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Article: 545 v. 300,000,000 People
5 years ago
| Surprise Me

This is one of the best articles to read; it's actually quite funny.  It combines a taste of reality, with a nice poem, followed by the different types of taxes we have.  It also compares the US today to 100 years ago.  It's one heck of an article to read.

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, a retired reporter for  the Orlando Sentinel, has 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. It's a short but good read. Worth the time. Worth remembering!

Description: cid:6BC9B9D4197D406989FF85CD3C9C0612@christinaPC
Charley  Reese's final column for the Orlando  Sentinel...
He has been a journalist for 49  years.
He is retiring and this is HIS LAST  COLUMN.
Be sure to read the Tax List at the end.

(and wait till I post it all before replying, please!)

5 years ago

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.

5 years ago

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  now? 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.
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.

5 years ago

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!
Charlie Reese is a former columnist of the Orlando Sentinel Newspaper.
What  you do with this article now that you have read  it... is up to you.
This might be funny if it weren't so true.
Be sure to read all the way  to the end:

5 years ago

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
To tax his  ass.
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,
It’s time to apply
The inheritance  tax.

5 years ago

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 Tax
Telephone Usage Charge  Tax
Utility Taxes
Vehicle License  Registration Tax
Vehicle Sales  Tax
Watercraft Registration Tax
Well  Permit Tax
Workers Compensation  Tax
Not  one of these taxes existed 100 years ago, &  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,  if agreed,  stayed  home to raise the  kids.
What  in the heck happened? Can you spell  'politicians?'
I hope this goes around THE USA at least 545 times!  YOU can help it get there!

5 years ago

Ok, all done, post away. 

5 years ago

Thank you Shane. Excellent article!

5 years ago


5 years ago

Shane, thank you for posting this!  


I meant to do the same last week or so but never got to it.  It's just excellent

5 years ago

Thanks!  You've seen this one, then?  lol  A friend of mine forwarded it to me, thought it was pretty good, so, why not? 

5 years ago

This is great, Shane. If everyone in the United States read this list, I practically guarantee that there would be a major protest that would make the Million Man March look like a Sunday school picnic. I'm going to forward it on to all my friends. Most of them are already furious - and to read this would be the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back. Keep up the good work, everyone!

5 years ago

I would make it mandatory study in civics/government classes.

5 years ago

Obviously the 535 should be the ones who count. 


Basic elitist arithmetic.

5 years ago


5 years ago

Taxes bad! Circle Jerk Time!


What a Luddite.


So we shouldn't have a gasoline tax? How should we pay for the interstates? That one system that made us the envy of the world and our economy the most robust? Not to mention that the tax is directly proportional to use, which libertarians should agree with,


You don't think we should tax cigarettes? They cause disproportionate damage to the population. How much should we charge them?


Building permits aren't taxes, as well as a number of others. Many of those speifically are state and local taxes as well, which aren't controlled by the 545.



5 years ago

Chile, obviously, some taxes need to be in place, I won't argue that.  I believe the point of that portion of the article is that there is an abundance of unnecesary taxes, and, when all added together make those in gov't quite a bit more powerful, and those that pay them struggle that much harder. Seems a rather dangerous ratio.


Perhaps it would be interesting to see all the things that could or should be taxed, and aren't.

This post was modified from its original form on 31 Aug, 15:24
5 years ago

Fees paid to the state are a form of taxation.  Period.



a sum of money demanded by a government for its support or for specific facilities or services, levied upon incomes,

property, sales, etc.
a burdensome charge, obligation, duty, or demand.


Leave it up to the progressives and we'll be working 365 days a year, instead of only 224 days, to be able to pay all the taxes we're charged.
"Sin tax" is just robbery.  If someone smokes cigarettes it doesn't cost the public anything - oh wait, that's unless the smoker is enjoying one or more of those 'entitlement' programs we all pay for, and their health demands medical attention that's actually due to smoking, that we all pay for.


