By Bob Livingston
The election process in America has become a disguise for corruption that attracts the corrupt. When men and women go to Washington, they pretty soon learn that they are paid by the federal government and, therefore, they are in the hire of the federal government. No allegiance to their constituents is necessary and, as a matter of fact, there is very soon is even little pretension — at least until election time.
One need merely look at the fossils who have held office for the last generation; people like Rep. John Conyers, Sen. Thad Cochran, Sen. John McCain, Sen. Mitch McConnell, Sen. Patrick Leahy, Sen. Orrin Hatch, Sen. Richard Shelby, Rep. James Sensenbrenner, Sen. Chuck Schumer, and Sen. Chuck Grassley — all of whom have “served” 30 years or more — to see why a term limit bill like the one introduced by Sen. Ted Cruz and co-sponsored by Republican Senators Marco Rubio, Mike Lee and David Purdue is necessary.
Limiting the terms of representatives and senators and eliminating their federal pensions would be a first step to restore our liberty.
If Americans could restore their power over so-called elected representatives, this could cut out the smoke and mirrors of politics. I think the hour is late and maybe even too late, but let’s try to reverse all the perks that our “elected representatives” have bestowed upon themselves.
If we are to undertake this monumental task we must first look back to see when and how republicanism died.
The year 1913 was a terrible one for human liberty. The 16th and 17th Amendments were ratified that year, and the Federal Reserve central bank was established. The Federal Reserve created a fiat money system of theft for the benefit of the banksters and the moneyed elites. It is designed to impoverish the people. The 16th Amendment established a progressive income tax that the U.S. Supreme Court failed to strike down. The 17th Amendment changed the way Senators were selected, taking the appointing power from state legislatures and placing it in the hands of voters. That removed the final nail holding the checks and balances the states had in place over federal power.
Most of the nails had already been removed in 1861 when Abraham Lincoln shredded the Constitution, stripped Americans of their strongest check against federal tyranny and invaded the secessionist states. The result is that in 1913 the U.S. government was taken over once and probably for all time by moneyed power.
Many of the Founders — particularly the anti-Federalists — feared a powerful central government. The Constitution they established to create a restraint on federal power decreed that each state’s legislature would choose its two senators as one of the checks against a strong central government.
Depending upon their point of view, Founders either hailed or lamented the fact that, by simply refusing to appoint Senators, the States could see the central government “destroyed” (William Richardson Davie) and “put an end to” (Samuel Johnston). Or, as Alexander Hamilton (who actually wanted a U.S. system similar to British mercantilism) opined: “It is certainly true, that the State Legislatures, by forbearing the appointment of Senators, may destroy the National Government.”
The 17th Amendment was proposed ostensibly to correct a procedural problem that cropped up when divided State legislatures were unable to agree on a Senator to send to Washington, D.C. This would leave States unrepresented.
According to a research paper by Wendy Schiller from Brown University and Charles Stewart III from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in about 2 percent of cases the State legislatures were deadlocked and unable to resolve their differences and select a Senator. However, it did occur — even occurring in the very first Congress, when the State of New York went without Senate representation for three months.
The direct election of Senators by the people ended that problem, but created a whole new problem in which Senators are now bought and paid for by the banksters and lobbyists. It is this system that explains why the Republican elite have gone against Republican voters on subjects like amnesty for illegal aliens, Obamacare, etc., which are pushed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and big corporations,
Term limits and repealing the 17th Amendment would take the money out of senate elections on the federal level. Senators would be beholden to their state legislatures rather than the corporatist class which lines their pockets and finances their re-election campaigns.
Their ability to vote for themselves pay raises, their tenure and pension perks, their liberal, special low-cost health perks not available to citizens, their immunity from the laws they pass on the people, their retirement plans paid for by the government (read: the people) and their lack of term limits must all be removed. Their salaries should be paid by their respective States.
The notion that long-serving politicians and political bureaucrats would become obstructionist to the will of the people, corrupt and wealthy off government is not new. John Taylor of Caroline, in his book, “An Inquiry into the Principles and Policy of the Government of the United States,” published in 1814, warned about that very thing.
Before publishing this first of his four books on politics and agriculture, Taylor, a lawyer, served as cavalry colonel and a militia major in the Revolutionary War, served in the Virginia House of Delegates and two stints in the U.S. Senate, so he had keen insight into the corrosive nature of politics:
The Cruz term limit bill is likely just a head fake designed to distract the American people and give the appearance that the elected class is listening to the people’s complaints about the corrupt system. The likelihood that congressweasels would support legislation that puts them out of the center of power politics is slim and none, and slim is on his way out the door. Certainly, for any such bill to be considered it would have to “grandfather” in the incumbent class.
But it’s a measure that is long overdue, and a compromise that would be worth taking.