The 545 People Responsible For All Of U.S. Woes By Charley Reese (older article)

Dandelion Salad

By Charley Reese
(Date of original publication unknown)

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 – 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 but 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 legislation’s responsibility to determine how he votes.


Don’t you see how the con game that is played on the people by the politicians? 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 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 Democrats, not the president, can approve any budget they want. If the president vetos it, they can pass it over his veto.


It seems inconceivable to me that a nation of 235 million 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.

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 they have the gumption to manage their own employees.

This article was first published by the Orlando Sentinel Star newspaper

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9 thoughts on “The 545 People Responsible For All Of U.S. Woes By Charley Reese (older article)

  1. Did you catch the glaring and crippling fallacy underlying the entire argument? Implicit in the argument is the clear—though veiled—assumption that the American form of government is an aristocracy. Obviously, it is not—it is, in the immortal words of Abraham Lincoln, a government “of the people, by the people, and for the people.”

    If Lincoln really believed that, then he was a boob. It >is< an aristocracy for the most part, though talented people who pay homage to the blue bloods by going to their schools can be pulled up (Obama, McCain, Clinton(s)) Others are part of blue blood families (Bush, Bush, Kerry, Forbes)

  2. Pingback: Perpetual Growth Is Impossible - The Coming End of Usury as the Dominant Social Paradigm « Dandelion Salad

  3. It’s understandable why people love this piece so much when we feel helpless to change our government.

    However, it’s grossly inaccurate and is little more than a smokescreen that shields the real source of our debilitating problems.

    Did you catch the glaring and crippling fallacy underlying the entire argument? Implicit in the argument is the clear—though veiled—assumption that the American form of government is an aristocracy. Obviously, it is not—it is, in the immortal words of Abraham Lincoln, a government “of the people, by the people, and for the people.”

    Who elects those 545 people? Who is truly responsible? Ironically enough, in an effort to find a source of responsibility, Mr. Reese flagrantly ignores the only true source of responsibility in a constitutional republic: We the People.

    So who is really to blame for our pressing problems? The millions of common citizens who aren’t educated enough to elect virtuous, courageous, and wise leaders. It’s the millions of American families who have failed to raise up those essential leaders in their own homes.

    It’s the millions of Americans who hold their politicians to a higher standard than they hold themselves to—they sure want their politicians to understand the Constitution, but they don’t understand it themselves.

    It’s the millions of Americans who complain about high taxes, yet then turn around and accept government programs and benefits in the name of “Everyone else is doing it,” and/or “I’m just getting my taxes back.”

    It’s the millions of average Americans who claim that the Federal Reserve is evil—without even understanding how it works and what should replace it. It’s the millions of Americans who vehemently denounce inflation and deficits while racking up their own credit cards and consuming more than they produce on a daily basis.

    It’s the millions of Americans who were publicly appalled at Bill Clinton’s misdeeds in the Oval Office yet who are secretly addicted to pornography.

    It’s the millions of common citizens who rage against the criminality of illegal immigration while consciously and deliberately violating the rule of law themselves on a daily basis.

    It’s the millions of Americans who forcefully proclaim their willingness to fight and die for America—while being unwilling to LIVE for her by becoming liberally educated.

    All nations get the government that they deserve—these 545 people are nothing but a reflection of the majority of American citizens. As John Adams wrote, “If worthless men are sometimes at the head of affairs, it is because worthless men are at the tail, and the middle.”

    Who is to blame? Every one of us American citizens who are hypocritical, complacent, and ignorant. Complaining about 545 people is a great way to stir the pot and incite discontentment—and a really poor way to actually get to the heart and root of our problems to start doing something about them.

    We the People are responsible. Until we change, our 545 representatives will never change. The answer isn’t to change them—it’s to change ourselves through education, dedication, humility, gratitude, and love.

  4. This is a horrible article. We have a system of checks and balances that this simpleton obviously doesn’t understand. They cannot get anything passed after the president veto’s it because they need a 2/3 majority… And that’s not going to happen with this tiny majority. Unless you have 60 votes you can always count on, nothing will get done.

  5. Dandi,
    In California we’re broke, funds for education are to be cut. Has any one wonder what those little kids will be doing while Mom and/or Dad are trying to make a living for “their families” needs ? Of course not.
    CRIME, it’s the new business.
    More police, more courts, more jails, more probation, more Taxes, what is wrong with this picture ?

    Obama is right, going to the same dry well, and expecting a change, is ridiculous, if not stupid .

    Supposedly these “s/elected” officials are to insure the individuals rights, but somehow have decided that your life, freedom, and property, is their’s to decide and devide.

    Evict all the Useless Incumbents in ’08,
    a Thrid Party, then Investigate.

  6. The editorial was published in the Orlando Sentinel-Star sometime before August 2001. According to the Wikipedia article on Charley Reese, he was associated with the Orlando Sentinel from 1971-2001. A search of the archives at didn’t turn up any results, so this may have been written prior to April 1, 1985, as far back as the Orlando Sentinel’s online archives go.

  7. It’d a subject that apparently is ignored or enabled by the public…? I have been screaming about it since I discovered the speech by Congressman Mullins back in the early 30’s that has been proven to my satisfaction of it’s thuthfulness. There is plenty of evidence at the scene of the crime. When the crime goes unreported ..ignored in the case of we the people..than who is to blame? Great blog. It should be required reading by everyone.

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