How 545 Idiots Screwed Up Life for 318,900,000 Citizens

This article was originally written in 1985 by Charlie Reese, a journalist (now retired) for the Orlando Sentinel for three decades between 1971-2001. He penned a thrice-weekly column which was distributed to other newspapers nationwide by King Features Syndicate. He updated the article again in 1995. This version, with a few additional updates, is being distributed via email again and I was fortunate enough to receive a copy yesterday. The word “timeless” comes to mind. Though originally written THIRTY YEARS AGO, it is no less accurate or appropriate today in 2015 than when Charlie first wrote it.

It’s especially disturbing when one thinks that nothing has improved in thirty years – if anything, things are even worse. Now we have a “president” who has determined unilaterally, that he doesn’t even need the 535 members of Congress as his accomplices in order to continue the dismantlement of our Constitutional Republic – he can do it all on his own and damn the consequences. 

It is OUR fault, my friends. We have the power to remove any of the 536 elected members of our ruling establishment. They serve at our pleasure. We, as a country, have allowed these elected individuals to run roughshod over our Constitution and enrich themselves at our expense. We should be ashamed.

H/T to Rose – thanks!


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!


I’d be interested to know, does ANYONE disagree with Mr. Reese’s conclusions? If any part of what he’s proposed is incorrect or untrue, please note your rebuttal in a comment. After careful consideration of any possible argument to the contrary, we, as citizens of these United States must plead guilty and accept the consequences for our actions and accept that we are now reaping what we’ve sown. If we genuinely want a better life for our children and grandchildren, we must begin NOW – in November of 2016 – to begin to replace the incompetent and immoral representation that we’ve sent to Washington, D.C.. We must elect honest men and women who will honor our Constitution and do what’s RIGHT for the country as a whole rather than enrich themselves to the determent of its 318,900,000 citizens. The future of our United States is in our hands.

A genuine toilet-style flush is in order.




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17 Responses to How 545 Idiots Screwed Up Life for 318,900,000 Citizens

  1. CW says:

    >>”…does ANYONE disagree with Mr. Reese’s conclusions?”

    Yes, because he got it wrong and you got it right, Garnet. Mr. Reese places 100% of the blame for our destruction on our elected representatives, as if they magically got there by themselves and we have no power over them, but you were much closer to the truth when you said, “It is our fault…”

    Conservatives often have a hard time accepting the idea that what goes on in our government reflects either the will, the ignorance or the apathy of the people. We complain about the limited choices in campaigns that forces us to choose between the inept and the corrupt, but few among us (myself included) offer ourselves up as candidates. The limited resistance to Obama’s war against our Constitution and our division of power in government ought to be proof enough that the people are the biggest problem, and we are in real trouble.

    • Garnet92 says:

      I agree CW that we (the collective electorate) have been electing the wrong people and for decades we’ve been paying the price for the ignorant or apathetic votes by the unengaged voters who vote for a party or a name without any knowledge of that individual. I’m sorry to say that I don’t see that changing, so we’re doomed to continue down this road to hell.

  2. Kathy says:

    I always enjoyed reading Charlie Reese’s posts and looked forward to the next one – a straight-talking guy with common sense.

    I agree with his conclusions that those 545 people are responsible, but I do not accept the blame for their incompetence. Not when practically every single candidate campaigns on promises to do the right thing, then gets Washingtonized when they get there. I did my part and voted for the guy who said he’d do what I wanted done.

    We continue to do our job by constantly chastising them to vote this way or that – something we shouldn’t have to do if they were truly responsible adults. When you hire someone to do a job, you should be able to trust them to do it.

    Nope, that blame goes back on those 545 and the millions that don’t vote and don’t pay attention.

    • Garnet92 says:

      We’re not at odds here Kathy, nor do I believe that you’re at odds with CW. What you’re saying is true that the 545 are directly responsible, but we (the collective electorate) elected them to those positions. I know that neither you nor CW would vote for someone who didn’t pass muster on a lot of issues and personally, I could be satisfied with any candidate that the two of you would vote for. You’re both intelligent, logical, individuals (and both Texans too) and I’ll gladly accept anyone that the two of you could agree on.

      The problem is, that we who take voting seriously are in the minority and are being out-voted by the low/no information voters – so we’re not getting the people into office that WE believe are best for the country – we’re getting the ones who promise the most, have the name recognition, or don’t mind lying up a storm to get elected.

      Yes, the office holders are at fault, but who put them there? Not you or I, but the American electorate. And they bear a great deal of the fault. Barack Obama wouldn’t be in the White House except for the whim of our dumbass electorate.

  3. I.R. Wayright says:

    When you watch Jesse Watters interview some people on the street and more than half don’t know who the first president was, how in the hell are they going to be able to cast an intelligent vote? I guess our teachers are teaching the kids everything they know, and they still don’t know anything. Something went drastically wrong in the last generation. Can it be fixed? How?

