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In 1984, Charley Reese was writing for the Orlando Sentinel, a newspaper he worked for between 1971 and 2001.

His column of February 3 was ‘545 people are responsible for the mess, but they unite in a common con’: taxation and war. This is how his column appeared in the Sentinel. The title changed on that graphic as it circulated during the 2008 presidential campaign under ‘The 545 people responsible for all of America’s woes’.

Reese rightly wondered how 545 people in the United States — 435 congressmen, one president, and nine Supreme Court justices — could control a population of 238 million. Those 545 people (emphases mine):

are directly, legally, morally and individually responsible for the domestic problems that plague this country

Don’t you see now the con game that is played on the people by the politicians? 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

It seems inconceivable to me that a nation of 235 million cannot replace 545 people who stand convicted – by present facts – of incompetence and irresponsibility.

I can’t think of a single domestic problem, from an unfair tax code to defense overruns, that is not traceable directly to those people.

When you fully grasp the plain truth that 545 people exercise complete power over 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 Lebanon, it’s because they want them in Lebanon.

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 it.

Above all, do not let them con you into the belief that there exist disembodied mystical force 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 they have the gumption to manage their own employees.

That’s where his column ended.

However, a few years ago, someone tacked on a great rant on tax, which has appeared online in various places from email to Facebook to The Conservative Treehouse to the Q-related Great Awakening on Reddit:

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:

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,
Its time to apply
The inheritance tax.
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

STILL THINK THIS IS FUNNY? 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 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!!!

GO AHEAD. . . BE AN AMERICAN!!!

SEND THIS TO EVERYONE YOU KNOW

I couldn’t agree more. My European readers will also appreciate this, because it applies equally to us on the other side of the pond. Canadians and those Down Under can also relate.

In the UK, we’re now taxed on having insurance. So, we’re being taxed for being responsible adults. Even worse, this legislation came in via our notionally Conservative government!

Returning to the US, President Donald Trump is the first president in probably a century to push for — and get — tax reform. Immediately, around Christmas, companies announced wage increases and more charitable donations. At the end of January, there were loads of online anecdotal reports of people receiving substantial increases in their paychecks — a few hundred to a thousand dollars — thanks to less tax being deducted and, in a number of cases, pay rises. See how and why lower taxes work?

It’s a shame that Charley Reese, who died in 2013, wasn’t around to experience this.

By the way, he led a fascinating life and even worked in England as a news caption writer between 1955 and 1957. He returned to the US to serve in the Army as a tank gunner. He also worked in advertising, public relations and speechwriting before pursuing journalism full time.

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