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New report links longer congressional tenures to increased govt. spending

New report links longer congressional tenures to increased govt. spending

A new study reports a direct correlation between the length of congressional terms and the size and growth of government.

Our Generation, a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy organization, released the report, titled Congressional Tenure and its Impact on Government Spending. It concludes that: “the longer a Member of Congress remains in office, on average the more supportive of higher government spending he or she becomes.”

According to Our Generation:

The report analyzes the congressional voting scorecards of a sample of five large, influential, and diverse Congressional delegations from New York, Virginia, California, Texas, and Florida.  The study, which compares voting scorecards over a decade period, found that an average Member of Congress “was more supportive of government spending in 2010 than he or she was in 2000.

The empirical data in the study demonstrates that in 2010, Members of Congress were 2.2 percent more supportive of taxation and spending than they had been in 2000 when analyzing the National Taxpayers Union’s Congressional Scorecard ratings of the sample Congressional delegations.  Looking at the individual state-by-state scores, the nation’s largest congressional delegations demonstrated that there is a relationship between congressional tenure and a voting record supportive of higher government spending.

And term limits are part of the solution to ending reckless spending.  The report notes that, ‘those who have voluntarily retired from service in Congress stand out as the most fiscally conservative.  Voluntary term limits have arguably contributed to a decline in political parochialism, as term limits inhibit voters from selecting representatives who deliver particularistic benefits.  In these cases, term limits reduce pork spending.  In practice, this serves to reduce the growth in the size and scope of government.

Read the complete report here.

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