Term limits is key to reversing the unsustainable concentration of wealth and power in this country and would restore the middle class and provide greater access and opportunity to those who wish to participate in the American dream.
From 1967 to 2000, the lower and middle classes shrunk, while the upper class expanded significantly, according to the data below from the U.S. Census Bureau and Minnesota Population Center.
Percentage of Population
However, since 2000, the lower class expanded while the middle and upper classes contacted, signaling an ever-increasing and unhealthy concentration of economic and political resources at the very high end.
This economic and political dynamic was enabled with the massive financial deregulation by President Clinton in 1999 (repeal of Glass-Steagall) and 2000 (derivative trading expansion).
These measures permitted banks to take on more risky, tax-subsidized activities that
1) undermined direct investment and employment in the real economy, and 2) promoted financial speculation and arbitrage, which contributed little to economic activity and resulted in massive wealth transfers and inordinate concentration of political power.
How do we reverse this concentration of wealth and power that is strangling our creativity, productivity and growth?
Term limits at all levels of governments would counteract this insidious process that is suffocating our economy and squelching our political voices.
Sheldon Silver, the former Speaker of the New York State Assembly, who had represented the lower east side of Manhattan for the past 39 years and served as Speaker for 21 of those, recently stepped down as Speaker to defend federal corruption charges for alleged political payoffs and kickbacks, although he remains an Assemblyman.
His unfortunate situation reminds us of the fiefdoms that are created in the halls of power to promote self-serving business and political alliances that undermine the rule of law for financial remuneration.
Term limits would minimize this activity, since those in power would soon leave and be subject to the rules they create.
Term limits would also increase the likelihood that my pro-growth tax reform package
would be accepted by Congress and the president. This type of reform could take a decade or two to achieve, since it might require the coming generation to anticipate changes to the business and political landscape and make career choices accordingly.
First and foremost, term limits are essential to our economic prosperity and political freedom.
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