Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Time to rethink US Term Limits v Thornton

Good, snarky piece from George Will arguing for term limits. It's funny that most of these arguments center on pork-barrel spending. But even according to honorable anti-porker McCain, there's only "tens of billions" of pork-type appropriations (unreviewed earmarks under emergency bills, etc.).

Assuming $50b, this makes the pork-fraction of outlays around $50b / $2.5t, or a staggering 2.0%. The overall federal budget of $2,500,000,000,000 is made up of four roughly equal parts: military, medicare/medicaid, social security, and interest payments. Unless you attack one of those, you are not serious about budget reduction.

If term limits just reduced pork, who would care? Unless there are more powerful arguments for term limits--to fundamentally reshape the relationship between representatives and the people--then what's the fuss?


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