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Congress is Out of Control


Senators McCain and Feingold have attempted to control the influence of corporations and big money on our legislative process through campaign finance reform. I applaud the effort, but the results have been predictable. Congress will continue to avoid and mitigate the issue.

Congress does not represent the people anymore. They represent the lobbyists, who represent big business, who control re-election money and therefore the elections.

In 1947 a Republican Congress succeeded in passing a constitutional amendment to limit presidential terms to eight years. It was ratified by three fourths of the states and became law four years later.

What is good enough for the President should be good enough for Congress. The only effective way to return control to the people away from big money purse-strings is to limit congressional terms to one: once in office, there would be no incentive to yield to the lobbyists at the expense of the voters since they can't be re-elected. This would break the current cycle of deceit where candidates promise voters what they want to hear, but after being elected, vote according to the lobbyists' agenda in exchange for campaign funds.

But the reality is that Congress will never agree to term limits. In order to accomplish such a feat, we would need to create a non-partisan grass-roots effort to get candidates to run on a platform to support such an amendment. Some will object, saying this will cause a lack of experience in Congress. Actually, that might be a good thing, but the negative effects can be limited by staggering elections so that half of Congress is elected every four years with limits of eight years.

Changing Congress won't be easy, but the alternative is more stagnation and irresponsibility. Years under the current system have resulted in a national debt of over $8 trillion (not including the two $40 trillion elephants of Social Security and Medicare) with $300 billion in interest payments.

Although most know me as a debt-hawk, one doesn't have to be one to be alarmed at what our Congress has done to this country. A little common sense is all that is necessary.
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