Like Frankenstein, Charley Reese's "final" column lives again

July 31, 2011|By Mike Lafferty, COMMENTARY

Charley Reese wrote his last column for the Orlando Sentinel on July 29, 2001. You wouldn't know it from surfing the
Internet. In fact, you wouldn't even get his last column. You'd most likely find a version that the popular columnist wrote
for the Sentinel back on Feb. 3, 1984. It still resonates with the public -- maybe more today than 27 years ago -- as
Congress and the president wrestle with spending and debt.The column's central theme is that
all of the nation's domestic problems rest with 545 people who are granted power through the
U.S. Constitution -- 435 representatives, 100 senators, nine Supreme Court justices and one
president.

July 29, 2001

"Unless everyone is free to speak, everyone else's freedom is in jeopardy.
We don't have to agree, but we do have to learn to disagree without going to war." --
CHARLEY REESE, RETIRED SENTINEL COLUMNIST


545 vs. 300,000,000 People
-By Charlie Reese -- Orlando Sentinel...

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.

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 .
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

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 heck happened? Can you spell 'politicians?'

About Charlie Reese:

Charley Reese has been a journalist for 49 years, reporting on everything from sports to politics. From 1969-71, he
worked as a campaign staffer for gubernatorial, senatorial and congressional races in several states. He was an editor,
assistant to the publisher, and columnist for the Orlando Sentinel from 1971 to 2001. He now writes a syndicated column
three times a week for King Features. Reese served two years active duty in the U.S. Army as a tank gunner.