Thursday, April 14, 2011

Thanks to APFN!

Charley Reese’s final column for the Orlando Sentinel … He has been a journalist for 49 years. He is retiring and this is HIS LAST COLUMN.

Be sure to read the Tax List at the end.

This is about as clear and easy to understand as it can be. The article below is completely neutral, neither 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 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? John Boehner. 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.

This might be funny if it weren’t so 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 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
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
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 heck happened? Can you spell ‘politicians?’



  • Dear Mr. Reese:

    I wish I could agree 100%…

    Yes, they are responsible BUT. They are the ones who make the decisions and carry out the actions but who put them there? Are those who put them there, that is, we(or those of us who bother to vote) free of responsibility?

    I also wish it was as simple as “vote them out”

    Who will vote them out and who will take their place? The less than 50% of eligible voters who vote today many of whom are seduced or even outright bribed by the politicians? I am sure you know there have been people who tried to get the other 50% to go to the poles. How successful were they? Marginally? What do you suggest we do to get them to go to the poles and vote these bastards out?

    Even if 500 or 1000 new politicians magically appeared tomorrow, how do we know they won’t turn out to be just as corrupt? And, by the way, many or most won’t have any experience so they’ll make mistakes because of inexperience. Some of those mistakes can be very serious. Do we want to take that risk?

    It’s easy to critisize the existing system and I agree it stinks to high heaven. But most people stop or fall far short when it comes to suggesting HOW to fix it. How do we fix it? And don’t give me some pie-in-the-sky, I-wish-things-were-this-way plan. That doesn’t help.

    Look at it under THIS light and you realize quickly that fixing this sick system of ours isn’t all that easy.

    Anyway, I’m more worried about daily problems like paying my bills than fixing a sick system, no matter how important the subject is. It’s a much longer term problem than food on the table tomorrow. I need to eat tomorrow, go to the dentist on Friday and pay for my son’s tuition by last week. My salary was garnished by IRS so I need to convince them they messed something up because I know I paid my taxes in year 2000. Meanwhile they’ll keep garnishing my wages forcing me to use up my meager savings, charge things to credit cards and risking to mess up my credit rating by missing payments I would have otherwise been able to make. Fixing the system can wait.

    And guess what, I don’t expect tomorrow to be much different or the day after.

    I wish you a happy retirement – sincerely I do. And I hope you don’t agonize too much about it, either.


    A voter who can’t spend time to fix the system.

    • You are a moron! If we don’t fix the big picture, it won’t make a hill of beans trying to fix our daily problems when we’re mired in a deep depression!

    • uh, excuse me, but “WE” did NOT “put them there”. WE did NOT vote them in. THEY did. Simple analogy there is: when you go to the doctor for tests or maybe have a MRI done, THEY tell you the results. Why do YOU accept what THEY tell you? Because YOU do not have the knowledge to READ those tests…so you simply take their word for the diagnoses.

      Just as having to depend on doctors to tell you the truth, you also depend on being told the truth when someone is elected into office .. by US? no. THEY MAKE IT ALL UP. I don’t even think votes are counted at all. I think they’re all tossed in the trash, as who will be “in charge” has already been decided .. not a decision made by the citizens. Not at all. WAKE UP FOLKS.

    • Actually, “We” the voters, only get to vote for people already voted into the position of eligibility(to be voted for) by the 545. Fact.

      Changing the system can wait? The system has been the same for 100 years, and you’re only saying “it can wait” cause your father said it, and his father before him. Case in point; the system hasn’t changed.

      In the 50’s people were downright afraid to speak against this government we live in. Wake up… changing the system can NOT wait.

      Politicians are lining their pockets with cash in the here and now because they believe the same thing you do. That tomorrow can wait for tomorrow, cause all that matters is today. This has been the growing message for decades, and lead us to the “Me” generation, followed by the “YOLO” generation.

      Who is going to put food on your table when there’s no more sustainable food sources because nothing is changing?

      Who is going to supply you with clean water, when no one changes the system that allows for fracking?

      Who is going to pay your bills when you lose your job, because the system in place has failed you?

      Seriously. Wake up!

    • There are many versions of this “last article” and Charley Reese did not recently retire. This was written in 1983 under the Regan administration. The original “final” column has been changed numerous times. Here is a link to back me up.

      • Karen I checked your link. Thank you. However that doesn’t make it any the less relevant. If anything more so today when the Democrats running for nomination are fighting about how progressive they are

  • Thank you for you column, now what do we do about it?

    • Here’s how to fix it:

      1) Close Washington, D.C.
      2) Sell it to Disney Enterprises
      3) Force our Senators and Representatives to do their “work” through the Internet.
      4) No more growing government
      5) 100% cut/closure of EPA, IRS, Dept of Energy, Dept. of Education
      6) Immediate 50% cut in all other Government
      7) 10% drop per year until only a handful of bureaucrats manage Defense/Infrastructure.
      8) Make euthanasia legal…some folks are simply ready to die and we shouldn’t be forced to pay Medicare/Medicaid/SS to “keep them alive”.
      9) Drop Social Security, force individual responsibility.
      10) Those of us who have paid all of our lives…give us land instead.

      • Oh, and more guns, LOTS more guns, Right Teri? And shoot the “illegals” or send ’em back with their tails between their legs! Right Teri? And those Arabs? Bomb ’em back to the Stone Age! Right Teri?

