Over the past two years, I have probably received this same email about six times. It containing the text of an article by a journalist named Charley Reese numerous times from different folks. Charley wrote for the Orlando Sentinel for thirty years and retired in 2001. I understand why I'm seeing it more frequently lately; however, I hope the folks forwarding it have given serious thought to it. I fear the frivolous thoughts that run something like, "Yeah! Obama, Pelosi, and Reid suck!" Unconstructive, unenlightened, and destined to fail, again. I hope the line of thought is as serious and constructive as, "How can I be a part of stopping this insanity?"
The problem stated clearly in Charley's article is that WE the People are the problem when we choose to send those 545 people back to Congress to continue doing what they've always done. While the 545 who blame vague entities like "the economy" and "politics" keep playing that game, we keep putting them back in office to continue the game. Serious people understand that this must stop. I don't care what side of the aisle you're on, if you vote for someone who plays these games, you're as guilty as they are.
From what I can tell, this article has been published several times under varying titles and with varying text. According to Snopes.com, this version was published in 1985.
The 545 People Responsible For All Of America's Woes
By Charley Reese
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 and high taxes, 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 - 545 human beings out of the 235 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.
A CONFIDENCE CONSPIRACY
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 is the speaker of the House. He is the leader of the majority party. He and his 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 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 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 Marines are in Lebanon, it's because they want them in Lebanon.
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.
This article was first published by the Orlando Sentinel Star newspaper