Stay long enough in the swamp, and it might look like a hot tub

Supporters of congressional term limits, not to mention those who would like to “throw them all out,” will not be surprised to learn from Teresa Mull at Human Events about a link between a congressman’s years of “service” in Washington and his support for higher government 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.

Mitch Kokai / Senior Political Analyst

Mitch Kokai is senior political analyst for the John Locke Foundation. He joined JLF in December 2005 as director of communications. That followed more than four years as chie...

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