Friday, July 20, 2007

Hancock: I was wrong about term limits

One of the biggest proponents of term limits when the issue came before Missouri voters in the early 1990s, former Seventh District Congressman Mel Hancock, now says he was wrong.
In a letter to the editor in the Springfield News-Leader, Hancock wrote:

My erroneous conclusion was that term limited representatives would have to return to the private sector. They would then have to live with the laws they passed while they held public office. I failed to consider one major fault that was an unintended consequence. Due to the rapid increase in the number of government jobs, term limits created an atmosphere whereby elected representatives can pass laws arranging for their personal future income both in government and the private sector. They can create government jobs for after they leave office by passing special interest legislation, with a job in mind, while holding public office. They can even lobby for jobs as lobbyists. This is not only unethical but also dangerous to the welfare of the taxpayers.

Hancock is absolutely right. Term limits have not worked and it is the time to eliminate them.

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