    • Garnet92 says:

      You’re right I.R., I’m simply amazed that so many supposedly college-educated young people know NOTHING. Cast an intelligent vote? That’s a laugh! Our young may be maturing physically and in the ways of those things handheld and electronic, but they ZILCH about the country, how it operates, and what it takes to operate successfully. We are in deep doo-doo if they don’t wake up soon and realize their cushy lifestyle is going away and that they’re to blame.

  4. Clyde says:

    I disagree vehemently. For all the above comments. These walking douchebags tell us one thing, then go along to get along. Time to scrap it and start anew. WE gave the republicans BIG majorities, and within a week they were waving the white flag.

    • Garnet92 says:

      We, as a collective electorate, have elected the wrong people. Not you or I Clyde, but the ignorant masses who don’t understand how their lives are dependent on those that we put in office. They need to pay more attention to choosing the right people. Unfortunately, I don’t see that changing in the near future.

  5. Grouchy says:

    The whole thing comes down to a lack of Integrity, Honesty and Moral Fibre.
    I fully agree with Clyde and Kathy.
    No matter what the populace does, if the elected officials lack any one of the three mentioned attributes, then the fault has to also and primarily lie with that elected official / elected officials.

    • Garnet92 says:

      You’re right Grouchy. Where I think the dilemma arises is that so few people (among our entire population) exhibit those attributes – regardless of race, gender, or party. And sometimes the candidates from which we must choose don’t possess those qualities – so what are we to do? We either don’t vote (that’s not contributing anything positive) or we vote for the lesser of the evils. We’re stuck.

      The sad thing is that with the way our political campaigns are conducted these days, many who would be great representatives aren’t willing to subject themselves to the attacks, mudslinging, lies, and rhetorical colonoscopies that go with running for national office. I can’t blame them.

  6. Uriel says:

    I have seen not just the young but older people in those random checks as well. Ignorance of the law in front of a judge gets the same results as one who understands the law.(at least that’s the way law is Supposed to work). However, those more familiar also know how to get around the law.

    If a collective group vote from the best position they can that is roughly only a fourth of the problem. Another fourth is reserved for the dumb hicks who prefer someone else to be to blame as long as they receive something tangible. The third fourth then becomes those who understand and manipulate law to their advantage.

    The last fourth? Those who say what the first and second want to hear while making the laws. They provide the words, ways, and means to give the third, the vehicle the fourth group needs to become the ruling class.

    So basically there is fault on all levels. It just progresses in weight as it moves through the general half of population until it reaches the destination at the top. It is a fluid movement from the honesty and morals of some who waffle, get burned and apathetic to the greedy and opinionated who learn the best way to self gratification.

    We as citizens who try to make decisions based on facts not opinions are human and can be fooled but we Try our best. The fools and lazy fourth only count as to who has the loudest voices to advertise and receive the best welcome ditty bag for their efforts, half or less rarely even vote.

    It’s the ones in the third group that are more to blame than either end. They for personal gain have the intelligence, street smarts lacking in the first group, and the avarice of the second group couched in an appealing, silver tongued package. They see what the first is saying, the second demanding and use the words of the fourth knowing that they themselves are a means to the fourths ends but willing to be used to the extent it can advance their own agenda. They let the fourth take the limelight while they operate from the shadows.

    • Garnet92 says:

      Good analysis Uriel. There’s plenty of blame to go around, but I agree with your statement about how those of us who try but still occasionally get fooled. I don’t think that this happens very often, but it can happen – just look at Chief Justice Roberts, most of us thought that he’d be a conservative voice but he’s turned out to be a traitor. Granted, he wasn’t elected, but I use him to illustrate how those of us who like to think that we’re a good judge of character can still be fooled. Good stuff!

  7. I.R. Wayright says:

    If you think elections are won by votes, think again. You just wait and see if Jeb Bush isn’t the final man standing, even though another candidate (or cnadidates) will have more popular support. They will manipulate the numbers and keep his strongest opponent out of the debates. Who ever eventually becomes president is the man who was selected by the PTB. Oh, it will all look official on TV but precincts will still have 156% turnout, and nothing will be done about it, unless we take to the streets and raise enough hell.

    • Garnet92 says:

      Point taken I.R., but I still don’t think that it’s completely out of our hands. I do agree that the PTB have a great deal of influence and if an election is close, they can pull strings (fraudulent ones) to push their candidate across the finish line. You may be right, but I’m still trying to maintain some optimism.

  8. Hardnox says:

    Forget about Comprehensive Immigration Reform that so many of the clowns keep yapping about, we need Comprehensive Government Reform.