Kolared Person - I disagree completely. In fact, to assist in restoring the balance of power, the XXII Amendment to the Constitution should be repealed (two-term limit). The Consititution should also be amended to allow a line-item veto, or limit spending bills so they can only have one spending item at a time. Override of the line-item veto should be set at 70%, and not the current two-thirds. No more omnibus spending bills. Also set budgets annually to zero, and force departments to ask for every dollar. No ongoing budget resolutions, and no more etched-in-stone social engineering bills. All laws sunset in five years - no exceptions.
At the same time, an amendment should be passed, limiting judicial tenure to one term of ten years. Eliminate life-time appointments, and force these judges and justices to live under the laws everyone else does.
Another interesting scenario, would be for the Executive, and Legislative branches to issue statements stating they were going to ignore Marbury v. Madison; then do it. The branches are co-equal. Marbury v. Madison upset this balance.
I'm sorry to say, there's not a shred of evidence that people making 75k or less will run the country better than the millionaires. What's that? Can't be any worse, you say?
The position has influence. And influence can be peddled. Take someone out of your local Bureau of Motor Vehicles License Branch, put them in that position at 75k...and they will eventually morph into the same kind of politickers we have now.
If they aren't millionaire lawyers when they enter Congress, they'll morph into one (but without the law degree) by the time they leave. That is, if they ever leave.
The short version is:
1. We can't find a way to get good people into Congress, in the first place, and...
2. Have them remain good after they're there a while.
Term limits would cycle them through faster, and I'm all for it. But term limits does not in itself fix the two items above. Did I mention there is influence to be peddled?
Buzz-gun - Part of the problem you cite, is the public rectal exam all candidates must endure when running for office. Every mis-step, from the age of 6 years and up, becomes fodder for the public to chew.
Humans have long had a fascination with seeing their "heroes" fall hard. Politics is no different, and probably worse. There is a morbid fascination with scandal, and it's gotten worse, since the 1960's, when John F. Kennedy's pecadilloes were mostly kept under wraps by a press which wasn't so sensationalistic. With the internet and 24/7 news reporting, no stone remains unturned.
Mitt Romney would have been the best Republican candidate, but he was savaged in the press for being a Mormon. No wonder people of great ability shy from public office.
I agree with your points, Dennis...except the last about Mitt. Even if you forget the Mormon thing, the press was never going to let us forget that he was one of those "Wall Street Hedge Fund" types. Can you imagine what Obama's campaign could have done with that, right at the time when the roof was falling in, the Bailout Plan was still fresh and new, and anything Wall Street was radioactive poison?
Naw, he would have lost bigger than McCain. Obama would have said, "Mitt Romney is the symptom of what is wrong with Wall Street - he's more of the same." And the public would have bought it.
I completely support the idea of one 6-year term. It seems that as soon as someone is elected, they begin selling their soul to get relected. If there was no chance to be re-elected, maybe they would have the courage to do the right thing instead of what is politically expedient.
You need only look to the states which established term limits for their state offices.
Michiganians amended their constitution in the 1990's to term limit everyone in state offices. The upshot is two fold:
First - It caused people to go from one state-elected office to another when term-limited. i.e. People ran for House seats when term-limited in the Senate, and vice-versa. It also created a revolving door in various county and municipal offices, when office holders sought to stay in some type of public office.
Second - It created a lot of office holders who knew absolutely nothing about how government works. Part of Michigan's budgeting problem two years ago, came about because all the newbies in the House and Senate didn't know how to move along the process, to keep from having to manage a crisis. Part of the state political process is to know how it really works. Just about the time someone gets to know how the legislative branch works, they are out of office.
When one has free enterprise, and a republican form of government, it's imperative that those in government act in a moral basis. Alas, we are sadly lacking in moral fortitude at all levels of government.