Saturday, August 1, 2009

Why We Need Term Limits

During FDR's (Franklin Delano Roosevelt's) administration 1933 - 1945, America was transformed radically from how it used to operate into the "New Deal". The President and a Democratically controlled Congress changed America by introducing:
  • Federal projects
  • Created government administrative agencies and bureaucracies
  • New taxes
  • More entitlements
  • New regulations
All of these things increased government control over economic activities and unfortunately, over our individual liberties. This is exactly what our Founding Fathers feared could happen. The government set prices, set production limits, established pension and unemployment programs (including the Social Security Act, which by today's standards, is nothing more than a giant PONZIE scheme!). FDR expanded and created alliances with unions, senior citizens, farmers, and ethnic groups. In essence, he radically altered the nature of American society. Does this sound familiar?

It is argued that the new form of government helped prolong the depression because unemployment was much worse in 1936-38 (starting three years after the New Deal began). It wasn't until the beginning of World War II, that the United States began to reach full employment and climb out of the Depression. In other words, his programs didn't help stop the Depression. They may have made it worse!

Early in the Depression, our federal system of checks and balances worked well. The Supreme Court rightly challenged several of the New Deal policies and implementations as unconstitutional, much to FRD's disapproval.

Finally, because of his long tenure in office (elected for four (4) terms), FRD was able to replace several Supreme Court Justices with those who favored and supported his new policies. Then he bullied the Supreme Court, thus neutralizing any challenges provided by the Court against his administration. He continued to ignore the Constitution and went on with his programs.

The significance of the New Deal was in the fact that it broke away from our tradition set by the Founding Fathers and the principles and limitations set in the Constitution.

Congress Wakes Up
Congress realized that without setting term limits, the office of the Presidency could become a dictatorship!

On March 21, 1947, our Congress wisely passed Presidential term limit legislation to amend the Constitution. This was a result of having FDR serve a unprecedented four terms as President during the Great Depression and into World War II. The legislation was later ratified by two thirds of the states on February 2, 1951.

Ironically, Congress escaped passing term limit legislation on themselves, because they were the good guys, trying to protect America from another such disaster.

Unfortunately, today they are part of the continuing problem of an out of control government. They now insult us by passing "emergency" legislation in order to save our economy without reading it. They pass bills written by special interest groups to gain favor and funding to help their re-election to office. Six (6) months after passing this legislation, our unemployment rate is much worse than it was at the onset. Our deficit spending has reached unsustainable highs at the expense of the next several generations of Americans.

How To Change
We need to change the rules for Congress. Propose a limit of no more than two consecutive terms for Congressmen and Senators. It eliminates the checks and balances! No more Career politicians. AND, no more life - long free pensions and medical insurance for serving!

Demand Term Limits!


  1. Since I'm an atheist, and not as enlightened as you, I don't have the ability to communicate with the Founders as you apparently do. I actually have to base my conclusions on historical, verifiable facts.

    Because of this handicap, I'm limited to basing my conclusions on the actions they took, the laws they passed, and the things they wrote.

    They did not include term limits in the Constitution. I have searched, but not found, anything that was written by any of the Founders that even mentions it.

    However, I did find mention of the fact that many Americans, including some of the Founders, wanted Washington to be President for life.

    Therefore, for me (with my limited ability to understand American government) it is reasonable to conclude that they did not want term limits.

    Next time you speak to Jefferson or Adams, please ask them to make a public statement that they've authorized you to speak for them. That way I won't have to bother with researching the actual facts.

  2. Nick,
    Granted the Founders did not "officially" place term limits on Congress or on the office of the Presidency.

    However, the Founders feared the greatest threat to liberty was an all-powerful central government - especially a monarchy! This included Franklin, Jefferson, Adams, and Washington!

    George Washington believed that two terms was enough as mentioned in his farewell address. He set the tradition to prevent the danger of a President being reelected for life. Thomas Jefferson called it the "rotation in office" when he left office.

    This two term tradition began with Washington and was honored, respected and valued until FDR came into office. And in all probability, because of FDR, Congress amended the Constitution to prevent this (four terms) from happening again.

    These facts are easily verifiable without having a séance (as you may suggest) with the Founding Fathers. Here is one of many pointers to the facts:

    I also suggest that if you want to learn more about the Founders that you read: "The 5000 Year Leap 28 Great Ideas That Changed the World" by W. Cleon Skousen.

  3. Thanks for the recommendation. I'll check out Skousen's book. By the way, I already know a little (actually, quite a lot) about the Founders - as you know, one of my hobbies is studying Colonial History.

    But I stand by my statement that if the Founders wanted term limits, they would have put it in the Constitution, or at least amended it once they realized they had left it out.

    Regarding your easily verifiable facts, the reality is that they are all easily shown to be untrue:

    "George Washington believed that two terms was enough as mentioned in his farewell address. He set the tradition to prevent the danger of a President being reelected for life."

    Actually, Washington does not mention a fear of a president being elected for life. As to the reason that he didn't seek a third term, he plainly stated it was because he wanted to return to retirement, and that the United States had grown to a point where he was no longer needed. In fact, he said that he had wanted to leave after his first term.

    I invite you to read the full text of his farewell address here:

    "This two term tradition began with Washington and was honored, respected and valued until FDR came into office."

