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“Leadership” Sold

This is about as clear and easy to understand as it can be. The article below is completely neutral, neither anti-republican or democrat. Charlie Reese, was a reporter for the Orlando Sentinel. He hit the nail directly on the head, defining clearly who it is that in the final analysis must assume responsibility for the judgments made that impact each one of us every day. This article is largely taken from one of his most popular columns and incorporated into mine. Extraordinary targeted neutral reporting. I have made it current and have added thought’s that emphasize. I write with a bit of intensity. If you don’t agree with something it is likely mine. This a short but good read. Worth the time. Worth remembering!

545 vs. 320,000,000 People

So many controlled by so few. So few whose values are purchased. They have power. They refuse to exercise it preferring the safety provided by the bribes from the few. Thus, for decades 320 million Americans have been guided without honor, without priority, and without patriotism. The results are heartbreaking. Greatness simply forgone for the egos of a few people drawn into an arena where sacrifice does not exist.

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 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. And there is no arena in human history so plagued with moral failure.

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. (This is perfect prose – The failure of America is on Congress, not the rich that they “let” use them)

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 of the House, who stands up and criticizes 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. 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 320 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 the Middle East it’s because they want them in the Middle East. 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. Trust that their self-serving nature feathers their own nest nicely.

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. This will not end until we realize that bribery destroys leadership and common good and America will never prevail in its presence.

I thought I would end this column with a fun and very sad poem befitting the extremes and manipulations of our Congress. If you understood how much you pay in taxes when Amazon pays nothing you just might revolt. Here are some hiding places. This is “The Tax Poem” (author unknown).

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 Taxes to pass

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 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, and 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.

We were doing fine until the era of self-serving unpatriotic, soul selling, obsequious Politicians.

(ed. The Charlie Reese column was originally published in the Orlando Sentinel on Feb. 3, 1984.)

Bill McClellan