Hmm... by your standard, Chile, we better start adding "sin tax" to 90% of that garbage on the grocery store shelves too because it creates far more health problems than cigarettes do and on a much larger percentage of the population.  Oh, and what about those 'legal' drugs - better "sin tax" those too because we're paying out the bum treating patients for symptoms and illnesses caused by their "side effects."



5 years ago

That might be the dumbest argument you have ever made. Cigarettes via second hand smoke don't have health effects on the public?


What a zealot.


Shane, didn't you claim you were done with me?


I don't have a problem with any of those on that list. All of those are for services that are better provided by the public than private industry.

5 years ago

Scientific Evidence Shows Secondhand Smoke Is No Danger


Yeah, "I'm" the one making "dumb arguments" ... You'll just never learn, will you, Chile

5 years ago

Chile, as long as you make a coherent argument; minus the senseless, pointless, counter-productive ego-food (some people call them insults); then I'm quite happy to address your arguments. 


I'm not so sure about the smoke thing being safe, I mean, I'm a smoker (sometimes), and second hand doesn't agree with me; not that first hand does, either.  But then, again, who knows?  I don't have any gripe with sin tax, actually, and I'm a smoker and a drinker.  (Occasional on both counts, thank you). 


I'm more than willing to admit, that it's bad stuff.  It's addicting, for sure.  But, there are lots of things that shouldn't be taxed.  The things that are very obvious added and unnecesary charges, like the plethora of phone related charges, and the tax on having a well, or the tax on one's property that doesn't go away after the mortgage is paid, so, essentially, you're still paying rent.  Bunch of crap. 


The gov't goes too far.  It is supposed to be an authority; the glue that keeps the nation together, but not damn a landlord.  Once you buy property, it should be yours, at least once the mortgage is paid in full.  That land then belongs to YOU.  Unlce Sam should keep his pedophile hands off. 





5 years ago

Oh, of course, anything that argues the scientific methodology behind 'global warming' research is automatically wrong.



5 years ago

Deep end















5 years ago
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 an excellent point.  Our Congressmen seem to always escape blame.  It's time we put the blame exactly where it belongs. 
5 years ago

It's time we put the blame exactly where it belongs.


Agreed, Angelica.  Ya know, after Obama was elected I prayed (literally) he'd be 'the one' who who really was telling the truth despite all the 'big money' backing him, that he'd be 'the one' that would turn the tables and tell those he promised favors to, "sorry, I was lying."  I prayed that he really meant it when he said "change" because I knew that it's always a 'choice' to sell out or not.  But alas, he chose not to tell his benefactors to f'of, choosing to keep his 'off-the-record' promises to them instead.


Oh, that's another cool thing about Paul - if HE 'sells out' to his benefactors, which is 'main street USA', the working class, he'll be selling out to the people


5 years ago

That's one of the key elements in that petition I wrote:


The part where gov't officials would not (in the name of the gov't, or in any relation to its operations) at all be allowed to engage in this kind of commerce.  No extra funding for campaigns.  All campaigning is then done on the web, on tv, and in the papers, each candidate getting a mandatory amount of exposure. 


No more money would be allowed to exchange hands in relation to issues voted on in any way by a body of government.  The penalties would get worse and worse, depending on how many decide to ignore the law.  Penalties act as a deterrent, so as to avoid any crises from happening in the first place. 



5 years ago

Shane: "The gov't goes too far.  It is supposed to be an authority; the glue that keeps the nation together, but not damn a landlord.  Once you buy property, it should be yours, at least once the mortgage is paid in full.  That land then belongs to YOU.  Unlce Sam should keep his pedophile hands off."


Not a damn landlord.....  Yep.  The government believes it owns everything.  We only purchase a right to use property.  And that only as long as the government doesn't decide it wants to take if away. 


