This is about as clear and easy to understand as it can be - read it!! The article below is completely neutral, ...not 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


Charley Reese has been a journalist for 49 years.

545 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? Nancy Pelosi. She is the leader of the majority party. 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 can not 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 , it's because they want them in IRAQ

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 darned 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

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.

What in the hell happened? Can you spell 'politicians?'

I hope this goes around THE USA at least 100 times!!! YOU can help it get there!!!
PS If you do the right thing and pass this on - which is entirely up to you - please do the right thing and high lite and delete any addresses you receive with it. Thanks


gruaud said...

I usually like Reese's columns -- he's been a gadfly
to the neocons for years. But don't throw the baby
out with the bathwater, Charley. Some of those 545
are quite good.

Anonymous said...

The Fed ignored the housing market crisis for years because it was still bubbling up instead of collapsing. For example, in 2005:

Mr. Greenspan emphasized that he sees no sign of a nationwide housing bubble, but he acknowledged concerns over "froth" in the market and pointed to a big increase in speculation in homes - particularly in second homes. As a result, he said, there are "a lot of local bubbles" around the country.

At the same time, the Fed kept interest rates artificially low, making government bonds less attractive than housing speculation and all other manner of high-risk, high-reward schemes.

The Fed isn't in charge of deficit spending, but that's much less of a problem when the economy is growing more than the debt -- which it might still be if the financial wizards hadn't taken every opportunity to make a quick trillion bucks off of us before sinking the whole economy.

Anonymous said...

Ah, the old "taxes are bad their gonna get us and why don't women know their role" email. Glad to see they got a new intro.

And that intro is... well, not 100% crazy. Its way, way, way oversimplified and unrealistic, but its not totally wrong.

Also disappointed in the lack of fonts and colors. A subpar effort by some right wing kook.

Anonymous said...

Repeat. I think its actually a mash-up of 2 or more old ones. Can't they come up with something new like Obama's plan to put an iman on the Supreme Court to enforce sharia law or his socialist plot to give the country to Hugo Chavez?

ferschitz said...

Agree that this is an ok article; personally unfamiliar with Charlie Reese, so have no commentary about him, in general.

One thing stood out to me:

"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."

True on the face of it, but imo, the biggest issue for all citizens is that BOTH parties are in thrall to the corporations and special interests via lobbyists. Reese is right that it's up to the 535 politicians to withstand the pressures, the bribes, the kickbacks, the perks... but that said: they do NOT withstand them.

So I would argue that writing off lobbyists so glibly as Reese does here does not adequately address what is, imo, a giant, huge problem for our nation. And I feel that it does all citizens, of whatever political persuasion, a big disservice by not reporting much more accurately and in detail about what's really going on with lobbyists and corporate control of our government.

Given how knowledgeably Mr. Reese writes this article, I seriously doubt that he doesn't know this.

He is choosing - deliberately - to leave this factor out of the picture and not discuss it.

meh - ok article, but then the teabagger whining at the end about taxes is worthless and stupid. I'm tired of endless whining about why do we have to pay taxes ever for anything under any circumstances. If Republicans hadn't clapped and cheered for Reganomics, which vastly reduced the tax rates for obscenely wealthy, then our local, state and federal governments would not have had to create all the other odd, weird subsidiary taxes and fees, such as utility taxes, etc, to help run our nation.

So. sick. of. the. ceaseless. whining. about. taxes.
(esp when no other useful solutions are offered)

ferschitz said...

I am unfamiliar with Charlie Reese, but his article is ok on the face of it. He raises some good points. However, this stands out for me:

"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."

While Reese is essentially telling the truth, I feel that he's running away from a very critical issue for our nation. IMO both parties are in thrall to the corporations and their special interests via lobbyists offering bribes, kickbacks and other perks and lurks. Often our frickin legislation (whether under Dems or Repubs) is written by lobbyists or other special interests.

To cavilierly and glibly write off the lobbyists as being piffle is white-washing a critical issue, which I believe the media has been doing for a long time. It's hiding what's really going on behind the curtain from citizens - hidden by relatively "truthful" info, such as that congressfolk, in theory, can avoid being bribed by lobbyists. That's really simplistic, and it ends up being untruthful by omission of a whole lot of relavant info.

Meh - ok article to a point, but not really all that informative. The usual whining without providing much of a solution.

Then, as another post said, a mashup of stupid anti-tax whines and bad "poetry." If teabaggers don't enjoy all of the separate taxes and fees on various types of services, then they need to go back to their politicans and demand increasing the tax rates of the obscenely wealthy. The reason why all of these separate taxes and fees have been instituted is that the tax structures have become incredibly regressive, and those that have the most (which is a huge amount) are paying the least.

Same old victimizing whining. Go live in Somalia and report back on how fantabulous it is to live in a country with no taxes and no government. I would seriously like to hear about that. Go for it! Somalian utopia awaits!

PS Guess I'll avoid being an "American" bc I wouldn't annoy my friends by passing this on.

gruaud said...


His columns appear frequently on
Lew Rockwell...the best of the
Libertarian sites.

Anonymous said...

