Rich Galen

The Super Committee is the latest in a long line of looking for ways not to do what we pay them to do. Automatic triggers are a favorite. I believe the Congress gets an automatic raise every year unless they vote to forego it. Don't vote? The raise is automatic.

Pretty good, huh? If only they would use that creativity to, as the Preamble to the Constitution puts it "promote the common welfare" we'd all be a lot better off.

I feel the same way about a Balanced Budget Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. We PAY the Members of the House and Senate to make good spending and taxing decisions. They have it within their current power to pass a balanced budget each year.

A BBA would just be another opportunity for Members to go home, shrug their shoulders, and tell their constituents they really, really wanted to fight for money to build a new city hall, but "What could I do? The Balanced Budget Amendment took it out of my hands."

The inability of the U.S. Congress to make even the most simple decisions for fear they will be taken to task by their constituents, is making me re-examine my position on term limits.

I would love to see a serious study of state legislatures which have term-limit laws to see if the decisions made by the members are any better than their peers in states where there are no limits.

Right now, I'm leaning toward putting limits on Members of the U.S House and Senate.

Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at