Proposed Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

REPRESENTATIVE DEMOCRACY FOR THE MODERN ERA



POPULAR PROPOSALS ADDRESS SYMPTOMS

Proposed governmental reforms, especially term limits and a balanced budget amendment, seem designed with little consideration of the dynamic and integrated nature of the political system. And they address the symptoms and not the underlying causes of the problem.

Limiting electoral terms reduces the incentive for exceptional people to seek Federal office and for elected officials to perform well once elected. Term limits take away the democratic right of the people to reelect capable leaders, while automatically deposing experienced politicians who have learned to make the system work.

Reducing the Federal deficit and debt significantly requires sustained and robust economic growth. Visionary governmental guidance can drive such massive economic expansion. A government whose spending is arbitrarily limited by Constitutional amendment may not be able to make the necessary investment, for example, in technological development, which could result in manifold returns, thereby closing deficits and retiring debt. Reductions in spending, or conversely, increases in taxes, may not substantially reduce the deficit as they mitigate against economic growth.

"Let us . . . avail ourselves of our reason and experience, to correct the crude essays of our first and unexperienced, although wise, virtuous, and well-meaning councils."
Thomas Jefferson, 1816

© 2002 by Michael J. Farrand

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