The thing about letting lobbyists and special interests off the hook is grossly oversimplified and incredibly naive.

Yes, its true they don't have the power to force any Congressman to do anything. But they do control the money. And the money is what members of Congress need to get elected and reelected. Yes, there is personal financing and individual donations, but the former limits membership in Congress to the rich and the latter is a relatively small and unreliable pool which can be dwarfed by any industry.

So politicians face a choice: play along and win, or stand up to special interests (many of which they might even agree with) and get clobbered and replaced by someone else who will play the game. I know there are some who break the mold, but they are a tiny minority. So go ahead, vote out all 535 of them. They'll just get replace by 535 others who are bought and paid for.

The solutions? I suppose public financing of elections in one option, but the real fix is to have an informed and active citizenry who will actually engage, research and vote in an informed manner. And I don't mean people marching with signs of Obama with a Hitler mustache shrieking about socialism. I mean a bunch of level headed, engaged, clear minded citizens. I'm not holding out a lot of hope.

But even this isn't a cure all. As much as we like to bitch and moan about spending, a lot of it is spending that we approve of, or spending which we would never have the will to cut. And let's not even pretend that the people who write and forward this stuff would ever, ever agree to even small tax increases in order to try and balance the budget.

Thx 4 Fish said...

RE: the mash up of 2 different emails: A lot of these emails get changed slightly and sent out all over again-as if new- so that the good, simple folks who believe email forwards are a magical message from a higher power think they are getting "two sources" or "another authority" for the same rant. Also there are Bonus points if the same email comes to them from two or three different friends. Anthropologists of the future will be studying this group for years.

Hooray4US said...

I agree that even if it was somehow feasible to vote out the current crop of 535 politicans, then 535 newly elected pols would step in and voila: nothing would change because of lobbying, money and the corporate dominance of our government.

Politicians are certainly part of the problem, but they are not the only problem. This article is fundamentally unsound and dishonest, made more so by it's well written, reasoned and reasonable tone.

IMO it is more pandering to teabagger themes of how we're all being ripped off by "taxes" - thus broadly defining the "problem" solely as "taxes." And then casually writing off lobbyists as if they have no stake or responsibily in this mess.

Perhaps the writer is good sometimes, but I find this article to be worse than some because of how it provides a well written message that is dishonest and lacking in integrity.

Anonymous said...

Oh yes, let's go back to the halycon days of 1910!

Who needs social security, rural electrification, work-place safety enforcement, environmental protections, the FAA, state troopers, an interstate highway system, or state parks? Surely if we just stopped taxing people, those things would just take care of themselves - like magic!

As for that big middle class and mom staying home with the kids because many jobs provided a family wage, your confusing 1910 with the 1950s. The 1950s were the era of a big middle class and high wages. The 1950s were also an era of progressive taxation and high union participation. (Gee...do you think there could be a correlation?)

tootseye said...

Yes, go look up the tax rates for the 1950s to see how high the top of the pyramid money-makers were taxed back then. Just take a gander at that. But suggest to a teabagger that we - shriek gasp moan wimper - increase the tax rates even a teensy bit at the top, why that's just unabashed socialism (and why is that bad?) and Obama is a nazi sending granny down a death chute.

And let's not forget how the socialism of the GI Bill enabled many returning soldiers to attend college. Many who took advantage of this eeeeevul socialism advanced in their careers and earned better money than their parents; said parents often having been destitute during the preceding depression. GAH! Can anyone imagine anything WORSE the eeevuls of a GI Bill now??

Makes no sense. As some other post said, these people should try living in Somalia and report back on how great the lack of taxes and government works out for them. Must be an Ayn Rand wet dream for sure. No doubt John Galt would be starbursting all over that country.

Marc with a C said...

Have you ever wondered, if all the politicians are against volcanoes and hurricanes, WHY do we have volcanoes and hurricanes?

Socialism. That's why.

katz said...

Anthropology states that this email is, in fact, impossible. Consider:

The content is three parts from two forwards (the article, the poem, and the list of taxes, the latter two usually seen together). There are approximately four header additions and I'd say 3-4 footers. Altogether, as many as 11 people could have contributed to this email.

And yet it is all one font, size, and color.

I humbly submit that this is impossible. 11 conservatives couldn't pass on an email without changing the colors at least a little. Therefore, this email must be a quantum anomaly.

Thx 4 Fish said...

If you're going to get all nostalgic for life 100 years ago, lets admit life was better when Dad stayed home (on the farm) to raise the kids too. Nothing like having two parents around and a full-time farming job to keep the 8 year olds in line!

Anoner said...

Everyone who is so nostalgic for the good old days so go live somewhere and try it. At least I admit that I'm too much of a pussy to try live like it's 1900. It was hard, plus forget using penicillan or anesthesia. Ya break yer leg, ya die from gangrene.

Yeah, yeah, the US wild west was, in many ways, a libertarian paradise, but everyone conveniently forgets all the downsides. Easy to talk big from the safety of your convenience- laden home with the PD, ambulances and fire dept a quick 911 call away.

Talk is cheap, and internet blogging and email fowarding is cheaper.

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