In addition, I strongly believe that the time has come for terms limits for the House and Senate. From the moment a House member is elected, he or she is running for re-election. Talk about an openning for corruption. I suggest two solutions here. First, change the length of the term from 2 years to 4 years. This will cut down on that perpetual election cycle. Second, limit the number of terms to 3, for a total of 12 years. As for the Senate, the 6 year term is fine, the limit should be 2 terms, totally 12 years. Our Founding Fathers were of a mind that citizens would take turns running the government, not a slew of professional politicians.
Senators John McCain and Jon Kyl of Arizona have wrttien an Op Ed piece on earmarks. Here are a few exceprts.
""Earmarks" are single provisions in spending bills that often run into the hundreds of pages, provisions that few members of Congress have read or even heard of and often don't find out about until days or weeks after the bills have passed. Earmarking breeds corruption. It's a practice that can tempt even good people to do bad things.
Years ago, President Reagan vetoed a major highway bill because, as he put it, it included "unjustifiable funding for narrow, individual special-interest highway and transit construction projects." That bill included a grand total of 152 such projects that would have cost $1.4 billion over five years.
Fast-forward to 2005: Congress passed a highway bill that was packed with more than 6,500 special-interest projects costing more than $24 billion. We objected to this special-interest feasting at the public trough. We were among just four senators to vote against the bill. We were among the few who similarly opposed last year's energy bill, which was also loaded with special-interest spending and tax provisions."
"Although there are a variety of lobbying reforms that Congress should consider, going after earmarks is key. They are the "prize" lobbyists are after, a prize that comes at the expense of the American taxpayer. That said, it also is perhaps the most difficult practice to end because many politicians perceive it to be the bread and butter that preserve their incumbency.
We're proud that when watchdog groups such as Citizens Against Government Waste rate Congress, we are always ranked among the most careful with tax dollars. CAGW's latest ranking puts us as the best Senate delegation in the nation in watching out for taxpayers' interests.
We have long stood up for the taxpayers, and now it is time for the rest of Congress to join us in putting an end to wasteful spending that benefits politicians and lobbyists but hurts our country. Limit spending, and the influence of lobbyists will diminish with it. If the latest lobbying scandal in Washington proves anything, it is that the time to put an end to special-interest earmarking is now."