Ok, I don’t write too many threads unless something gets under my skin. Just recently I read a thread about Joe Biden possibly having signs of
early dementia posted by dontreally. I started thinking about the age of all our elected officials. So I started to do some research on my own and
what I found was really incredible.
When I started viewing the ages of our Senators and Congress men and women, I felt like I was reading the age of the old communist Soviet Politburo.
Dictators serve their entire life in office, but when you look at the age and the length of time in office by our own elected officials, you might as
well call them dictators! It’s no wonder why we have government gridlock. We have old dogs that are set in their old ways, and not enough new
blood that will bring fresh ideas and new perspectives to the negotiating table.
Here are just the top 25 oldest elected officials in the Senate and Congress. Keep in mind; I only listed those who were 65 and older. There were
over 90 congressional representatives that were over the age of 65! It was easier to find the age of the Senate members than the congressional
members. Some of the sites that listed the age of congressional members were taken down. (I realized why after searching relentlessly for a list on
Of course, while there is a compelling list of benefits to having elder statespersons — such as wisdom, carefully crafted relationships,
patience and historical context — there are also significant shortcomings: a group of leaders out of touch with the emerging lifestyles and values
of a new generation and, as a consequence, an increasingly disaffected electorate.
When looking at the age of these members, look at the age of when they ran for office. I was thinking that a lot of them should have been thinking
about retiring and yet others were well beyond their retirement age! I have to question their motivation when the majority of people usually look
forward to retiring when they reach their 60’s. Yet these representatives chose to start a career in politics?
Let’s not forget the motivation of salary for these representatives, they are well above the average hard working American...
House Members & Delegates and all Senators .......... $169,300
House and Senate Majority & Minority Leaders ......... $188,100
Speaker of the House ............................................ $217,400
Pay increases are determined by a cost-of-living formula, and they take effect automatically, unless Congress votes to stop them.
Lets not forget about another motivating factor, their added healthcare benefits…
Currently members of Congress have the same health insurance options as millions of other federal employees and retirees and their families. The
Federal Employees Health Benefits Program gives them a wide choice of private insurance plans. And according to the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly 51
million persons in the U.S. had no health insurance at all in 2009 — just under 17 percent of the population.
Here is something else to look at, which is just as ridiculous. Most of these officials have been in office for over 20 years! I guess the longer
they hold onto their jobs the bigger their pensions. The length of time in office for a lot of these representatives prove that. Serving the public
isn’t a lifetime career. When these politicians are in office 20, 30, 40 and over 50 years, they become intimidating to newly elected officials.
They become “senior members” and they start to take their positions for granted. They develop long relations with Lobbyists and corporate donors.
They also start taking advantage of government perks. It becomes a way to line their pockets using taxpayer’s money, lead the good life and gain
power and influence.
In the mean time, they’re supposed to be concerned about our increase in taxes, the cost of healthcare, loss of jobs, education, social security,
medicare…yeah right! These stats clearly show there’s an alternative motive why they want to stay in office way beyond their retirement years.
Yet we live in an era of career politicians, and several would rather change their life-long party affiliation — recent examples have included
Arlen Specter (deceased), Jim Jeffords and Joe Lieberman — than lose their elected office.
Congressmen are now looking more towards their next job opportunity and less at what they're doing right now. Usually their best offers are
coming from the companies that the lobbyists represent.
The cancer that is killing American Democracy is the money spent on campaigns. How can a person raise 10's of millions and not favor that
Congress is decidedly older than the populace it represents: Although Americans may serve in the House beginning at age 25, only 10 percent of
House members have been under the age of 40 in recent years. By comparison, 22 percent of the general population and 30 percent of registered voters
are between 25 and 39 years old. The average American is more than 20 years younger than the person who represents him or her in the House.
The average age of Members of the 113th Congress is among the highest of any Congress in recent U.S. history. The average age of House members in the
113th Congress is 57; the average age of senators is 62.
Here’s the Lists…
There is no doubt that these representatives should be limited to 12 yr terms or less. They need to go back home, go back to work or retire. Their
salaries should be more in line with the average worker, and their pensions should be scaled back considering these are expected to be temporary
In May of 1995, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against term limits in Congress in the case ofU.S. Term Limits v. Thornton. By a 5-4 vote, the
justices found that states could not impose them on the U.S. Congress. Since Congress had been unable to muster the required two-thirds majority
needed for a constitutional amendment to pass, the matter did not come up in Congress again.
After the Supreme Court ruling, many Representatives made non-binding pledges to limit their own terms. Some of those Representatives stood by their
word and left Congress, while others broke their pledges and continued to run for re-election.
The public is said to generally favor congressional term limits. A July 2003 Wall Street Journalpoll found that two-thirds of Americans believed that
giving Congress term limits was a positive idea.
While the 111th Congress was the oldest in our nation’s history — with the average House member age 57 and average senator age 63, the newly
elected 113th Congress is hardly more youthful — with average ages of 58 and 61, respectively.
Probably the reason why they take so many breaks is because they don’t have the stamina to negotiate for long periods of time. They probably
discuss more about their arthritic pains and the type of medication they’re on than our nations business.
… And yes, I’m in my mid 50’s, so it’s not like I’m in my 20’s trying to rip on the older generation. It’s time that members of
congress and the senate hand over the reins to the younger generations. The public needs to demand term limits and age limits. We need fresh ideas
not hard heads.