I had a brief but interesting discussion with a longtime friend of mine Saturday.

After a little small talk, our conversation turned to politics. He leans to the left politically while I lean to the right. We don’t always agree but that has never stood in the way of our friendship.

The political talk came out of nowhere. We both agreed D.C. is in a mess on both sides of the aisle and it’s no longer about governing for the good of the people but power and money that rule the roost. Before I knew it we were talking term limits. That was somewhat of a surprise to me. I was further taken aback after suggesting a 12-year limit on representatives and senators when my friend shook his head emphatically and said, “no, that’s too long, six years max.”

He’s right. We’re both right. Career politicians are ruining America at all levels of government. In the process, they’re getting powerful and rich at the people’s expense and think little of what is best unless it pertains to their next campaign and how to get reelected.

Lets just talk about Congress. It is made up of a bunch of men and women who do little. In recent years most of the results of their efforts have produced only bad outcomes for this country. At best, they rule poorly.

Think about it, serving in an elected position isn’t a job — it’s a service. But, to many, it’s a career. It doesn’t take long for a congressman or senator to become more comfortable with party and lobbying groups he or she is cozy with rather than the people back home.

Laws are made with little thought of the consequences for the average person on the street because members of Congress aren’t in touch with reality. They’re more worried about finding those people willing to finance a campaign so they can keep returning to the hallowed halls until it’s time to retire or be laid in a box.

America’s problems are deep and troubling though not unsolvable. The U.S. has a broken education system that Common Core isn’t likely to fix, fiscal problems that are deep rooted, health care issues, crumbling infrastructure, a deteriorating military, a broken immigration system, and a tax code that needs a major overhaul. Perhaps most troubling is the rising debt and out of control spending.

Those problems and others facing the U.S. can be solved. It won’t be easy, it may be painful, and it won’t happen overnight but solutions can be found. I don’t have the answers but I believe my friend hit on the starting point.

The worst thing the electorate can do is continue electing suspect incumbents, no matter the party, and expect different results.

Yes, it’s time for term limits. Instituting limits would be a start toward addressing the underlying problems that are crippling this country. Those problems begin with power hungry individuals, whose focus is on self, pandering to special interests and always keeping an eye on reelection.

If all a person can leave office with is a legacy (not a lifetime pension, benefits and a license to steal from people who will pay big bucks for books and speeches) he or she is more apt to do the right thing. In other words, politicians might actually realize that we the people are the employer and they are the employees and worry more about their reputation than their pocketbook.

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