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A Two-Sided Coin: Term Limits for Congress

Regarding the book review "A Cap on Political Careerism," Oct. 5: Author George Will's simplistic solution of term limits for legislators in order to correct congressional excesses in the wasting of taxpayers' money would set the revolving doors in Washington spinning at a dizzying speed.

Anyone going into politics for only a few years will certainly use his or her office as a career diving board and will curry favor with special corporate interests. A lucrative long-term career in the private sector at the end of a short stint in the public sector is not to be sneezed at.

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The reviewer is correct in saying that Mr. Will is regrettably silent on increasing the ability of all congressional candidates to compete on a level playing field through campaign-finance reforms to reduce the incumbents' advantages. Also, American voters can limit the terms of their legislators by voting. It would seem that much of the blame for misuse of public funds lies with the public. R. N. Simpson, Mendocino, Calif

Regarding the review of George Will's book, which argues in favor of term limits for Congress: The reviewer concludes, "Will doesn't wholly dispel the concern that his antidote to political careerism amounts to political amateurism."

It seems that the reviewer doesn't understand one of Mr. Will's primary points, which is that our political system was not intended to be directed by career politicians. I want more political amateurism if it means a more representative and sensible political body which is not beholden to lobbyists and which does not measure success by its ability to bring home the "pork barrel" in order to get reelected. Doug Rogers, Tuscon, Ariz. Prison education

Thank you for the balanced Justice page article "Prison Education Rankles Critics," Oct. 13. It's good to read of people who care about an inmate's success. There are many more around the country. I was fortunate to be accepted into a graduate-degree program sponsored by the New York Theological Seminary while I was at Sing Sing prison. The year's study of the Christian Bible changed my life, and I am now looking forward to going back to work. Donald Morritt, Wallkill, N.Y.

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