The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Editorials

December 9, 2013

Readers' Forum 12-9 | Limiting terms brings diverse power

JOHNSTOWN — If you have a new state or federal legislator it’s probably because the old one died or was gerrymandered out of office. Incumbents rarely quit and are rarely defeated. Once they get in, their goal is to perpetuate themselves in office.

In doing so, they perpetuate a system that is increasingly expensive and decreasingly responsive to the real needs of Pennsylvania. Serving in the General Assembly or Congress was never intended to be a lifetime job. But what we have is an elitist old-boy system in which legislators link with special interests to preserve their grip on power.

Such a system tends to avoid the tough, sometimes unpopular decisions required to improve service and control spending.

Limiting terms would bring a more diverse cross section of the populace to Harrisburg and Washington, D.C. It would weaken the power of lobbyists. And it would give voters a better choice of candidates. A newly-elected legislator would know going in that he or she could not parlay their elected position into a permanent job, but instead they should devote full attention to the state’s needs, with courage and intellectual honesty.

Our legislators have demonstrated over and over that they are ill equipped to run Pennsylvania or the country. But they have become so entrenched that the best hope for getting rid of them is to limit their terms in office.

It’s said that 70 percent of the population favors this idea, but it won’t have a chance if you don’t speak up. Your loudest voice is the ballot box, use it.

Jim Edwards

Johnstown

Concerned by loss of liberty and justice

In some ways this government mandate and eventual takeover of the health care industry parallels the communist philosophy that the state knows what’s best for the people.

A partial definition of communism is the equal distribution of goods and services to be achieved by a dictatorial means.

The liberal and noninformed numbskulls who voted for the incompetent, deceiving and sycophant President Obama, are just now beginning to reluctantly pull their collective heads out of their rear ends and see the outrageous costs, expense and confusion of this massive boondoggle called the Affordable Care Act.

I will not touch this program with a 12-yard pole because of privacy and personal security issues. The IRS has their money grubbing hands in it also.

Concerned yet?

I have still not heard the reason why certain favored groups, as well as the Congress itself should be exempt from this Big Government monstrosity. Does anyone out there know?

When you have a snake-in-the-grass, as the president has demonstrated by circumventing Congress, the Constitution and other entities, making up his own rules as he goes, not to mention corruption and abuse of power, the result is the loss of liberty and justice for all.

This president is now, literally, unbelievable in anything that comes out of his mouth.

Obama nation, no thanks, period.

Mark Fetsko

Ligonier

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