The idea of presidential term limits was never declared during the founding of the United States constitution, but since President George Washington did not seek a third term, many concluded that it was the intention of the founders that no president should be in office for more than two terms.
In U.S. history, only a few men sought third terms, such as Ulysses S. Grant and Theodore Roosevelt. President Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected four times in office – he died at the beginning of his fourth term – which led to the Republican leadership to push through the 22nd amendment
Although there hasn’t been a national debate about the 22nd amendment since the 1980s when President Ronald Reagan and his administration sought to repeal it, there has been talk for years of adding term limits to congress.
‘The need for congressional term limits’
On the 61st anniversary of the amendment, Our Generation, a free market advocacy group, is seeking to reinvigorate the debate of congressional term limits by highlighting both the amendment and the more than $15 trillion national debt
According to a press release
, the organization believes that term limits for congress would benefit the country a great deal. Citing evidence of successes at both the state and local levels, Our Generation states that it would create both competition and participation in elections.
It adds that by having term limits it would create legislative bodies that would be more receptive and responsible to the citizens that elected them. The organization notes that politicians would care less about special interests and re-election bids.
“I came to Congress to change the way this town does business and to restore the founding principles put in place by our Founding Fathers,” said Illinois Republican Congressman Joe Walsh in the media release. “If we are serious about getting this country back on track, we need to change the process that got us into this mess. Term limits are essential to changing this destructive process. 61 years ago it started with placing term limits on the President and today we need to fight to pass Congressional term limits.”
Five-minute debt solution
Late last year, Our Generation launched a video and national petition
to get government spending under control. In its press release
, it quoted Warren Buffett in a CNBC interview in which he states that if a deficit is more than three percent of GDP then the sitting members of congress would be ineligible for re-election.
“Brazil implemented a similar policy in 2000 when its budget deficit exceeded 48.8 percent of GDP. Miraculously once Brazil adopted a Buffett-style debt ceiling law, placing the political future of political officials at stake, the deficit dropped to 37 percent of the GDP,” the group wrote.