Charley Reese, who was born in Washington, Georgia on January 29, 1937, was a syndicated columnist until August 30, 2008, when he set aside his word processor and went into retirement. Mr. Reese was known for his plainspoken manner and conservative views. He was associated with the Orlando Sentinel from 1971 until 2001.
As for you liberals out there – forget I mentioned the word ‘conservative’ and read on!
I bring up Charley Reese because an article written by him appeared in my email this morning. Whoever decided to send his article took a bit of poetic license and made it appear to be a recently written column. In truth, Charley wrote the article on March 7, 1985. The fact that it is as relevant today as it was twenty-four years ago – without the poetic license of changing some names and adding a fact or two – makes it something that every American should read. In fact, they should read it often – especially leading up to the next election.
Here is the article in its original form:
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 (a 1985 number) – 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 (then Speaker of the House) 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 House members, 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 (300 million today) 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. (For 2009, replace Lebanon with Iraq or Afghanistan.)
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 the voters have the gumption to manage their own employees.
This man’s words fit in exactly with what I’ve been saying about the ‘professional politicians’ who have lost sight of the people they are supposedly representing. They are all beholding to the special interest groups who provide the cash to get them re-elected.
It’s time to vote them all out of office and replace them with civic minded people who will make an honest effort to repair the damage done by generations of con men.
I would hope the first thing the ‘NEW’ congress would do is set term limits and get rid of the expensive frills that make the job so enticing to people who don’t have the common sense of a child.
How can we expect the ‘professional politicians’ to understand the problems of the common people… when they work so hard to remain above us.
Please encourage your friends and family members to read the words of Charley Reese. They can skip my editorial comments and it won’t hurt my feelings… much.