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545 versus 312 million people

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  • Politicians are the only people in the world who create problems and then campaign against them. One hundred senators, 435 congressmen, one president, and nine Supreme Court justices equates to 545 human beings out of the 312 million are directly, legally, morally, and individually responsible for the domestic problems that plague this country.

(Charley Reese was a long-time columnist for the Orlando (Florida) Sentinel. He wrote this “545” column in 1985. It has been updated a couple of times since, including here.)

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 312 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 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 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. The speaker of the House 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 and 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.

Discuss this Blog Entry 2

on Aug 12, 2011

I love to see the comments by people who criticize the government for screwing everything up. They most often expect the government to solve everything for them instead of doing it themselves. Then they are disappointed when the results don't turn out in their favor. There is an error in logic inherent in such thinking. I'm not a big fan of how and what our government accomplishes, but it is us that expects them to do so much work for us.

Anonymous (not verified)
on Aug 13, 2011

We are the boses of them and we have the power to change this situation.

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