Commentary by Charlie Reese
Politicians are the only people in the world who create problems and then campaign against them.
Have you ever wondered why, if both the Democrats and the Republicans are against deficits, we have deficits?
Have you ever wondered why, if all the politicians are against inflation and high taxes, 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 - 545 human beings out of 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? 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 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.
I've been saying this for a long time. Congress could balance the budget tomorrow, if they wanted. They merely have to say "This is how much revenue we have, so this is all we're going to spend", but they won't. They won't because it would require hard choices: Cutting entitlements, cutting favoured programmes, perhaps raising taxes, most definitely restructuring taxes. They don't want to make those choices, so they pass the buck, rather trillions of bucks, on to our children and grandchildren.
Barfle has commented several times about Congress' shirking its duty to declare war in Iraq and handing that authority to the President. The President exercised that authority when he was given it, and many in Congress, including many who voted to give it to him, expressed outrage that he would do so. But that has become the way Congress does its business, by not doing the business. Congressmen then express outrage at the way the people they've authorized to do it, do it. They are cowards and worse, but they apparently represent the will of the people, who also don't want to face hard choices. President Bush made hard choices, and the people turned against him for it.
Choices have to be made, but we have a Congress that refuses to make them. As the commentary notes, this is not a partisan issue, Congress has been shirking its responsibility for decades, regardless of which party was in charge.
I wouldn't look to President Obama to make the hard choices, either. He wouldn't make them when he was a Senator, what makes anyone think he will make them now? He claims to have stood up against the war in Iraq, yet the only opportunity he had to actually make a differnce was his vote on the appropriation to continue funding the war, and he voted in favour of it. That's not exactly the profile in courage we're looking for.