The question of imposing term limits for the United States House and Senate is a burning topic of discussion within the American society today. A new Gallup Poll finds that three-fourths of Americans say that they would vote for term limits for the U.S. House and U.S. Senate if they could, compared with 21% who are opposed (Camia). Let us look at pros and cons of the term limits introduction.
It is interesting to consider numerous pro-term limits’ arguments. People are concerned with the danger of corruption emerging that they foresee in the connection with politicians’ lifelong carriers. James Fennimore Cooper expressed the common view that "contact with the affairs of state is one of the most corrupting of the influences to which men are exposed" (“A History of Term Limits in the United States”).
People might have got used to their unchanged government, though most people are dissatisfied with this. It seems obvious that a lifelong politician career is a vestige of the past, when life expectance was twice shorter and salaries in Congress were much lower.
There is an opinion that constant incumbents of the Congress support their interests instead of thinking about the country.A periodic rotation within the government seems to be useful, because newcomers may bring a fresh look at the current situation in the country.
When people stay long in their comfortable seats, they may lose understanding of the common people’s needs. Connecticut's Roger Sherman wrote that, "Representatives ought to return home and mix with the people. By remaining at the seat of government, they would acquire the habits of the place, which might differ from those of their constituents” (“A History of Term Limits in the United States”).
The arguments against term limits are in minority, but still they are strong. Firstly, high-qualified members in many respects could be more useful than their followers. If the government constantly changes, that means that excellent professionals will leave together with those who have not shown good results. Then, one should take into account the matter of experience. An experienced member of the Congress may be more helpful in a solution of problems than a newcomer.
There is also a concern that implementing term limits will not help. Jay Newton-Small turns public attention to the experience of those states that have tried term limits, but it appeared that the incumbents do not contribute much to government affairs (Newton-Small).
The abovementioned statements show that benefits of term limits are just a theory; while, in practice, corruption, bureaucracy, and other vices still prosper. The arguments against term limits are important, but they are in dramatic minority. The arguments supporting term limits introduction are so numerous that it seems that there cannot be any doubts in the necessity of term limits for the Congress. However, one should bear in mind that as practical experience shows, term limits implementation does not save the situation in the US. The statements advocating for term limits are just demagogy.
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