Congressmen See The Incumbency Advantage As A Blessing

1105 WordsJan 23, 20175 Pages
Congressmen see the incumbency advantage as a blessing to their political career. Statistics show that 97% of incumbents were reelected in the past four congressional elections (Friedman 2). The incumbency advantage is clearly evident, and puts the democracy at risk because America was built on the foundation that no one person should fully control the country. Elections are held for our legislators in government to promote the shift in power. It was a leading cause to the creation of the XXII amendment stating that the president can serve two terms max. Each district is hurt by having long-term incumbents because this makes the representative less responsive to his constituents (Friedman 69). The incumbency advantage is disastrous to…show more content…
Irrelevant expenditures in bills involve the use of federal tax money and it is a problem. Senators do not read all the miniscule details in a bill to say what should or should not be taken off. They read the meat of the bill to understand what it first written for and then cast their vote based on that. Therefore millions of dollars in earmarks go unnoticed, while cutting in on the federal budget, and striking benefits for the incumbent. As a few demonstratives, the bill known as the “Surface Transportation Assistance Act of 1982.” Public Law 97 (1983): 424. was passed and again amended in 1991 with an earmark of 1.5 million dollars, for the Improvement of the Henry Ford Museum by Representative John Dingell in his district. As mentioned before, he is the longest serving member in congress; and now we know why. Also, Todd Stevens (R-Alaska) came in fourth place in the Congressional Pig book for spending per capita, with Hawai i adding the most pork with 326 million dollars in pork legislated spending. Todd Stevens tenure lasted from December 24, 1968, until January 3, 2009 (Burton 7). It is clear that there is a direct correlation between the top pork barrelers in congress and its longest serving members. Furthermore, in an excerpt of the constitution, the 22nd amendment approved by Congress March 21, 1947 and Ratified February 27, 1951 states that, “ No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice, and no person who has

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