Put term limits on Congress

The Columbia County TEA Party believes the purpose of the federal government is to ensure that the nation’s citizens rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are never taken away. To successfully ensure those rights are not taken away, a Congress made up of citizens from across the country must accomplish two objectives:

• support and sustain the framework and structure of government that allows the nation’s citizens to exercise their rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; and

• monitor and constrain government activities to only those specified by the U.S. Constitution so as to never allow the government to become suffocating, oppressive, overbearing or over-reaching into citizens’ constitutionally guaranteed rights.

The number of examples is growing wherein Congress is not meeting one or both of the above two objectives. The prime reason is that members of Congress are besieged by groups and individuals seeking special treatment, variances for businesses, tax law tweaks and other anomalies. Eventually, their good intentions and will to carry out their duties succumbs to the daily, grinding pressure of the job.

How to remedy the problem? Let Congress’ members have a set tour of duty to perform their public service, and then they can return to their families, their homes and their careers as doctors, lawyers, farmers, engineers, business people, etc., to enjoy the their rights as citizens.

Knowing their time in the “hot seat” of Congress is limited, and that they will be allowed to return back to their normal lives after a predetermined length of time, they could withstand the onslaught of special-interest groups to focus on successfully doing the two jobs, spelled out above, that Congress is supposed to do.

We need to allow our Congress members to perform their public service within the protection of term limits, so they can serve their country and proudly return home to enjoy the fruits of their labor, just like the rest of us.

To make the duration of their term long enough to get the job done, yet allow them to return back to their chosen life before they are exhausted, members of the House should have to serve only one four-year term, and members of the Senate one six-year term.

We would get better government by citizens elected from our ranks, and members of Congress wouldn’t have to pay the price of years of servitude, being slowly worn down in a high-stress, thankless job.

Term limits for all members of Congress are a win-win-win for all the citizens, the members of Congress and our nation.

(The writer is the designated spokesman for the Columbia County TEA Party.)

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