View Poll Results: Would setting term limits and wages tied to average wage help motivate congress?

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  • Yes, it would reduce corruption and ensure that congress was more focused on the American people

    14 34.15%
  • No, it would have no effect/it would change things for the worse

    21 51.22%
  • Other (please explain)

    6 14.63%
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Thread: Would setting term limits and wages tied to average wage help motivate congress?

  1. #21
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    Re: Would setting term limits and wages tied to average wage help motivate congress?

    Quote Originally Posted by Viktyr Korimir View Post
    I would agree with pegging their salaries to some objective marker of economic performance, but I absolutely disagree with term limits. I want my government managed by professionals, not an endless parade of rookies that are forced out of office the very moment they start figuring out how to do their jobs.
    Is there any evidence that legislators with many years of experience are better at their job than the rookies? And if so, how much of that is due to seniority rules and back-slapping connections with other "professional" legislators, as opposed to actually writing better legislation?
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    Re: Would setting term limits and wages tied to average wage help motivate congress?

    Quote Originally Posted by radcen View Post
    Seems to me that term limits, by themselves, would make matters worse. If politicians are lured by money and power, term limits would entice them to be even more aggressive to accumulate what they can while they can.
    Unlikely. By limiting the amount of money and power a person can acquire through political office (by reducing the timespan), we're less likely to attract people to office who are only interested in money/power. Outright bribery is not common, it tends to take the form of campaign contributions instead. If congresspeople aren't worried about their reelection campaign because they are term-limited, then the influence of money will be much more limited. Their ability to otherwise line their own pockets is limited, short of blatant bribery.

    I'm really not concerned with length of office, and I believe citizens should retain the right to vote for whomever they want.
    I don't believe that there are very many irreplaceable people who are serving in our Congress or who have ever served in our Congress. Every district has hundreds or thousands of people who are intelligent, politically knowledgeable, and have a similar ideology to the mainstream voter.

    I think it's the influence of outside money that is the biggest problem and the most easily fixable. Get rid of outside money, and much of the problem goes away. Though I do think that most politicians are corrupted more by power than money... not that the money isn't desirable in its own right, of course.
    Getting rid of outside money is easier said than done...I don't see how it's so "easily fixable" except, incidentally, by eliminating the motivation to contribute all that money to individual politicians in the first place...such as through term limits.
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    Re: Would setting term limits and wages tied to average wage help motivate congress?

    Quote Originally Posted by apdst View Post
    What about the whole, "representation", thing? Where will my constitutional rights be, if my congressman gets laid off?
    don't worry. when he or she is re-hired as an independent contractor with no vacation or benefits, you'll get even more cost effective representation.

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    Re: Would setting term limits and wages tied to average wage help motivate congress?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    Term limits would definitely be a good idea for reducing corruption. As for tying their wage increases to median wage increases...meh. I doubt it would have much of an impact.
    Term limits wouldn't reduce corruption. Rather, it would increase it. Politicians who are naive as to how lobbyists influence them would be at greater risk to them. Also, long-term politicians can have a better feel of the pulse of all their constituents, including those who belong to the opposing party.
    Also, we need to legalize recreational drugs and prostitution.

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    Re: Would setting term limits and wages tied to average wage help motivate congress?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    Unlikely. By limiting the amount of money and power a person can acquire through political office (by reducing the timespan), we're less likely to attract people to office who are only interested in money/power. Outright bribery is not common, it tends to take the form of campaign contributions instead. If congresspeople aren't worried about their reelection campaign because they are term-limited, then the influence of money will be much more limited. Their ability to otherwise line their own pockets is limited, short of blatant bribery.
    I believe that the majority of people who enter politics early in life do so for honest and noble reasons, and end up being corrupted by outside money and power well into their careers. Removing the money influence keeps the job attractive to them while they're still reasonably honest.


    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    I don't believe that there are very many irreplaceable people who are serving in our Congress or who have ever served in our Congress. Every district has hundreds or thousands of people who are intelligent, politically knowledgeable, and have a similar ideology to the mainstream voter.
    Totally agree there are many qualified people. Still doesn't justify removing the voter's right to make their own choices.


    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    Getting rid of outside money is easier said than done...I don't see how it's so "easily fixable" except, incidentally, by eliminating the motivation to contribute all that money to individual politicians in the first place...such as through term limits.
    It's a relative statement. I favor, "can't vote, can't contribute", which would go a long way toward solving the money issue without stepping on individual citizen's rights to make their own choices at the ballot box. Term limits would make the urgency of special interests getting the 'right' person in office even worse. You want to take away the money, just take away the money. Don't dance around it.

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    Re: Would setting term limits and wages tied to average wage help motivate congress?

    Quote Originally Posted by samsmart View Post
    Term limits wouldn't reduce corruption. Rather, it would increase it. Politicians who are naive as to how lobbyists influence them would be at greater risk to them.
    Why? What reason would a lobbyist have to funnel money to someone who can't run for reelection? And what reason would a politician have to accept a lobbyist's money if they aren't running for reelection?

