View Poll Results: Should we pay government officials and/or limit them to one term?

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  • Both; We should pay government officials more and we should limit them to one term

    1 5.26%
  • We should pay government officials more, but we shouldn't change the current term system

    0 0%
  • We should limit government officials to one term, but we shouldn't pay them more

    6 31.58%
  • Neither; paying them more and limiting them to one term are both horrible ideas

    12 63.16%
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Thread: Should we pay Government officials more and/or limit them to one term?

  1. #1
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    Should we pay Government officials more and/or limit them to one term?

    I read a good article from Thomas Sowell, an economist, philosopher, and author, and senior fellow at the Hoover Institute. In the article, he makes the argument that it might be better to pay our government officials more, as well as limiting terms (preferably to one). I highly recommend reading the article before voting.

    Now that the National Football League has apparently learned that it can be costly to hire cheap officials, perhaps the rest of us should learn the same lesson when it comes to government officials, whose bad calls can do a lot more damage.

    What do we do when we want a better car, a better home or a better bottle of wine? We pay more for it. We definitely need a lot better crop of public officials. Yet we insist on paying flea market prices for people who will be spending trillions of tax dollars, not to mention making foreign policy that can either safeguard or jeopardize the lives of millions of Americans.

    Any successful engineer, surgeon, or financier would have to take a big pay cut to serve in Congress. A top student from a top law school can get a starting salary that is more than we pay a Supreme Court justice.

    No doubt many, if not most, government officials are already paid more than they are worth. But the whole point of higher pay is to get better people to replace them.

    We may say that we want people in Congress, the courts or the White House who have some serious knowledge and experience in the real world, not just glib tricksters who know how to pander for votes. But we don't put our money where our mouth is.

    Let's face it. You're not likely to get a good suit of clothes at a flea market. And you're not likely to get the cream of the crop to go into the government when they would have to accept a big drop in income to do so.

    There are always going to be warm bodies available to fill the jobs in government. We have lots of warm bodies there now. There will also always be some people who are willing to sacrifice their family's economic security and standard of living, in order to get their hands on the levers of power.

    These are precisely the kinds of people whom it is dangerous to have holding the levers of power.
    Can we afford to pay members of Congress, the President of the United States, and federal judges the kinds of money that would enable us to tap a far wider pool of far more knowledgeable people with successful real world experience? We can't afford not to. Cheap politicians are expensive in their reckless spending of tax money. It is the ultimate in being penny-wise and pound-foolish.

    To get some idea of the cost, ask yourself: How much would it cost to pay every member of Congress, the president, and every federal judge a million dollars a year?

    There are 535 members of Congress, so a salary of a million dollars a year would cost $535 million, or just over half a billion dollars. There are 188 federal appellate judges and one President of the United States. That's 189 more people, bringing the total number of people to 724, and the total cost to $724 million, at a time when people in Washington are talking trillions.

    That is less than one percent of the annual cost of the Department of Agriculture. Put differently, we could pay all of these 724 officials a million dollars a year each for an entire century for less than it costs to run the Department of Agriculture for one year.

    If we limited how long any given individual could hold office in the government preferably one term we could have highly knowledgeable people with real world experience in charge of taking care of the nation's business, instead of spending their time doing things to get reelected.

    They would be a lot harder for special interests to bribe with campaign contributions, when high officials would face no more campaigns after getting elected. We don't need career politicians.

    The best crop of public officials this country has ever had were in the generation that founded the United States of America. Most of the Founders had careers outside of politics.

    Is all this a realistic prospect in the world today? Of course not! What is the most realistic prospect today is the status quo today.

    But the New Deal was not a realistic prospect three years before Franklin D. Roosevelt took office. It was not a realistic prospect in 1775 that the American colonies would become an independent nation a year later. The whole point of discussing new ideas is to get people thinking about them, so that they might become realistic prospects in the future.
    So what do you think? Some good ideas, some bad? A bunch of hogwash perhaps, or would this actually work out pretty good?

    Discuss.
    "Nobody spends somebody else's money as carefully as he spends his own. Nobody uses somebody else's resources as carefully as he uses his own. So if you want efficiency and effectiveness, if you want knowledge to be properly utilized, you have to do it through the means of private property."

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    Re: Should we pay Government officials more and/or limit them to one term?

