Vail Daily letter: Term limits for all |

Vail Daily letter: Term limits for all

For the past half century, voters have returned incumbents to the House of Representatives and the Senate more than 90 percent of the time. This Nov. 2, results indicate that 87 percent of the representatives and 90 percent of the senators were returned to office. I find this fact most disturbing, as it comes at a time when the approval rating for members of both houses of Congress is somewhere below 20 percent.

Clearly incumbents, qualified or not, have a stake in holding on to their dream jobs and have structured the system to keep it that way.

This past election cycle was as bitter, divisive and counterproductive as I have ever witnessed, with voter anger and dissatisfaction with those who represent us at an all-time high, and yet most of those individuals in whom we have little confidence were returned to office. Am I missing something?

In comparison with the rest of the world, our system of government is not totally broken by any means. However, there is mounting evidence that it could do with a tuneup. No more so than in the two elite clubs in Washington, D.C., known as the Senate and the House of Representatives.

Due to the ever-increasing complexity of the modern world, no longer can this country afford the luxury of “politicians for life,” elected officials who have clearly demonstrated an unwillingness or inability to adequately address the serious problems facing the country.

In 1947, the 22nd Amendment was ratified and limited the president of the United States to two terms (or upon the succession of a vice president to 10 years). Evidence abounds that it is past time for the voters of the United States to set term limits for members of both houses of Congress.

I suggest that we should carefully weigh the merits of a 28th Amendment that would establish term limits for members of both houses of Congress: two terms for senators and two terms for representatives.

Fortunately, the Constitution provides a mechanism for the states to take this action if the initiative does not gain traction in Washington (entrenched vested interests there make this likely).

Peter Bergh


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