    Also, long-term politicians can have a better feel of the pulse of all their constituents, including those who belong to the opposing party.
    I disagree. It seems to me that the ones who are best in tune with their constituents are the ones who have been in Congress for the least amount of time. The longer they've been there, the more insulated they are, and the more important their DC connections become relative to their local connections.
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    Re: Would setting term limits and wages tied to average wage help motivate congress?

    Quote Originally Posted by radcen View Post
    I believe that the majority of people who enter politics early in life do so for honest and noble reasons, and end up being corrupted by outside money and power well into their careers.
    Agreed, which is why I support term limits.

    Removing the money influence keeps the job attractive to them while they're still reasonably honest.
    One can't just pass a law removing money from politics.

    Totally agree there are many qualified people. Still doesn't justify removing the voter's right to make their own choices.
    I disagree, preventing corruption and a dysfunctional legislature are perfectly valid reasons for slightly constraining the voter's choice...especially since the voter's choice isn't being constrained THAT much since there are plenty of other qualified and ideologically-similar people in every district.

    It's a relative statement. I favor, "can't vote, can't contribute", which would go a long way toward solving the money issue without stepping on individual citizen's rights to make their own choices at the ballot box. Term limits would make the urgency of special interests getting the 'right' person in office even worse. You want to take away the money, just take away the money. Don't dance around it.
    Then you have the problem of people or groups contributing money to independent groups rather than to the campaigns themselves. And if we cracked down on that (even if it could be done without running afoul of the Supreme Court on freedom of speech), then new entities would spring up through which money could legally be spent on politics.
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    Re: Would setting term limits and wages tied to average wage help motivate congress?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    Why? What reason would a lobbyist have to funnel money to someone who can't run for reelection? And what reason would a politician have to accept a lobbyist's money if they aren't running for reelection?
    Candidates would be "pre-qualified" prior to money being spent on them, if you get my drift.


    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    One can't just pass a law removing money from politics.
    Actually, yes, one can. That's what the law-making process is.

    Sorry, couldn't resist.

    I'm presuming you mean that it's not a quick process, and I agree, but staus quo is not necessarily unchangeable.


    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    Then you have the problem of people or groups contributing money to independent groups rather than to the campaigns themselves. And if we cracked down on that (even if it could be done without running afoul of the Supreme Court on freedom of speech), then new entities would spring up through which money could legally be spent on politics.
    The idea of "can't vote, can't contribute" is that, unless it can enter a voting booth and cast a ballot, then it cannot contribute money. Period. This goes equally for corporations, unions, PACs, any lobbying special interest group, etc. Living breathing voting-eligible citizens only. If it would take a Constitutional amendment to get around the free speech angle for non-living "people", so be it.

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    Re: Would setting term limits and wages tied to average wage help motivate congress?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    And if so, how much of that is due to seniority rules and back-slapping connections with other "professional" legislators, as opposed to actually writing better legislation?
    Why do you think this matters? The job is the job, and getting it done is more important than how you get it done.

  10. #30
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    Re: Would setting term limits and wages tied to average wage help motivate congress?

    Quote Originally Posted by radcen View Post
    Candidates would be "pre-qualified" prior to money being spent on them, if you get my drift.
    If the politician isn't running for reelection, then he has less motivation to do what the lobbyists want. Even if they gave him money to get him elected in the first place...he got what he wants from them, so where's his motivation to stick to his end of the bargain? In the current system he risks that his lobbyist friends will stop giving him money for his reelection campaign and/or give it to someone else to run against him. If he's term-limited, then that wouldn't be a problem.

    Furthermore, the lobbyists themselves would be well aware that politicians no longer have the same incentive to do their bidding, and so they'd stop spending as much in the first place. Sure, they might still spend SOME if they feel that a candidate is a true believer in the things that they want, but it'd be risky to spend a lot of money on someone they weren't sure about.

    Actually, yes, one can. That's what the law-making process is.

    Sorry, couldn't resist.

    I'm presuming you mean that it's not a quick process, and I agree, but staus quo is not necessarily unchangeable.
    As I see it there is no way to get money out of politics by limiting who can contribute or who they can contribute money to, because there will always be ways around that.

    The idea of "can't vote, can't contribute" is that, unless it can enter a voting booth and cast a ballot, then it cannot contribute money. Period.
    What do you mean by "contribute money"? Can a corporation run a political ad with their own money, unaffiliated with the campaign itself? Can they pay a $2,000 bonus to any employee who pledges to contribute $2,000 to a certain candidate?

    This goes equally for corporations, unions, PACs, any lobbying special interest group, etc. Living breathing voting-eligible citizens only. If it would take a Constitutional amendment to get around the free speech angle for non-living "people", so be it.
    It would be easy to drive a truck through the loopholes of any campaign finance amendment, so it would necessitate another amendment to fix the loopholes, then another, and so on. Given how cumbersome the amendment process is, this doesn't seem like a practical solution to me. A better solution would be to simply make it so that the leverage that lobbyists have over politicians (i.e. their reelection funds) isn't an issue, by instituting term limits. Term limits, unlike campaign finance laws, are simple and not particularly subject to a lot of loopholes. So a single constitutional amendment would be sufficient for something like that IMO.
    Last edited by Kandahar; 11-26-11 at 03:09 AM.
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