545 vs 300,000,000 People By Charlie Reese

people-vs-governmentYou may have seen this column on Facebook, or received it in an email. I tried to find a link to the original article but was unable to. It was apparently written in 2001 when Charlie Reese retired from the Orlando Sentinel, and was the culmination of ideas he had presented throughout his career: that a really small number of people are directly responsible for what is wrong with our country, that they work for us, the people of the United States of America, and that we have the power to oust every one of them and change everything, if only we would. This is the column I found most widely circulated, but it may or may not be the original in it’s entirety as people have combined or edited the material with other columns written by Mr. Reece.

I am reprinting this here without a link to the original source, The Orlando Sentinel, because it is in existence all over the web, on Facebook, and numerous forums, both right and left leaning on the political spectrum. Mr. Reese has stated the plain truth in a very straight forward manner. Read his words to the end. You won’t be disappointed.


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. [The House has passed a budget but the Senate has not approved a budget in over three years. The President’s proposed budgets have gotten almost unanimous rejections in the Senate in that time. ]

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

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?’

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21 Responses to 545 vs 300,000,000 People By Charlie Reese

  1. Stormy says:

    Thanks, we needed that.


  2. ctdar says:

    Makes you fear what life is going to be like in another 100 years.


  3. Nice information. The truth.


  4. bullnuke says:

    Quite easy for 545 people to herd sheep.


  5. stella says:

    A little boy goes to his dad and asks, “What is Politics?”

    Dad says, “Well son, let me try to explain it this way:

    I am the head of the family, so call me The President. Your mother is the administrator of the money, so we call her the Government. We are here to take care of your needs, so we will call you the People. The nanny, we will consider her the Working Class. And your baby brother, we will call him the Future. Now think about that and see if it makes sense.”

    So the little boy goes off to bed thinking about what Dad has said. Later that night, he hears his baby brother crying, so he gets up to check on him. He finds that the baby has severely soiled his diaper.

    So the little boy goes to his parent’s room and finds his mother asleep. Not wanting to wake her, he goes to the nanny’s room. Finding the door locked, he peeks in the keyhole and sees his father in bed with the nanny. He gives up and goes back to bed.

    The next morning, the little boy say’s to his father, “Dad, I think I understand the concept of politics now.”

    The father says, “Good, son, tell me in your own words what you think politics is all about.”

    The little boy replies, “The President is screwing the Working Class while the Government is sound asleep. The People are being ignored and the Future is deep in crap.”


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  7. yadent says:

    I have one small, little issue with the above article/column. Outside of the Supreme Court justices, who is that gives these politicians power? Who VOTES them in every election cycle, some over and over again? Who is ultimately responsible for politician’s CONTINUING actions? We deserve the government we vote for…….yes I know the ‘takers’ are nearly equal to or maybe greater than the ‘producers’ but unless all are made to realize that the US is Detroit in the near future then we all fall(well. maybe not the 1%’s so much). We have met the enemy and it is…….us.


    • Stormy says:

      The two political parties carry a great deal of weight. If you are the candidate of choice for either party, they will supply you with hundreds of thousands to millions in campaign funding. To me that is ANOTHER huge problem that came with the 17th amendment… now the States have NO ONE representing them in Congress, while Senators arrive in Washington D.C. as embolden to their respective parties and lobbyists as the Congressmen… even more so when they are up for re-election.


  8. czarowniczy says:

    Can’t blame it all on Congress – we put ’em there and we keep ’em there. All politics are local and at the local level all we see is what’s coming to us, using magical thinking to ignore the reality that the only way favors come to us in in deals that give favors to others. The lament of the ordinary citizen; “Don’t tax him Don’t tax me, Tax that guy behind the tree.


  9. JAS says:

    300,000,000 people have no one to blame for themselves.


  10. aboojie says:

    Thanks for this. That is all. 🙂


  11. Lulu says:

    Politicians are the only people in the world who create problems and then campaign against them.
    That happens to be an Alinsky “rule for revolution” that his followers, like Obie and Hill, have tried to emulate. We can’t say we weren’t warned:
    In the Alinsky model, “organizing” is a euphemism for “revolution”—a wholesale revolution whose ultimate objective is the systematic acquisition of power by a purportedly oppressed segment of the population, and the radical transformation of America’s social and economic structure. The goal is to foment enough public discontent, moral confusion, and outright chaos to spark the social upheaval that Marx, Engels, and Lenin predicted—a revolution whose foot soldiers view the status quo as fatally flawed and wholly unworthy of salvation. Thus, the theory goes, the people will settle for nothing less than that status quo’s complete collapse—to be followed by the erection of an entirely new and different system upon its ruins. Toward that end, they will be apt to follow the lead of charismatic radical organizers who project an aura of confidence and vision, and who profess to clearly understand what types of societal “changes” are needed.

    As Alinsky put it: “A reformation means that the masses of our people have reached the point of disillusionment with past ways and values. They don’t know what will work but they do know that the prevailing system is self-defeating, frustrating, and hopeless. They won’t act for change but won’t strongly oppose those who do. The time is then ripe for revolution.”[1]

    Democrats’ Platform for Revolution By: John Perazzo
    FrontPageMagazine.com | Monday, May 05, 2008


  12. kihn says:

    I always enjoyed reading Reese’s stuff in the Sentinel many a year ago. Didn’t always agree but he was definitely a good read. Liked his work on LewRockwell.com as well. Sorry to hear of his passing a few months ago. Seemed like a very authentic person.


  13. LadyRavenSDC says:

    Charley Reese actually wrote the article on March 7, 1995. The original has been changed over time, but the message has remained the same.
    Most of us who have posted the newer version didn’t notice that the number of Americans is shown as 300 million which is approximately right today. When he wrote it there were 260 million.
    One of the difficulties in finding the article was that the title originally was – “Looking for someone to blame? Congress is a good place to start.” We (including me) also had an incorrect spelling of his first name.
    ALL that aside – the excellent message remains the same though some of us see it a little different including several here at the Treehouse. We have become a nation of enablers.


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  15. Johnston Wilson says:

    Politicians are worthless, self centered, egotistical elitists who only want what they can get for themselves. They don’t care about you! As George Carlin said, “It’s a big club….and we ain’t in it”


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