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    Who are the NERD fund donors Mr Snyder?

    Raise the curtain.

    546 People vs. We The People

    By Kevin Rex Heine, Section News
    Posted on Tue Aug 17, 2010 at 03:57:06 PM EST
    Tags: U.S. Constitution, President, Vice President, Senate, House of Representatives, SCOTUS, federal incompetence, federal irresponsibility, federal mismanagement (all tags)

    Charley Reese is a retired syndicated columnist (via King Features) who worked for the Orlando Sentinel from 1971 to 2001.  On March 7, 1985, he wrote a column entitled, "Looking For Someone To Blame? Congress Is A Good Place To Start."  This was a slightly updated version of his "Just 546 people to blame for U.S. errors," which was published on July 17, 1983, in the Elyria, Ohio, Chronicle-Telegram.  The column has been republished multiple times since then (notably in 1995 and in 2008), always with minor updating, and usually under the title "The 545 People Responsible for America's Woes," but with no change to the core point.

    What follows is my best effort to effectively blend the most widely circulated versions of the original article; I only hope that I do justice to the original work.

    Politicians are the only people in the world who create problems and then campaign against them.  For example, everything in the "Contract With America" was a problem originally created by Congress.

    Have you ever wondered why, if both the Democrats and Republicans are against deficits, we have deficits?  Have you ever wondered why, if all politicians are against inflation and high taxes, we have inflation and high taxes?

    To put this into perspective, just remember that 100 percent of the power of the federal government comes from the U.S. Constitution.  If it's not in the Constitution, it's not authorized.  Then read the Constitution.  All 100 percent of that power of the federal government is invested solely in 546 individual human beings.  That's all.  Of 300+ million Americans, only 546 of them wield 100 percent of the power of the federal government.

    435 members of the House of Representatives, 100 Senators, the President, the Vice President, and 9 Supreme Court justices - 546 human beings out of the entire population of the United States - are directly, legally, morally, and individually responsible for the domestic problems that plague this country.  Anything involving the government that is wrong is entirely their fault.

    (Versions of this article that ran after 1985 excluded the Vice President, because his only constitutional authority is to preside over the Senate and to cast tie-breaking votes.  But the original run of this article included him for that very reason:  The Vice President can cast that tie-breaking vote in any direction he wishes to; in fact, he's not even actually required to cast it at all!  Further, an appropriately active V.P., who has any semblance of negotiating skills, can actually advance the President's agenda within Congress.)

    I excused the members of the Federal Reserve Board because that problem was created by Congress.  In 1913, Congress delegated its constitutional duty to provide a sound currency to a private central bank operating under a federal charter.  And Congress can withdraw that authority any time it chooses to do so.

    I excluded all of 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 one million dollars in cash; the politician has the power to accept or reject that offer.  No matter what the lobbyist promises, it is the legislator's responsibility to determine how he votes.

    In fact, I can't think of a single domestic problem that is not traceable directly to those 546 people.  When you fully grasp the plain truth that those people, and they alone, exercise the full power of the federal government, then it must follow that what exists is what they want to exist.

    You think the tax laws are unjust?  Congress wrote them.  The annual deficits?  Congress votes for them.  The double-digit-trillion-dollar debt?  Congress created it.  Americans dying in third world rat holes for no good reason?  Congress allows it.  Out of control bureaucracies with too many rules?  Congress authorizes everything bureaucracies do.  Federal agencies (IRS, DEA, ATF&E) running amok?  Go see Congress.

    All federal bureaucracies and agencies are created by Congress or by executive order of the President.  All are financed by Congress and staffed by the authority of the President.  All enforce laws passed by Congress and operate under procedures authorized by Congress.  In fact, all the power exercised by the 3 million or so federal employees is power that is delegated by the 546 who are actually running the show.

    Congress (with the cooperation of the President, Vice President, and Supreme Court) is the originator of all government problems, and is also the only remedy available.  That's why, of course, politicians go to such extraordinary lengths and employ world-class sophistry to make you think they're not responsible.  Anytime a congressman pretends to be outraged by something a federal bureaucrat does, he is in fact engaging in one massive con job.  No federal employee can act at all except to enforce laws passed by Congress and/or to employ procedures authorized, either explicitly or implicitly, by Congress.

    Don't you see the shell game that is being played on the people by the political class?  Those 546 people spend much of their time and energy convincing you that what they did is not their fault.  They cooperate in this common con regardless of party.

    What separates the politician from a normal human being is an excessive amount of gall.  No normal person would have the audacity of the speaker of the house who stood up and on the record criticized the president for creating deficits.

    Partisans on both sides like to blame presidents for deficits, but all deficits are actually congressional deficits.  The president may, by custom, recommend a budget, but his proposal carries no legal weight.  The Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land, gives sole authority to the House of Representatives for originating appropriations and taxes.  That's what the federal budget consists of: expenditures authorized, funds appropriated, and taxes levied.

    The Speaker of the House is the leader of the majority party.  That person and fellow House members, not the president, can approve any budget they want.  If the president vetoes it, they can override his veto if enough of them agree to do so.

    Both Democrats and Republicans mislead the public on a regular basis.  For 40 years Democrats had majorities in Congress and could have at any time balanced the budget if they had chosen to do so.  Republicans had majorities for 12 years and could have done the same thing.  The Democrats have had the majority for the past 2 years and could, if they choose, pass a balanced budget this year.  Every president, Democrat or Republican, could have vetoed appropriations that did not make up a balanced budget, or could have recommended a balanced budget.  None has done either.

    There are no insoluble government problems.  We have annual deficits and a huge federal debt because that's what the majorities in Congress and the presidents in the White House wanted.  We have American troops scattered across the globe in places they don't need to be because Congress and the President want them there.  We have federal agencies that are operating outside their constitutional limitations because the 546 people currently running the federal government are perfectly comfortable with that situation.

    Don't be conned; don't let them escape responsibility.  Those 546 people, and they alone, are responsible.  They should be held accountable by the people who are their bosses - provided the voters have the gumption to manage their employees.  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.  We simply have to sort through 300+ million people until we find 546 who will act responsibly.

    As an afterthought, what can we Americans do to improve our government?  Shouldn't we work together as a nation, instead of dividing ourselves?  300 million against 546 . . . it is our country, our choice.  Let's ask ourselves what we're going to do to make a change.  Will we stand up and be heard, or will we sit back and complain?  We have choices, and it's time we began to make them.

    < Its nice when the left is bummed. | Back to school for Brooks. >

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    I love the 546 column. (none / 0) (#1)
    by maidintheus on Tue Aug 17, 2010 at 09:45:51 PM EST
    If people would just stop and realize that a vast number of the electorate can control the government.

    Yet it begs the question, who voted for these politicians?
    In 2004 general 122,294,978 people did (or 55.3% of registered voters). In 2008 132,618,580 people voted in the general (56.8%).

    Parents aren't passing down knowledge and critical thinking and our schools are...I don't have an appropriate adjective right now.  

    • Hmmmm by Corinthian Scales, 08/19/2010 11:03:43 AM EST (none / 0)
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