      • Social Security is what the responsible people have paid in for years in order to retire on, because their savings went to the “unexpected” illnesses and such. And now, those of us on Social Security are made to feel as though we are welfare recipients when we worked and earned this money we paid in!

  • Charlie, you had a nice argument going–if you ignore
    1. what g_ikonomou says about the voters
    2. the last clause: “Mom stayed home to raise the kids.” Are you joining the extreme right in blaming women?
    3. what else was true “100 years ago”: women couldn’t vote, they were property, they could legally be raped by their husbands; segregation was the law of the land, KKK hung blacks with impunity and were supported by Christian churches; mental health was treated with shock therapy; and on and on.

    Ah, yes, the good old days…. Give me a break!

  • You all do realize that this article is not Charley Reese’s actual original final article, right? He published the original one way back in 1984 or 1985. Don’t believe me, then check here:

    Annnnnnd here (from the actual Orlando Sentinel):

    • @Roxy, I seen this “reprint” on another website and of course during a search to discover if it was anywhere near truthful. The Orlando Sentinel cleared it up by showing the last reprint Reese made which was in 1995.

      People have added so many times to the article it’s become twice the original size. Frankly, I preferred the multiple revisions done to the article. Interestingly enough!

    • does it matter that it is not the original…what is said is still eye opening and hopefully gets people thinking!

  • This place really keeps on looking better every time
    I see it. You should truly be proud.

  • Very charming and right out of Alice and Wonderland:

    I like the idea of holding the 545 people responsible and they certainly have made collective decisions that have made spending choices without revenue balance and have driven up debt, but:

    100 years ago, the primary taxes were the liquor tax (he is wrong on that) and import duties. In fact, they passed the income tax before women got the vote because they knew prohibition would then be passed and the government wouldn’t have any income (Burn’s TV special on prohibition). Import duties are a tax because they raise the price of all manner of goods whether domestic (no competition) or imported.

    100 years ago, we didn’t have highways, national parks, inspection of food processing, airports, an army, navy (we left our safety to our motes (Atlantic and Pacific) and the British navy), flood control, The Center for Disease Control, county agricultural agents, REA (which actually paid for itself) and retirement benefits (people like you, me and Alison might be dead or living in a hovel somewhere).

    100 years ago, we also didn’t support our now very conservative parasite states with huge wealth transfers. The transfers came from federal taxes from the likes of MA, CT and NY and are given to Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana and Florida (very poor at the time). I would like not having the wealth transfers. Connecticut pays $1.66 in taxes for every dollar we get back. Mississippi would be like Guatemala without the federal wealth transfers. Nebraska farmers would be toast.

  • Wow Frank,

    I think it is you that tumbled down the rabbit hole. You’re deluded if you think that federal transfers of wealth are the solution. Go live in France, and see how they’re making out with that. The Federal Government burns tiny little CT’s tax revenue in waste each year, so forget about it ever making it anywhere else, and check the list below (which is fact, not shooting from the hip).

    Also, your facts are completely off.. but I suspect you don’t like dealing in facts, logic, and reason. To preempt you from blaming Fox News, I’ve pulled the real facts from the Huffington Post’s Business section:

    California gets the most federal aid, period… about 1/3 of the total! Alaska gets the most per-person.

    The rest of the list (you’re gonna be disappointed):

    Virginia, Maryland, Hawaii, New Mexico, Kentucky, Alabama, West Virginia, Connecticut, North Dakota.

    Hmmm… doesn’t look like a clean-sweep for ‘conservative parasite states’ at all. And the only way we could let Mississippi ever become Guatemala is to continue our current (lack-of) Immigration policy. Just come here legally, and… welcome, new brothers and sisters! Come here illegally, and.. you’re a criminal. Sorry, but the rule of law needs to be enforced.

    Anyway… check your facts next time, Frank. But I suspect they won’t align with your ideology many times, so that’s probably way too inconvenient.

    • Wow RobE- No mention of what California pays into the system, versus what it takes back? Based on what they put in, versus what they get back, they are near the bottom of the list. 2010 census information put them at 32nd. The rest of this list, you will be disappopinted. 1. New Mexico: $2.63 2. West Virginia: $2.57 3. Mississippi: $2.47
      4. District of Colombia: $2.41
      5. Hawaii: $2.38
      6. Alabama: $2.03
      7. Alaska: $1.93
      8. Montana: $1.92
      9. South Carolina: $1.92
      10. Maine: $1.78

      That’s dollars received back for every one dollar paid in. Still not a clean sweep for the red states, but Frank’s post is right on.

  • If legal US Citizens are required to have background checks to purchase a legal firearm and be required to be certified to carry a legal weapon, why shouldn’t an illegal alien be required to have a background check and be required to carry an ID card?

  • No mention of Texas where a lot of us Tea Pluggers exist. Go figure

  • Truth is an obstacle for Liberals

  • Most awsome and truthful piece of Reporting I have read on 4 Continent’s in my life, and I am 69 years old, and I have watched it all happen.
    Both the House and Senate, the political appointeees, and those useless ( should be illegal ) lobbies and Foreign “donations” must be cleaned out, and put our America back in the hands of the people, where it belongs.
    It’s not a right or left problem, nor a Liberal or conservative one. It is pure greed and piss on the American Society and Constitution.

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