact, I would prefer a lottery to draw names for people to serve a two year term and then move back to the real world than continue being subjects of the career politicians.

A voluntary term limit pledge is as legitimate as a promise by a Clinton (Bill or Hill) not to run for President. What we need is a Constitutional amendment to limit the time any person can sit on the throne.


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