It is clear that our country is in serious trouble due to debt and our economy. It is also clear that this trouble did not occur overnight. It took years of sick misguided nurturing to get us where we are today; at a fork in the national path. We must decide which direction to take.
Do we head down the pike of progressivism with a European like socialism as our government? Or do we slam on the brakes and make a hard direction change to take the right fork? Before we discuss that choice, we should analyze what brought us to this juncture. Yes, we can blame the current or the previous administrations – both have had a hand in our potential demise. I prefer to start by analyzing Congress and the root cause that has slowly but steadily taken this nation to this precipice.
Did you know that since there are no term limits in Congress that it has become a club for some members? Those members who quickly learn how to play the special interest game and how to amass money and power have longevity. The more you learn how to manipulate the system and the perks of seniority, the more you can protect yourself against challengers and be reelected again and again. The lack of term limits has permitted twenty five percent of our Senate to be in office more than three terms – more than eighteen years.
It gets better. We have senators serving for as much as fifty-one years. Robert Byrd is in his ninth term and at ninety two years of age is in his fifty-first year – he is also third in line to be President of the United States after Nancy Pelosi. This makes me feel warm and fuzzy all over.
Robert Byrd is not alone. Arlen Specter is eighty and is seeking his fifth term. He is in his 29th year – isn’t that enough? Other career politicians deeply planted in the Senate, who by the end of this year will have served more than any one person should, are:
Richard Shelby-AL – 23 (years)
John McCain-AZ – 23
Chris Dodd-CT (at least he is retiring) – 29
Joe Lieberman-CT – 21
Daniel Inouye-HI – 47
Daniel Akaka-HI – 19
Richard Lugar-IN – 33
Chuck Grassley-IA – 29
Tom Harkin-IA – 25
Mitch McConnell-KY – 25
Barbara Mikulski-MD – 23
John Kerry-MA – 25
Carl Levin-MI – 31
Thad Cochran-MS – 31
Kit Bond-MO – 23
Max Baucus=MT – 31
Harry Reid-NV – 23
Jeff Bingaman-NM – 27
Kent Conrad-ND – 23
Orrin Hatch-UT – 33
Patrick Leahy-VT – 35
Jay Rockefeller-WV – 25
Herbert Kohl-WI – 21
Do these people have a stake in the derailing of this nation? Are they partially responsible for the catastrophic mess we are in? How many votes have they cast that have put us right where we are?
In the House of Representatives where the term is two years (the Senate is six years), we have just as much carnage. There are forty-one members serving 25 or more years. This includes members with thirty, forty, and yes, even fifty years of service.
When you consider that Senators, for the most part, had service in the House of Representatives before joining the Senate, we have an absolute power corrupts situation in our Congress. These career politicians of the Senate serving upwards of forty years in the Congress, when you combine service in both houses, and the career two year term politicians of the House of Representatives are responsible for the economic failure and the disregard of our Constitution with years of seemingly unconstitutional and government intrusion legislation.
We need fresh representation in both houses of Congress, because our current representatives in the Senate and the House have an abysmal track record, often only serving themselves and not the nation. They have been there too long to be in touch with the electorate. This, to any sane person, is the root cause of our demise.
Now, back to that fork in the road. I choose the path of new leadership in both houses of Congress, a new administration, and substantially less government intrusion into our markets and our lives. How about you?