16 Apr 2010

Gubmint, part two

(via JWT) Charlie Reese has been fulminating againg irresponsible politicians ("our" "leaders") since the 1980s. In this piece (can't find original publication location, but here's a lot of his stuff), Reese clarifies who's to blame for economic and military failure:

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? Nancy Pelosi. She is the leader of the majority party. She 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 can not 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, it's because they want them there

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!


  1. If you vote them all out of office, who are you going to get to replace them?

    If the only way to get elected for these 535 seats is to promise mutually contradictory things such as a strong healthcare program but no additional taxes, what should a candidate do in the process of getting elected?

    If a member of Congress must be informed and accurate on 3,000 issues that are important to his or her constitutions but only understands 10 of these issues on being elected and only has 6 staff (who understand another 30 issues), what should the congress person do?

    I think that the problem is much more complex than you state.

  2. @Eric -- it's written by Charlie, but I can answer -- more direct democracy. I'd prefer my 535th to ask me, via the internet, about ALL legislation. More transparency and more feedback. Those who care will do it; those who prefer their power and discretion will not.

  3. Here are some more questions.

    A congress person has about 500,000 constituents and less than one staff person to handle messages from all of them. Over the course of a year, the congress person has more than 1,000 issues to vote on. These constituents would generate half a billion messages and responses. The responses would have to be read, triaged, and acted upon. How would direct democracy be possible especially since each constituent might understand only a couple of issues and the congressperson does not know who understands and who just talks.

    Independent of dreams of power by the congressperson, the logistics appear to be impossible to overcome.


Read this first!

Make sure you copy your comment before submitting because sometimes the system will malfunction and you will lose your comment.

Spam will be deleted.

Comments on older posts must be approved (do not submit twice).

If you're having problems posting, email your comment to me