SECTION I. No person who has served six consecutive terms as a representative shall be eligible for election to the House of Representatives for a period of five years from the end of that sixth term.
SECTION II. No person who has served two consecutive terms as a senator shall be eligible for election or appointment to the Senate until the date that is more than five years from the end of the second consecutive term.
SECTION III. Any individual who has served as a member of the House of Representatives or the United State Senate shall be prohibited by law from working as a paid lobbyist for five years after that individual has left Congress.
What a fantastic Amendment the 28th Amendment to the U.S. Congress is. There is only one problem. There is no such 28th Amendment and the good old boys (and girls) network continues to elect the very same serving and self-serving candidates to Congress and the Senate over and over again. Like Harry Reid. Mitch McConnell. Paul Ryan. Nancy Pelosi (ugh). Bernie Sanders. Dianne Feinstein. And so many, many others. It seems as though the only way an incumbent would not be reelected would be for that individual not to run for reelection.
It really doesn’t matter how well an individual serves our great country and us, we the people. There are others, waiting, eager, different, younger, better for America and for democracy. A country founded on Democratic principles needs change, constant change to stay fresh, vibrant and uncompromised. We have indeed as a nation become compromised, assumptive, no longer really Democratic, or for that matter a true Republic, but rather an oligarchy, ruled as we are by THE FEW, 545 people in the Senate, House, Supreme Court and President. So many don’t leave or change, including and especially the Supreme Court. We are ruled by nine Supreme Court Justices, most of whom are old both in age and in thinking, prejudiced so often with personal bias and interpretations of the Constitution without regard for the most part for we the people. In fact, when almost every individual gets to Washington, D.C., that individual changes and in almost every case becomes part of the power structure. They become part of the ruling class often indifferent to us, the electors. They forget we sent them there, trusted them, believed in their promises, and asked that they represent us without compromising and with the fullest integrity. It takes little time for OUR REPRESENTATIVES to become rulers! So many become power hungry and money hungry. That is what is known as Potomac Fever. Once infected, that political disease is incurable.
From 1789 to approximately 1815, when our great Republic was founded, members of Congress received a daily honorarium payment of $6! And that was paid only when Congress was in session. Then came inflation so that members of Congress were paid the grand sum of $8 per day from 1818 to 1855. In those days (1789-1855), Congress was typically in sessions legislating only several months each year. It was a clear intention of our founding fathers that having the honor to be a member of Congress would be a PART-TIME JOB. That meant Congress members had to hold down another job. Otherwise, the member could not survive or support himself. Politics was not considered full-time work much less a career. Service in Congress was like jury duty, task-oriented and true public service, really truly public service to we the people. Washington, D.C. was a small and sleepy town.
Not so today, the Washington, D.C. areas are comprised of some of the richest metropolitan areas in America. Of the ten richest counties in America, six now surround Washington, D.C. Can you believe that? While the rest of America, we the people struggle under a slow and difficult economy, the Washington, D.C. metro area economy is booming.
From $6 per day, and only while in session, the standard salary for a member of Congress today is $174,000 per year. In addition, those members receive a pension up to 80% of their salary depending upon how long they have served and:
THAT FOR LIFE!
Members become eligible for pensions after serving just five years in office and in addition, receive some $11,400 annually in subsidies to help pay for health insurance. There are many other perks and benefits including special medical doctors, hospitals and treatments in Washington, D.C. and elsewhere not available to the public, allowances for staffing, housing, transportation, postage and mailing and so many others of which the American public is unaware. They live high on the hog these rulers of ours do and at our expense.
There are many in the House of Representatives and the Senate who are noble, public-spirited and minded and really wish to do the right thing. They are, many think, the clear minority for the latest polls indicate that only 13% or one in seven Americans think that Congress House and Senate is doing a good job.
Critics of our system think that 12 years of public service is enough, more than enough. Two terms in the Senate and six terms in the House. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. Go home thereafter, back to being a private citizen and let another new American take over and contribute. So that, if, says the 28th Amendment, you will not leave voluntarily, then our Constitution newly amended will end your service and prevent you from returning. Further, you can not exploit your Washington connections and make money, sometimes fabulous money as a lobbyist. Serve, public servant and move on. It is estimated that almost 5,400 former congressional staffers have left Capitol Hill (Washington, D.C.) to become federal lobbyists in the last ten years. They can then make millions of dollars such as that of former congressman Billy Tauzin who was paid almost $5 million per year to lobby for drug companies. Disgraceful, immoral and it should be made illegal by the new 28th Amendment.
