This is the final editorial written by longtime Orlando Sentinel columnist Charley Reese in 1984.
He was retiring and this was 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 nor democrat.
He 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 and definitely worth remembering!
545 vs. 331,000,000 People – ….
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 who 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 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 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? She 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 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 the voters have the gumption to manage their own employees….
We should vote all of them out of office and clean up their mess!
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….
- 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
Corporate Income Tax
Dog License Tax
Federal Income Tax
Federal Unemployment Tax (F.U.T.A.)
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 (Taxes 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 (S.U.T.A.)
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
Vehicle License Registration Tax
Vehicle Sales Tax
Watercraft Registration Tax
Well Permit Tax
Workers Compensation Tax
DO YOU 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, if she desired, stayed home to raise the kids.
What in the heck happened? Can you spell ‘politicians?