Return to a Limited Government, Step 5

Alexander Hamilton

The natural cure for an ill-administration, in a popular or representative constitution, is a change of men ~ Alexander Hamilton

Mike Lee is challenging Bob Bennett for his senate seat. Lee’s website clearly defines his stance on a variety of issues, with the emphasis on Five Steps to a Return to Limited Government. I am discussing each of these five steps, examining them on their merits. Previously I discussed Step 1, Step 2Step 3, and Step 4.

Step 5: End the Era of the Lifetime Politician

Mike Lee’s proposal:

“The runaway growth of the federal government will continue as long as we retain a system that assures the existence of lifetime politicians. A career member of Congress inevitably will come to believe that that body has the answer to all social problems. The Constitution should be amended to limit service in each house of Congress to 12 years.

There are three parts to this proposal:

  1. The system encourages lifetime politicians.
  2. Congress thinks its has all the answers.
  3. An amendment to limit service is needed.

The system that is spoken about here is the U.S. Constitution. It is not easily amended and those that advocate an amendment to solve a problem of the day sound good to the masses. When the amendment goes nowhere then the politician can say that they tried. Advocating amendments is a safe election platform.

It is true that the president of the United States is limited to two terms. The proposed amendment here would limit a senator to two terms also. A representative would have six terms.

One negative is that the people will have one choice taken away, namely that they cannot retain a favorite politician. However, I am not convinced that that would be a big disadvantage.


My grade for this proposal is 2 out of 5 because it would be highly unlikely to come to pass. Congress would have to start the amendment process and they would have no incentive to do so.

While it sounds great to base some of your platform on passing amendments, the reality is they are highly unlikely to get passed.

What do you the people say?
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