    Pay less!
    It is conceivable that these politicians should NOT be paid at all....
    Limit of two terms for all
    Reps from 2 years(ridiculous) to 4 years
    Sens from 6 years(excessive) to 4
    True and absolute campaign and campaign finance reform( one penny per vote - this is new)
    Truth in advertising
    Communications reform.
    These things are overdue by a century !.....or more...
    Last edited by earthworm; 10-08-12 at 02:54 PM.

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    Re: Should we pay Government officials more and/or limit them to one term?

    I think we should pay them far less. There needs to be a mindset among government officials that they exist to serve the people, not that we exist to serve them. I don't support term limits due to that dramatically changing the structure of the House and Senate, but I do support largely limiting their salary and making their lives essentially free from all privacy.
    When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser. -Socrates
    Tired of elections being between the lesser of two evils.

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    Re: Should we pay Government officials more and/or limit them to one term?

    I'd support term limits but wouldn't support a pay increase.
    "Hmmm...Can't decide if I want to watch "Four Houses" or give myself an Icy Hot pee hole enema..." - Blake Shelton


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    Re: Should we pay Government officials more and/or limit them to one term?

    Since most Congressmen are already rich I do not think paying them more for not doing thier jobs is a good idea. I wish to make a strong comment here. CONGRESSMEN AND GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS ARE NOT NECESSARILY THE SAME THING. GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS FOR THE MOST PART DON'T HAVE TERMS OF OFFICE BUT REAL JOBS.

    As for term limits I would rather see a change in the Constitution where all elected officials of the Federal government and perhaps the states serve 2-3 terms of 6 years each. They spend far too much time campaiging or preparing for the next election than they should be instead of doing thier GD jobs.
    "Those who do not learn from history and condemned to relive it".

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    Re: Should we pay Government officials more and/or limit them to one term?

    Quote Originally Posted by duhu View Post
    I read a good article from Thomas Sowell, an economist, philosopher, and author, and senior fellow at the Hoover Institute. In the article, he makes the argument that it might be better to pay our government officials more, as well as limiting terms (preferably to one). I highly recommend reading the article before voting.

    So what do you think? Some good ideas, some bad? A bunch of hogwash perhaps, or would this actually work out pretty good?

    Discuss.
    I would keep the pay the same. But limit it two terms in each office and a five year waiting period between offices.For example if a politician finishes serving two terms as a city councilor then he would have to wait five years before being allowed to run for mayor,sheriff, alderman, congress,president, governor or any other office regardless if it is elected or appointed position. The goal of this would be prevent politicians from carrying over any influence from their previous position.
    "A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murder is less to fear"

    Cicero Marcus Tullius

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    Re: Should we pay Government officials more and/or limit them to one term?

    Neither. I believe elected officials should be paid less and they should not be limited to one term.


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    Re: Should we pay Government officials more and/or limit them to one term?

    The less you pay government "officials" the more you up your government up to graft.

    I like the term limits thing, but think one is too short. Perhaps limit the terms to two. Especially the congress critters.

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    Re: Should we pay Government officials more and/or limit them to one term?

    I personally support paying them the same, or less, and limiting them to two terms. Paying them more won't make them any less ideological, or any wiser. Public servants should be in the game for serving, not for personal or ego gain.
    "God is the name by which I designate all things which cross my path violently and recklessly, all things which alter my plans and intentions, and change the course of my life, for better or for worse."
    -C G Jung

  10. #10
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    Re: Should we pay Government officials more and/or limit them to one term?

    I'm undecided about what both of these would end up incentivizing. Paying them less seems fair, but then who would strive for it? Maybe everyone that sought public office would stand to gain something more secretive, and wouldn't go for it unless there was something waiting for them at the other end. This could ultimately be equally as corrupt.

    Maybe there should be no term limit, and we should pay them MORE. Hell, maybe a lot more. That way it would be left up to the people whether their politicians were A) doing a good job and B) doing a good ENOUGH job to continue justifying their million dollar salaries?

    Maybe the money would draw people's attention and they'd have a sense of caring about how well their politicians were doing. Maybe to pay for just their officials' salaries there should be a separate direct tax (not just from the general fund) so that we could see in dollar terms what's withheld from our paychecks to pay our officials' salaries? That way it would FEEL like we're employing them. And it should, because we ARE.
    Last edited by Neomalthusian; 10-09-12 at 05:04 PM.

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