The bar to government taking your property was elliminated by  Kelo v. City of New London.  Under this ruling the taking clause of property was expanded to allow for confiscation of private property, not for the common good vis a vis public uses, but for pretty much any reason that rationalized the confiscation as a public good. Private ownership to a more politically powerful Private ownership.   In this case, a Corporation wanted the property and claimed they would add jobs.  So the preceived public good was the jobs.  Today their confiscated property is a vacant lot.  The Corporation changed it's mind.


Within a couple of blocks of me there are three houses that are being sold because the owners cannot afford the property taxes.  Two are elderly who have lost income from their savings due to government/Federal Reserve policies of zero interest on their savings.  That last policy is being done to support the politically powerful giant banks.

5 years ago

Thanks for that info, Jim.  Yes, that's even worse, really, than the principle of property tax itself; that sociopathic self-serving attitude that is the American Way. 


Have you ever seen Capitalism: A Love Story?  It's one of Micheal Moore's films; very very interesting. 


And this is the thing that kills me, too, is we have a comparitively small handfull of people pushing around and basically having their way with hundreds of millions.  Billions, if we look at it on a global scale.  It's inconcievable.  It makes no sense. 

I guess it really just illustrates better than ever the strength of unity.  545 people working together can topple 300,000,000 or about 7 Billion on the global scale; simply becaue they work together, while those millions or billions just mill around; ignoring, blocking it out, or whatever they're concerning themselves with.  It's really quite pathetic. 

I suppose it comes the general selfishness we have.  Very rarely will people get involved in another's troubles.  People don't stick up for each other enough.

5 years ago

I'm sorry; I have no respect for the tobacco lobby, or for the advertisers who know that smoking is a vile habit that can make you sick or kill you, yet they still promote the habit. Undoubtedly there are people out there whose systems are tough and robust, and who can live to be 100 after smoking for 80 years. More power to them. But my grandfather died of lung cancer at the age of 58, and he smoked like a chimney and smelled like one. So did my favorite uncle, who died of emphysema at 55. I had a boyfriend once who stank of smoke every day of his life - and HE died of emphysema at 36! I always thought that smoking was nasty - and I still think so. It stinks up the air, and overworks your vacuum cleaner to get all the ashes off the carpet.

I have never smoked and never will, and I'm glad that my children never took up the habit. I don't think badly of my friends who smoke. I've got a few bad habits myself, such as overeating! But I don't want to lose any more of my beloved friends and relatives to something so useless as smoking. This probably would be a much healthier world if the English settlers hadn't learned how to smoke from the Indians. But the Indians themselves only smoked on ceremonial occasions - not as a constant habit!

I think that today's smokers are misguided by the advertising lobby. That industry should have tons of bad karma stretching into the next millennium.

OK, all you smokers out there - let me have it! I can take it!

5 years ago

Cigarettes are horrifically toxic and shouldhn't even be sold.  Over 4000 ingredients were added to cigarettes to make them more addictive.  Unintentional effects were atomic bonds that resulted in poisons like Hydrogen Cyanide.  But that's just one.


(Don't hate me, Shane!)

5 years ago


545 people working together can topple 300,000,000 or about 7 Billion on the global scale; simply becaue they work together, while those millions or billions just mill around; ignoring, blocking it out, or whatever they're concerning themselves with.  It's really quite pathetic. 


Agreed, it is pathetic, Shane.


5 years ago

Yeah, like Dawn of the damn Dead.  The bunch of us shuffling around, moaning and groaning uselessly, while a handful of people pick us off for amusement. 


Angelica, it's quite alright, I only smok once a week, and that's only if I'm out having a few beers.  (Beer without a smoke is like pizza without chees to me, it just doesn't work!).


But no, Mary's right, and you are, too.  There a sh_tload of additives, not just the ones to hook you, but also the pesticides they spray to keep the bugs off their crops.  And the preservatives.  And who knows what else?  Very bad stuff.  If I knew how, and had the time, I'd grow my own damn smokes. 




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