This editorial has run several times and was one of “those” email forwards I rarely read, much less copy and/or forward. I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to read it and even sorrier that this country hasn’t taken it to heart and followed the man’s advice. I’ve never seen such a perfect bulls-eye shot in my life and hope this gets circulated to everyone in the nation. I am a big proponent of protecting copyrighted material but couldn’t find the original to link to it and the sucker’s all over the Internet, so what the heck.
This was journalist Charlie Reese’s final column for the Orlando Sentinel before his retirement.
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 now? 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.
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.
Not one of the following taxes existed 100 years ago, yet 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, if agreed, stayed home to raise the kids. People came to the USA to pursue the American dream. People living on minimum wage could buy a home and with a reasonable budget, survive.
- Accounts Receivable Tax
- Adventure Pass*
- 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 (average 48.9 cents per gallon as of July 2011)
- 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
I highlighted the Adventure pass because it in some cases constitutes TRIPLE tax or even QUADRUPLE TAX, and it’s the newest abomination of the bunch. It smacks us in the wallet thanks to the legislation pushed through in an underhanded punch slammed through Congress as a rider on a must-pass bill. I was reporting news at the time and remember every bit of dirty politics behind it.
As if there were any other kind of politics, but whatever.
If you pull off the highway inside so-called “public lands” (such as National Forests) and don’t have an “Adventure Pass” affixed to your car in plain sight (or if some forestry personnel with a grudge decides to ignore it) you can be fined thousands of dollars and spend up to six months in jail. This nasty little bit of legislation was crafted to prevent an appeal in the event of your automatic conviction. So you’re paying for public lands with taxes; you’re required to pay for an Adventure Pass just to WALK in a National Forest. If you dare to affix a worm to a safety pin, tie it to a piece of string and throw it in the water, you’d better have a fishing license, too. And camping, if you fall asleep in your car or pitch a tent.
The Adventure pass is “only” $80 a year, just for the privilege of putting your footprints or tires onto public lands. It doesn’t give you any other rights or goodies: just keeps you from being arrested and shaken down for a few thousand bucks. Honey, that used to be called blackmail. Or, when handled by the mob, extortion.
These are all Federal mandates.
Who created them? Who penned them and played footsie with each other and corporations and lined their pockets with the blood, sweat and tears of their constituencies? And who do you think is the only bourgeois beneficiary of this privatization at the public’s expense?
Oh yeah – CONGRESS.