Published on November 23rd, 2010 | by Leonard Jackson


Let’s Eliminate the Lame Duck Shenanigans

lame DuckI realize that I vowed not to obsess about my obsession with my favorite cause – term limits – when I introduced this page earlier, but it is almost impossible for me to read anything political that’s particularly annoying without immediately seeing the obvious solution to the problem – term limits.

For instance, last week Betsy McCaughey, former lieutenant governor of New York state wrote a piece in the Wall Street Journal reminding us how the “lame duck” abuses have, over time, completely changed the intent of the founders each year and has created this mad scramble to try to push through controversial legislation that would have never been passed in a regular session and was purposefully avoided until after the election.

She makes this great point that allowing these election losers to continue governing is like letting your ex-spouse continue managing your checkbook. It’s a perfect  analogy

I don’t know if you were aware of this (I was not) but in 1933, because travel had become much easier and faster and legislators could assemble accordingly, Americans ratified the 20th Amendment to eliminate lame duck sessions. It set January 3 as the day newly elected members would take their seats. For over 50 years Congress reconvened after November elections on this date except during World War II and the Korean War and it worked exceptionally well.

This has been worsening incrementally over the last 20 years to the point that we are now seeing the Democrats rushing to push through an omnibus spending bill totaling $1.1 billion that they held back until after the November election.

I believe that people who accept the duty and responsibility to serve their country for a period of 12 years maximum would address these issues with a different perspective than those who are trying to perpetuate their lifetime careers by handing out special favors to the constituency that can keep them in place.

Ms. McCaughey proposes that the new house members should introduce a bill providing that Congress will not meet between the November 2012 election and January 3, 2013. This I obviously agree with whole-heartedly, but it would be so much more forceful if we could take it one step farther and  send a majority to Washington who would look to do these kinds of things without being legislated into it.

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About the Author

As I prepare my “reentry” into the e-world of blogging, I am advised that I should provide my prospective audience with a brief biographical résumé covering my life’s work and future aspirations so that I, and my work, can be properly categorized and thus judged in the proper venue. Since I will be joining a new group in just a few short months, it came to my attention that for a quick summary I can cover my life span in 20 year segments that pretty well sum up the route that I took to get to where I am today. In December, the Lord willing, I will become a member of that esteemed group known as Octogenarians. . Now that may be a disturbing, even scary, pigeonhole for some folks to find themselves assigned to, but I’m beginning to realize some real benefits from being maturity advantaged. The first 20 years I grew up, was educated and began my married life and my career. Second period was about 20 years in the cotton business in Memphis, TN. Trading this commodity in the world’s largest inland cotton market. Third period was spent in the municipal bond industry in Memphis, Houston TX Chicago and finally to my present home in Kansas City, MO. The fourth 20 years I served as a registered investment adviser to a number of individual clients which I continue to do in a semi-retired capacity. In addition to all this, over all these years, I have been blessed with a loving wife of sixty years, four children, four grandchildren, two great grandchildren, and a menagerie of grand horses, dogs, cats and a donkey. Providentially, none of these, except of course my patient wife, are still living in the family home. And now the fifth period will be consumed in my new career. For the first time in all the years I have an opportunity to share my opinions with the world. I can truly express my thoughts without regard to any extenuating conditions. I can just say how I feel about any subject. How liberating. Let the blogging begin!!!! By the way – what I do in the next period remains to be seen and depends on how well I do in the fifth period.

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