So, you who were constitutionalists or historically minded say there is no 28th Amendment and of course you are correct. There are only 27. But there is a need for this 28th Amendment, TERM LIMITING AMENDMENT, which limits service in the House of Representatives and the Senate to:
Six terms in the House and two terms in the Senate and:
GO HOME AND STAY THERE
The 22nd Amendment finally limited terms in office for the President of the United States so that no man (or woman) could serve as President for more than eight years, two terms. It would therefore seem generous to allow Congress, House and Senate to serve for 12 years, but at the most.
When it comes to elections, members of Congress are allowed to send out millions of letters to their constituents at taxpayers’ expense. Congress calls these letters “constituent service communications.” But in fact, the communications are self-serving advertising for the reelection of members of Congress. That works an unfair disadvantage to competitive candidates.
In addition, special interests like corporations, especially the biggest and richest corporations, labor unions and wealthy individuals contribute millions of dollars to the campaign war chests of members of Congress in the hope of getting special “carve outs” of the federal financial pie including government contracts, direct federal subsidies or special exemptions for their business or industry written into the laws and regulations of our country and sponsored by these funded candidates. It therefore takes, it is estimated, as much as $5 million invested for a challenger to mount a competitive campaign for a seat in the House of Representatives. A comparable sum in 1970 was $40,000. And, it can cost up to $30 million to mount a competitive campaign to compete for Senator to the United States Senate. Staggering numbers, don’t you think my fellow Americans? Small wonder that INCUMBENTS have such an unbelievable advantage for reelection and perhaps lose reelection bids only under very special and negative circumstances.
Change is good. Change is necessary. Change is democracy at work. Change prevents compromise and corruption. Change brings fresh blood, fresh ideas, fresh insights to the world and its problems, and to our great country and its problems and potential. We so desperately need that as a country so that we are not responding to CAREER POLITICIANS, vested, rooted down, unchangeable, becoming every year ever more skilled in the art of compromise whether legal or not. America has become a political system paid for and invested in by moneyed entities and individuals caring more for power and money than the free and Democratic citizens who elected them.
This sorely needed 28th Amendment must be authorized and passed by two-thirds of the members of the House of Representatives and two-thirds of the United States Senate. In addition, the proposed Amendment must then be ratified by the legislatures in the majority of three-fourths of the United States, some 38 states and that ratification within a seven year timeframe. That is a formidable task, but it can be done in this modern age as shown by the proposal in passing of Constitutional Amendments 22-27 in the modern era. It is an Amendment not only whose time has come but is, in the view of many, critical to the survival of our great country. We are simply no longer a Democracy, nor a Republic, nor a nation run by the majority of the we the people. We are rather an OLIGARCHY, ruled by the few (five for five) and that will never change voluntarily unless we the people rise up and require that constitutionally.
Time and again the average citizen asks the question:
WHAT CAN I DO?
This one thing you can do. Become an advocate, a proponent, an aggressive, demanding supporter of the brand new and critical:
TO THE CONSTITUTION
OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
We can not be ruled by rulers. We the people must be represented by those we choose and trust with power over them to do what is right for us and our great country, not for them and for their special interests. We must return to a country fully and truly democratic, a Republic with honest checks and balances. We must constantly be able to replace those who make DECISIONS FOR US, decisions which affect our lives and the lives of all human beings the world over. Our electoral processes have become strangulated, regulated, controlled and so highly influenced by the political power structure that we the people can not break it or change it. That can only happen if OUR CONSTITUTION eliminates the career politicians, the power and money hungry individuals who see politics as a career, their career and not as an opportunity for honorable service to us, WE THE PEOPLE!
What can you do? Write your congresspersons and senators. Join any organization anywhere that sees this new 28th Amendment as an absolute priority and give time and money to its efforts. Vote for those individuals only who will champion term limits. Think about what we the people expect of our representatives and how we can prevent them, perhaps well-intentioned at the beginning from becoming our RULERS. There will be no democracy in America in a very few years if we do not pass the 28th Amendment.
Take back your country, my fellow Americans. Do so for your families, your children and grandchildren, your friends and for all Americans. You owe it to your families and to future generations to preserve the best of America with the best leaders America can find and elect. Otherwise, get ready to be ruled and ruled for the rest of your lives.
There are millions of Obamas, Clintons, McConnells, and Trumps who want to rule you, and me. If they get the chance and we elect them, make that election short-lived.
If you have the privilege of serving, do what is right for us and then:
GO HOME AND STAY THERE
God bless America.