Paul Jacob

They're merely institutionally disadvantaged ? by the seniority system, by calcification in the corridors of power.

Term limits make sense because they would force reforms to break up patterns of power that are most likely to lead to corruption both subtle and blatant. Unlimited terms beget legislator miseducation. (That's what I've argued for years in my Common Sense e-letter, and in states around the country.)

I think the majority of citizens understands this, at least at the level of intuition. So even politicians should be able to get the point.

No, dear gentlemen and gentlewomen of the law-making guild, you are not stupid. And no, your job is not too hard. You just need a little help getting started. That help is term limits, which will end the system that prevents you from ramping up to competence as fast as individuals do in the business world every day. As the old guard exits forever, you will quickly learn to prove your intelligence ? and if we're really lucky, your wisdom.

So, please, forget this embarrassing fight against term limits. It just makes you look more stupid than you are.

Paul Jacob

Paul Jacob is President of Citizens in Charge Foundation and Citizens in Charge. His daily Common Sense commentary appears on the Web and via e-mail.