Who’s Responsible?


I wish I could take credit for this very informative, enlightening, and self-explanatory article, but alas, I cannot. I don‘t normally post someone else’s work here, but I received this in an email yesterday and couldn’t help myself; I HAD to share it.


Charley Reese has been a journalist for 49 years. He is retiring and this is his last column for the Orlando Sentinel. The column is completely neutral, neither anti-republican nor anti-democrat. He 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. Be sure to read the Tax list at the end.

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?

If all the politicians are against inflation and high taxes, have you ever wondered 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!

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
  • 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?’

I hope this goes around the USA at least 545 times!!! YOU can help it get there!!!

Enough said?

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5 thoughts on “Who’s Responsible?

  1. Yo, Monica!

    Given the fraud that characterizes almost all mediated communication–in other words, just about all established news is horseshit–and the power disparities attendant on wealth and resources concentrated in the hands of a few–in other words, the rich own everything except what they’ve extended us credit to get a mortgage on–frustration is unavoidable. How one responds to that frustration is another matter.

    In particular, giving up is not only not unavoidable but it also guarantees that the perspectives and forces that you despise will win. So please, don’t give up.

    That doesn’t mean that you have to quit quilting. It means this. You have to become more aware of your ideology and the ideologies of others.

    I didn’t know that this guy was a ‘dangerous right-wind fanatic.’ Wikipedia confirms my guess, but it was just that, an inference based on seeing the evidence of his thinking about matters of politics and economics, which completely lacked any accurate historical analysis–a few facile factoids was it, and utterly ignored the huge role that capitalists and capitalism has played in engendering the present crisis. The only thinker who would ignore corporate responsibility and distort or leave out historical data would necessarily be a cretinous thug of one stripe or other of reactionary or fascist.

    What I have often sought to engage people of good will and stout heart to do is to shoulder the burdens of citizenship. “These are the times that try men’s souls,” wrote one of my heroes, Tom Paine. He went on to decry the ‘Summer soldiers’ and ‘sunshine patriots’ and insisted that only through a willingness to study and learn, and then act on that investigation and knowledge, was a free Republic something that might survive.

    Similarly, today, for democracy and social justice to have even the tiniest ghost of a chance, citizens have to be willing to take up the struggle of learning and action through this long Winter of despair that so many people feel. I have a lot to offer citizens whom I’ve challenged in this way: research, analysis, dialog, modeling of democratic action that, whether likely to be victorious or not, remains the only hope for any future for your grandkids that is not full of prison and poison and rot, and little else.

    Don’t give up hope; don’t abandon ship; instead, help me to build something that leads to people’s wrestling with their responsibilities, not only as the privileged children of what purports to be a democracy, but also as human beings who only exist because their ancestors took chances of the sort that so few people now are willing to take.

    So many of us talk about ‘responsibility.’ But only a tiny minority recognize that this quality’s most important aspect is a willingness to be collectively responsible. That’s too heavy, too risky, and just doesn’t fit the ironic dismissiveness that is close to the only common response to the disasters about which everyone is complaining.

    Anyhow, there you have it. Keep trying to put things into perspective. Don’t forget that the work up here in the hills could play a role in creating a better future. Something’s got to give, as the saying goes. “One way or another, one way or another, one way or another, this darkness got to give.”

    • Hey Jimbo! Thanks for setting me straight. Like I’ve said many times before, you guys are a constant fountain of inspiration (and knowledge) for me. Just when I’ve been tempted to lie down and relinquish my weapons, to take the path of least resistance, to quietly retire to my “winter quarters,” along comes Don Quixote (aka, Jimbo) to lift me upon his Rocinante for that ride into the sunset! So here I am, dusting off my armor, picking up my sword, and getting ready to “charge” again. OK. You win. I’m not giving up. Eighty-eight more days ’till November 1st!

  2. this guy’s interesting but he offers zero useful historical analysis. Those “the 50s were the golden time” spouters have little to offer to a time that’s paying for the excesses of that era

  3. Monica!

    This fellow’s thinking is dangerously partial. The politicians are no more the cause of deficits, or the economic carnage that make yelling about deficits and politicians so popular now, than Hitler was the cause of Nazism or Pinochet was the cause of fascism in Chile.

    The entire apparatus of the contemporary state is a mirror of the corporate powers–in industry, finance, and elsewhere–that has called the executive power over government into existence. This is as easy to prove as the demonstration that an image in a looking glass emanates from the light of the body standing before the glass.

    This fellow’s kind of nonsense–it has useful ideas and a few facts IN it, but is viciously and quite likely purposely flawed in HUGE ways–is precisely why something like the Southern Peoples Information Networks’ Weekly Report project–which Alicia has probably communicated to you–is an essential element of human survival now. We desperately need to be clearer and more conscious in our thinking, or the solutions–I guarantee–will be immeasurably worse than the problem.

    I’ve written extensively on these issues. I’d like to do more. Whatever happens in that regard, however, please realize that this guy is a total right-wing fanatic whose solution is some corporatist fantasy or other–ranging from Hitler to Pinochet. I guarantee you that this diagnosis is accurate. I’ll bet every penny on it and double my money.

    • You know, that just goes to show how politically ign orant I can be. Not to recognize a right wing fanatic–a rabid one at that–is very humbling (and scary!). I just felt that he expressed the same kind of frustration I’ve been feeling with this Congress right now. Also, some of those taxes that he mentions do sound ridiculous. But what do I know… I think from now on I’ll stay away from politics altogether. I think I’ll just stick with quilting. 🙂

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