February 20, 2010

The 545 People Responsible for All of America's Woes

Recently I received one of those viral emails we all get.  This one, instead of promising good fortune if I passed it on to 30 more people, had real content.

It was a version of a column written by Charley Reese back in 1985. (Charley retired from writing on August 30, 2008.)  During his career Charley was, according to Wikipedia, "... a syndicated columnist known for his plainspoken manner and conservative views. He was associated with the Orlando Sentinel from 1971-2001, both as a writer and in various editorial capacities. King Features Syndicate distributed his column, which was published three times a week."

Charley's article, "The 545 People Responsible for All of America's Woes" is as pertinent today as it was in 1985.  Perhaps more so considering the population's disillusionment with our current government.

I've reprinted the original column here, with some additions and changes in red print.  I can't imagine a better call to arms (so to speak).  It's wake-up time for the people of the United States.  Let's do something before our government gets completely out of control: call your representatives and senators; write them; write letters to the editor; support a candidate whose platform calls for smaller government.  It's time to get involved, people!

The 545 People Responsible for All of America's Woes

Politicians are the only people in the world who create problems and then campaign against them.

Have you ever wondered why, if both the Democrats and the Republicans are against deficits, we have deficits? Have you ever wondered why, if all the politicians are against inflation (a recession)  and high taxes, we have inflation (a recession) 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 – 545 human beings out of the 235 (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 but 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 legislation's responsibility to determine how he votes.


Don't you see how the con game is played on the people by the politicians? 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 Tip O'Neill, who stood up and criticized Ronald Reagan 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 appropriations and taxes.

O'neill (Palin) is the speaker of the House. (S)He is the leader of the majority party. (S)He and his (her) fellow Democrats, not the president, can approve any budget they want. If the president vetoes it, they can pass it over his veto.


It seems inconceivable to me that a nation of 235 (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, from an unfair tax code to defense overruns, 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 Lebanon (Iraq, Afrghanistan), it's because they want them in Lebanon (Iraq, Afrghanistan).

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 it.

Above all, do not let them con you into the belief that there exist 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 they have the gumption to manage their own employees.

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