Social Question

plethora's avatar

What do you think about this rather lengthy quote re politicians?

Asked by plethora (9579points) February 23rd, 2010

I really don’t know if lengthy quotes like this are allowed, so if not, zap it. There are so many comments on here praising the Democrats. I see few that are pro-Republican. I think this adds a balance and more of a bipartison spirit to our attitude toward our entire government. I’m glad to have a two party system, but this points out the contributions or lack thereof of all politicians. Do you think this is fair treatment of the subject, or not?


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 9 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 game 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? Nancy Pelosi. She is the leader of the majority party. She 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.

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, it’s because they want them in IRAQ.

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.

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25 Answers

CaptainHarley's avatar

YES! I’ve said some of those same things myself! : )

frigate1985's avatar

Indeed. Reminiscent of the book “Lies My Teacher Told Me” chapter 8, the Federal Gov’t.

wilma's avatar

YES! again @plethora .

marinelife's avatar

Actually, I think the blame rests squarely on us, the people. We are the ones who elect these people.

frigate1985's avatar

@marinelife good thing we didnt elect Geo Bush

Cruiser's avatar

It’s reckless and irresponsible and nothing but the same inflammatory hand waving rhetoric that sells fluff and nothing more. There is not one single constructive sentence in his comments and does nothing more than state the obvious. We need solutions to the problems at hand not more whining and finger pointing.

marinelife's avatar

@frigate1985 It would have been a good thing if he was not foisted on us.

frigate1985's avatar

@marinelife yeeeah but still…

The electoral college is supposed to be a mechanism that prevents the so-called “idiot-rule” and I think there’s a counter-example to that now…

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

One way out of this is to do away with politics as a career. Elect representatives dedicated to certain issues, they leave when their mission is accomplished or are deemed ineffective in working toward that goal. Another structural proplem is that first-term Representatives and Senators have almost no voice; seniority system has to go. How to achieve these things, I haven’t a clue. My gut instinct is to vote against all incumbents; if the major opponent is a real stinker, then vote third-party. But always vote. Third parties may not be “electable” but they send a message if the numbers are high enough.
I’d love to see a “none of the above” box on the ballot; if that wins a majority, new elections with new candidates.

Russell_D_SpacePoet's avatar

I have to agree wholeheartedly. We need to set term limits on all politicians that way you take the “I’ve got to get re-elected” mentality out of the way. Then we need to do away with the electoral votes. The electoral vote is a remnant of a time when Americans were more illiterate and uneducated in the ways of government. Then we have the Federal Reserve…It needs to be audited and disbanded. It is nothing more than a central bank. Privately owned. It has no business being in the capacity it is. Look up the central bank on England if you want an example of why having a private central bank can be.
I also think that funding for presidential election campaigns should be from a public fund and keep huge big money out of the race. I don’t know. We may need to set income restrictions on politicians also. Otherwise we keep ending up with the “haves” running the country and the “have nots” being ignored.

CMaz's avatar

Was I expected to read that?

Would have been better if you used “whisper”.

Seek's avatar

Like most of the quotes like this I read, my response is this:

What the hell am I supposed to do about it?

My only power is to elect my representatives. Which I can’t do, as I’m voting against the majority in my district.

I’m f*cked.

CaptainHarley's avatar


Not true. There are a multitude of ways to influence politics that involve neither significant amounts of money nor being a member of the party in power: write to your representatives, form an organization that backs what you believe in or just join an existing one, donate ( if you can ) to the campaigns of candidates you favor, write letters to the editor, write an online blog, organize a letter-writing campaign, carry a sign and picket, organize a sit-in, etc. You are limited only by your creativity.

Seek's avatar


Honestly, when was the last time a letter to the editor made a real difference? Honestly.

…. “Yes, Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus”?

Qingu's avatar

People who complain about “politicians” remind me of people who complain about “lawyers.”

There are certainly problematic examples in both groups of people, and probably systemic problems with the way politics and the legal system work. But the type of generalized whining in the OP strikes me as lazy, nonspecific scapegoating more than anything. Like whining about “the system” or “the Man.”

It’s easier to whine about “the politicians” as if they were a monolithic block of malevolence than, for example, figuring out which politicians are actually worth supporting, or getting involved in the system yourself.

CaptainHarley's avatar


Why stop with just ONE letter to the editor? When you combine your efforts with those of others and each of you uses several different options, who knows what can happen. You seem to lack confidence and perseverence.

Seek's avatar

On the contrary, I have enough power of reason to know when I would be simply wasting my efforts.

My ideal society cannot exist in this country. The general populace wouldn’t allow it, much less the government in power. Speak all you will about perseverance and faith, I know ordering a mountain out of the path is not possible.

wundayatta's avatar

It’s pure, know-nothing bloviation. The dude likes to hear his own bs. It takes no responsibility for voting the people he doesn’t like into office in the first place. It completely ignores the fact that everybody likes their own Congress Critter. It’s just the other ones that are the problem.

Yeah. People like to mouth off. They like to complain. They like to sound important. They like to act as if they are actually doing something, when, of course, all they are doing is complaining.

Ron_C's avatar

Good old Charlie Reese. He is an astute observer and interviewer. He is completely right but the blame really belongs to us voters. We vote in these self-centered egocentric trash. We don’t force term limits, we want low taxes and entitlements, we support useless wars. We get the government we deserve. I don’t remember being bad enough to deserve this punishment but I am only one of 300 million.

I would support capital punishment for politicians guilty of malfeasance or gross incompetence in office. Congress needs to feel in danger of their lives. We should not fear congress or their policies killing our kids.

plethora's avatar

@Ron_C Dontcha just know it…:)

Ron_C's avatar

@plethora the worst thing that happens to a congressman is that they don’t get re-elected and get a government pension for the rest of their lives. That is not enough punishment for ruining the country and people’s lives.

CaptainHarley's avatar

Bring back the sword of Damoclees! : D

Ron_C's avatar

@CaptainHarley that’s the trouble with congress, not enough swords.

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