    Not true. Although it's true that no President served more than 2 terms until FDR, the reason is not because the two term tradition was honored, it's just that none of the Presidents who ran for a third term won (Teddy Roosevelt and US Grant)

    And unfortunately the page you cited above, about the 22nd Amendment, contains absolutely no verifiable evidence that the Founders wanted term limits. In fact, it does not even mention the Founding Fathers.

    Don't think that my comments here are because I think term limits are bad. On the contrary, I agree that we should have term limits for Congress. In fact, I agree with you on many of the things you've posted on this blog. None of my comments have related to your opinions, or your right to publish your opinions, but rather your reporting.

    My problem is with your habit of throwing around "facts" that are untrue, spinning true facts to support your stance, or repeating what you heard on Fox without checking to see if it's actually true.

    When I referred to objective reporting, I didn't mean political objectivity. I meant not spinning the facts, not taking quotes out of context, and checking the whole story before coming to a conclusion. For example, if you had listened to all of Conyer's speech, as I did, you would have seen that he didn't say he didn't see the point of reading the bill, as was your contention. He actually said that the system needed to be simplified so that people could understand what they were voting on. VERY DIFFERENT.

    Here's the quote in context:

    We ought to scrap this system, and somewhere along the line people in Congress inside the beltway are going to do what most people already want. They want a system where it doesn't turn on which of 1200 insurance policies you've got - not that anybody's ever read the fine print on them - and then number 2, did you understand it after you read it? I love these members that get up and say, 'read the bill'. What good is reading the bill if it's 1000 pages and you don't have 2 days and 2 lawyers to find out what it means after you've read the bill?

    Here's a quote from that speech you didn't mention:

    "And creating two classes - buying insurance for the poor - that failed in Massachusetts. Ask Barney Frank when he comes on Monday here. We need a real serious bill."

    I invite you to listen to it here:

    I hope now you understand why I feel it's so important to check the accuracy and completeness of your facts before you use them to prove your point.

  4. I am still having a hard time understanding why one's choice of religion has anything to do with term limits or communicating with the Founders.

  5. I have a hard time understanding that too, Blazing Star. I guess we'll have to watch Glenn Beck to find out.

  6. Nick,
    Our Founding Fathers tried to write a "perfect" Constitution. Soon afterwards, they realized that they omitted several important items - namely the Bill of Rights. They realized that it did NOT include everything. In fact, they knew they may have omitted things of importance. That's why they added the provision to change the Constitution - but not easily.

    Many people DID want Washington to be President for life. But HE had the wisdom not to do this and to limit his term in office.

    It's becoming clear that this really isn't about the facts. If you search Google for "Washington term limits" it will provide you with dozens of sites that verify that Washington wanted term limits by setting the precedent himself in spite of the reality that he was a popular man. They also indicate that not until the FDR presidency was the tradition broken for whatever reason.

    It's unfortunate this blog doesn't hold up to the high journalistic standards which are illustrated on a daily basis by the professional new organizations like NBC, CNN, ABC, The New York Times, Boston Globe, and Los Angeles Times! If you're so worried about journalistic standards, then you should quetch to the media as well!

    For you, it's really about arguing. You love to debate for the sake of arguing! You're a nit picker. Mindless defense for the sake of arguing. As a critic, you love the idea that the "Devil is in the details." You love the details! There are never too many. You like splitting hairs and atomizing points of discussions. If possible, you would use the electron microscope in conversation just to get more details and continue arguing. It's all about the intellectual challenge and the mental stimulation that comes from it.

    It's OK for you to make statements without pointing to their validity. For example: "However, I did find mention of the fact that many Americans, including some of the Founders, wanted Washington to be President for life."

    Then you make the logical conclusion "Therefore, for me ... it is reasonable to conclude that they did not want term limits." Or "But I stand by my statement that if the Founders wanted term limits, they would have put it in the Constitution, or at least amended it once they realized they had left it out."

    Please don't placate me by finding your source and then quote it verbatim. That's not the point of this whole blog. That merely illustrates my point about arguing.

    Apparently, you're also telepathic. You seem to know "a priory" that I get my "facts" from FOX news. How can you state this as a reality? Just because I mention the Glenn Beck (whom you despise) Show ? That' seems fair and objective like the journalistic standards I should adhere to also!

    With regards to John Conyers... He admitted that he doesn't read the legislation.
    JUST MY OPINION: He doesn't deserve to stay in office just for that reason alone!

  7. Blazing Star,
    You need to read two previous topics in order to understand the references you mention.

    Please visit the following topics:

    "Latest Obama Gaff" published on Saturday, July 25, 2009 and the comments associated with it.

    Also read my rebuttal which had to be posted as a new topic because of is size. It was called " Comments to Obama's Latest Gaff", published on Sunday, July 26, 2009.

    I hope this helps you to understand what these threads are discussing.

  8. OK Buddy, I'll keep my mindless facts to myself. No sense letting the truth get in the way.

    Yes, I do have high journalistic standards. I hate spin. I require truth.

    I invite you to take a look at the latest post on my blog regarding the Founders.

    And please feel free to comment.

    Looking forward to continuing this discussion when we get together next time.