545 People

This guy poses a few questions you might enjoy chewing on.  He is Charlie Reese. He recently wrote his last column for the Orlando Sentinel.

Question: If both Democrats and Republicans in Congress are against deficits, why do we have deficits?  If all politicians are against inflation and high taxes, why do we have them?

Who writes the tax code?  Congress does.  Who sets fiscal policy? Congress does.  Who are responsible for the domestic problems that plague this country? The members of Congress are.

“I cannot think of a single domestic problem that is not traceable directly to those 545 people,” he writes. “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.”

Charlie suggests that if the tax code is unfair, it is because the members of Congress want it to be unfair.

He suggests that if the budget is in the red, it is because they want it to be in the red.  If our soldiers are in Iraq and Afghanistan it is because they want them there.

He reminds us that members of Congress do not receive Social Security. They are on an elite retirement plan that is not available to the people. Why is that? Because they want it that way.

“Do not let these 545 people shift the blame to bureaucrats, whom they hire and whose jobs they can abolish,” he writes. And do not let them blame the lobbyists. They can reject the gifts and advice they receive from them.

Do not let them blame regulators either, he cautions. Congress members give the power to regulate to those regulators. They can just as easily remove the 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.”

Charlie reckons those 545 people are responsible for what comes out of Washington. They alone are.  It is a simple thought.  One we often overlook in our debates over issues.

“They, and they alone, have the power.

“They, and they alone, should be held accountable by the people who are their bosses.” That is, you and me.

Charlie’s thoughts remind me of candidates for Congress over the last 50 years. I suspect every one of them promised to fight for lower spending. There has probably never been a candidate for Congress who did not promise to cut wasteful spending.

So when is the last time you saw Congress truly attack the government waste we all know exists? When is the last time you saw a sincere and sustained effort from Congress to cut the spending?

I suppose this is why Americans tell pollsters they have about as much regard for Congress as they do for sewer rats.  Now I’ll probably get a protest from Rat Lovers of America.   

From Tom ... as in Morgan.                  

For more columns and for Tom’s radio shows and new TV shows (and to write to Tom): tomasinmorgan.com.

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