Reason Podcast

The Libertarian Case for Term Limits

Nick Tomboulides of U.S. Term Limits says the best way to shrink government is to limit how long legislators can serve.


"Congress has given us $22 trillion in debt, the longest war in American history, a broken health care system, a broken immigration system, a tax code written by lobbyists, and an explosion of money in politics. Worst of all, too few here have the courage to address these problems because the only focus is on reelection."

That's a quote from the June Senate testimony of Nick Tomboulides, the executive director of U.S. Term Limits, a group that believes the last, best hope for shrinking the size, scope, and spending of government is kicking senators out of office after a maximum of two terms and House members after three.

In today's Reason Podcast, Tomboulides tells Nick Gillespie that over 80 percent of voters (including former President Barack Obama, President Donald Trump, and former Rep. Beto O'Rourke) support term limits, that shortening political careers will lead to better candidates running for office, and that a grassroots movement is pushing state legislatures to amend the Constitution to include term limits. The 30-year-old Tomboulides also recounts his journey from a traditional Republican political operative to a libertarian activist in the wake of both the disastrous Iraq War begun under George W. Bush and the presidential campaigns of former Rep. Ron Paul.

Audio production by Ian Keyser.


U.S. Term Limits home page.

U.S. Term Limits' Twitter feed.

Listen to No Uncertain Terms, a weekly podcast featuring Tomboulides and U.S Term Limits' president, Philip Blumel.

"How Beto O'Rourke would address term limits for lawmakers," Politico, June 5, 2019.

"The Effects of Term Limits on State Legislatures: A New Survey of the 50 States," by John M. Carey, Richard G. Niemi, Lynda W. Powell, and Gary F. Moncrief, Legislative Studies Quarterly, January 7, 2011.

Reason on term limits.

Tomboulides' Senate testimony from June 21, 2019: