Argument: Term limits reduce government size, spending, deficits


Caroline Baum. “For Smaller Government, Elect Shorter Lawmakers.” Business Week. February 03, 2011: “The road to real deficit reduction, not a cosmetic nip and tuck, runs through term limits. If Americans are truly interested in shrinking the size of government — one of the takeaways from the 2010 midterm election — they can start by limiting the amount of time lawmakers are allowed to serve. […] Unless you believe in fairy tales, a prerequisite for smaller government is short-term legislators.”

“5. Term Limits and the Need for a Citizen Legislature.” CATO Handbook: “A third reason for the shorter limits is related to the second. And that is that the longer one is in Congress, the more one is exposed to and influenced by the “culture of ruling that permeates life inside the Beltway. Groups like the National Taxpayers Union have documented the fact that the longer people serve in Congress, the bigger spenders and regulators they become. That is just as true of conservatives as it is of liberals. It is also understandable. Members of Congress are surrounded at work and socially by people whose jobs are to spend other people’s money and regulate their lives. It is the unusual individual–although such people do exist–who is not subtly but surely affected by that culture.”