Charley Reese has been a journalist for 49 years. At his retirement this was his LAST COLUMN for the Orlando Sentinel newspaper.
545 vs. 300,000,000 People
-By Charley Reese
Politicians are the only people in the world who create big problems and then have the gall to campaign against them.
Every problem the USA has is a problem created by Congress.
Too much bureaucracy? Blame Congress. Too many rules? Blame Congress. Unjust tax laws? Congress wrote them. Out-of-control bureaucracy? Congress authorizes everything bureaucracies do. Americans dying in Third World rat holes on stupid U.N. missions? Congress allows it. The annual deficits? Congress votes for them. The $16 trillion and counting US debt? Congress created it.
To put it into perspective, just remember that 100 percent of the power of the federal government comes from the U.S. Constitution. If it’s not in the Constitution, it’s not authorized.
Then read your Constitution. All of the power of the federal government is invested solely in 545 individual human beings. That’s all. Of 300 million Americans, only 545 of them wield 100 percent of the power of the federal government.
That’s 435 members of the U.S. House, 100 senators, one president and nine Supreme Court justices. Anything involving government that is wrong now or will go wrong tomorrow is 100 percent their fault.
I exclude the vice president because constitutionally he has no power except to preside over the Senate and to vote only in the case of a tie. I exclude the Federal Reserve because Congress created it and all its power is power Congress delegated to it and could withdraw anytime it chooses to do so. In fact, all the power exercised by the four and a half million or so other federal employees is power delegated by the 545.
All bureaucracies are created by Congress or by executive order of the president. All are financed and staffed by Congress. All enforce laws passed by Congress. All operate under procedures authorized by Congress. That’s why all complaints and protests should be properly directed at Congress, not at the individual agencies.
You don’t like the IRS? Go see Congress. You think the Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms agency is running amok? Go see Congress. Congress is the originator of all government problems and is also the only remedy available. That’s why, of course, politicians go to such extraordinary lengths and employ world-class sophistry to make you think they are not responsible. Anytime a congressman pretends to be outraged by something a federal bureaucrat does, he is in fact engaging in one big massive con job. No federal employee can act at all except to enforce laws passed by Congress and to employ procedures authorized by Congress either explicitly or implicitly.
Partisans on both sides like to blame presidents for deficits, but all deficits are congressional deficits. The president may, by custom, recommend a budget, but it carries no legal weight. Only Congress is authorized by the Constitution to authorize and appropriate and to levy taxes. That’s what the federal budget consists of: expenditures authorized, funds appropriated and taxes levied.
All politicians mislead the public. For 40 years Democrats had majorities and could have at any time balanced the budget if they had chosen to do so. Republicans now have majorities and could, if they choose, pass a balanced budget this year. Every president, Democrat or Republican, could have vetoed appropriations bills that did not make up a balanced budget. Every president could have recommended a balanced budget. No president has done either.
We have annual deficits and a huge federal debt because that’s what majorities in Congress along with White House occupants wanted. We have troops in various Third World rat holes because Congress and the president want them there.
Don’t be conned. Don’t let them escape responsibility. We simply have to sort through 300 million people until we find 545 who will act responsibly.
In other words:
Have you ever wondered, if both the Democrats and the Republicans are against deficits, WHY do we have deficits?
Have you ever wondered, if all the politicians are against inflation and high taxes, WHY do we have inflation and high taxes?
You and I don’t propose a federal budget. The President does.
You and I don’t have the Constitutional authority to vote on appropriations. The House of Representatives does.
You and I don’t write the tax code, Congress does.
You and I don’t set fiscal policy, Congress does.
You and I don’t control monetary policy, the Federal Reserve Bank does.
One hundred senators, 435 congressmen, one President, and nine Supreme Court justices equates to 545 human beings out of the 300 million are directly, legally, morally, and individually responsible for the domestic problems that plague this country.
Those 545 human beings spend much of their energy convincing you that what they did is not their fault. They cooperate in this con game regardless of party.
What separates a politician from a normal human being is an excessive amount of gall. To believe what those in Congress tell you, NOTHING in this country is their fault. (Always remember the Will Rogers joke: “I don’t know why so many people today are mad at Congress…they’re not doing anything.”)
The Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land, gives sole responsibility to the House of Representatives for originating and approving appropriations and taxes. If the President vetoes any bill passed by the Congress, they can still pass it over his veto if they agree to. The House has passed a budget but the Senate has not in over three years. The president’s proposed budgets have gotten almost unanimous rejections in the Senate in that time. And our president has managed to run up trillion-dollar-plus deficits every year, even without a budget.
It seems inconceivable that a nation of 300 million cannot replace 545 people who stand convicted — by present facts — of incompetence and irresponsibility. There is not a single domestic problem that is not traceable directly to those 545 people. When you fully grasp the plain truth that 545 people exercise the power of the federal government, then it must follow that what exists is what they want to exist.
If the tax code is unfair, it’s because they want it unfair.
If the budget is in the red, it’s because they want it in the red.
If the Army & Marines are in Iraq and Afghanistan, it’s because they want them in Iraq and Afghanistan ..
If they do not receive social security but are on an elite retirement plan not available to the people, it’s because they want it that way.
There are no unsolvable government problems.
Do not let these 545 people shift the blame to bureaucrats, whom they hire and whose jobs they can abolish; to lobbyists, whose gifts and advice they can reject; to regulators, to whom they give the power to regulate and from whom they can take this power.
Above all, do not let them con you into believing there exists disembodied mystical forces like “the economy,” “inflation,” or “politics” that prevent them from doing what they take an oath to do.
Those 545 people, and they alone, are responsible. They, and they alone, have the power.
They, and they alone, should be held accountable by the people who are their bosses. Provided the voters have the gumption to manage their own employees…
We should vote all of them out of office and find others who will truly work for “we the people,” not for themselves.
What you do with this article now that you have read it is up to you. This might be more humorous if it weren’t so true.
Here’s a little poem to remind you fondly of all your government does for you:
Tax his land, tax his bed,
Tax the table at which he’s fed.
Tax his tractor, tax his mule,
Teach him taxes are the rule.
Tax his work, tax his pay,
He works for peanuts anyway!
Tax his cow, tax his goat,
Tax his pants, tax his coat.
Tax his ties and tax his shirt,
Tax his work and tax his dirt.
Tax his tobacco, tax his drink,
Tax him if he tries to think.
Tax his cigars, tax his beers,
If he cries tax his tears.
Tax his car, tax his gas,
Find lots of new ways to tax his a–.
Tax all he has then let him know
You won’t be done till he has no dough.
If he screams and hollers tax him some more,
Tax him till he’s good and sore.
Then tax his coffin, tax his grave,
Tax the sod in which he’s laid.
And put these words upon his tomb,
‘Taxes drove me to my doom…’
When he’s gone do not relax,
Its time to apply the inheritance tax.
Accounts Receivable Tax
Building Permit Tax
CDL License Tax
Corporate Income Tax
Dog License Tax
Federal Income Tax
Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA)
Fishing License Tax
Food License Tax
Fuel Permit Tax
Gasoline Tax (currently 44.75 cents per gallon)
Gross Receipts Tax
Hunting License Tax
IRS Interest Charges and IRS Penalties (tax on top of tax)
Marriage License Tax
Personal Property Tax
Real Estate Tax
Service Charge Tax
Social Security Tax
Road Usage Tax
Recreational Vehicle Tax
State Income Tax
State Unemployment Tax (SUTA)
Telephone Federal Excise Tax
Telephone Federal Universal Service Fee Tax
Telephone Federal, State and Local Surcharge Tax
Telephone Minimum Usage Surcharge Tax
Telephone Recurring and Nonrecurring Charges Tax
Telephone State and Local Tax
Telephone Usage Charge Tax
Vehicle License Registration Tax
Vehicle Sales Tax
Watercraft Registration Tax
Well Permit Tax
Workers Compensation Tax
STILL THINK THIS IS FUNNY? Not one of these taxes existed 100 years ago, and our nation was the most prosperous in the world. We had absolutely no national debt, had the largest middle class in the world, and Mom could stay home to raise the kids.
As always, posted for your edification and enlightenment by
NORM ‘n’ AL, Minneapolis