Charley Reese's final column for the Orlando Sentinel... He has been a journalist for 49 years. He is retiring and this is HIS LAST COLUMN
This is about as clear and easy to understand as it can be. The article below is completely neutral, neither anti-republican or democrat. Charlie Reese, a retired reporter for the Orlando Sentinel, has hit the nail directly on the head, defining clearly who it is that in the final analysis must assume responsibility for the judgments made that impact each one of us every day. It's a short but good read. Worth the time. Worth remembering!
545 vs. 300,000,000 People -By Charlie Reese
Politicians are the only people in the world who create problems and then campaign against them.
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.
I excluded the members of the Federal Reserve Board because that problem was created by the Congress. In 1913, Congress delegated its Constitutional duty to provide a sound currency to a federally chartered, but private, central bank.
I excluded all the special interests and lobbyists for a sound reason. They have no legal authority. They have no ability to coerce a senator, a congressman, or a President to do one cotton-picking thing. I don't care if they offer a politician $1 million dollars in cash. The politician has the power to accept or reject it. No matter what the lobbyist promises, it is the legislator's responsibility to determine how he votes.
Those 545 human beings spend much of their energy convincing you that what they did is not their fault. They cooperate in this common con regardless of party.
What separates a politician from a normal human being is an excessive amount of gall. No normal human being would have the gall of a Speaker, who stood up and criticized the President for creating deficits.. ( The President can only propose a budget. He cannot force the Congress to accept it.)
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. Who is the speaker of the House?( John Boehner. He is the leader of the majority party. He and fellow House members, not the President, can approve any budget they want. ) If the President vetoes it, they can pass it over his veto if they agree to. [The House has passed a budget but the Senate has not approved a budget in over three years. The President's proposed budgets have gotten almost unanimous rejections in the Senate in that time. ]
It seems inconceivable to me that a nation of 300 million cannot replace 545 people who stand convicted -- by present facts -- of incompetence and irresponsibility. I can't think of 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 insoluble 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 the belief that 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 clean up their mess!
Charlie Reese is a former columnist of the Orlando Sentinel Newspaper.
What you do with this article now that you have read it... is up to you. This might be funny if it weren't so true. Be sure to read all the way to the end:
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, Tax his shirt, Tax his work, 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 other ways To tax his ass.
Tax all he has Then let him know That you won't be done Till he has no dough.
When he screams and hollers; Then 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...
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 Cigarette Tax Corporate Income Tax Dog License Tax Excise Taxes 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 Inheritance Tax Inventory Tax IRS Interest Charges IRS Penalties (tax on top of tax) Liquor Tax Luxury Taxes Marriage License Tax Medicare Tax Personal Property Tax Property Tax Real Estate Tax Service Charge Tax Social Security Tax Road Usage Tax Recreational Vehicle Tax Sales Tax School Tax State Income Tax State Unemployment Tax (SUTA) Telephone Federal Excise Tax Telephone Federal Universal Service Fee Tax Telephone Federal, State and Local Surcharge Taxes Telephone Minimum Usage Surcharge Tax Telephone Recurring and Nonrecurring Charges Tax Telephone State and Local Tax Telephone Usage Charge Tax Utility Taxes 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, & 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 stayed home to raise the kids.
NO ONE should be allowed to make a career out of elected office. A Rep get's 3 terms and a Senator gets 2. Then they need to go find a real job and let someone else serve. Too many of these swamp dwellers make a career out of a job that pays a more than decent $175K and when they leave office they are worth literally MILLIONS of dollars. That is NOT right. This, combined with the fact that the longer they are in DC the more detached they are from the reality of what it's like to exist in America, make them less competent to serve us the longer they are there.
Even the founder John Adams understood this and expressed it in a letter to his son Thomas when he indicated that he was interested in public office:
"Public business, my son, must always be done by somebody. It will be done by somebody or other. If wise men decline it, others will not; if honest men refuse it, others will not. A young man should weigh well his plans. Integrity should be preserved in all events as essential to his happiness, through every stage of his existence. His first maxim then should be to place his honor out of reach of all men. In order to do this he must make it a rule never to come dependent on public employments for his subsistence. Let him have a trade, a profession, a farm, a shop, something where he can honestly live, and then he may engage in public affairs, if invited, upon independent principles. My advice to my children is to maintain an independent character."
1. Every elected official from local to federal should have their tax returns published for public review. Before any IRS audits of citizens, every elected official should be audited. Seeing how families such as the Bidens (for example) have garnered wealth due to political connections, perhaps publication of family and associates should also be considered.
2. Eliminate all retirement benefits for elected officials. They should make their way and provide for retirement in the "real world" of the tax paying citizen.
3. All elected officials should be required to live under the same rules, regulations and laws that they impose upon the electorate. No more exceptions and personal armed guards.
4. All ballots should have the option of "None of Above", which if shown to win means that those candidates are prohibited from running again. A good example might be the choice between Obama and Romney.
5. Return to paper ballots with proper photo ID. Voting only on election day and absentee ballots only available for those who are in military away from home, elderly and handicapped. No more extended voting periods and provisional ballots. If one wants to participate in our Constitutional Republic, they can make the effort to vote on election day. Photo IDs are not a hindrance as seen that they are required for so many lesser activities: flying, driving, purchasing alcohol and tobacco, welfare benefits, etc. Voting is probably the most important activity that we as citizens participate.
I might just have to bump this every time I come on the forum....