The 555

Rate this post

Journalist Charley Reese worked for the Orlando Sentinel for 3 decades from 1971 to 2001, during which, among his other duties, he penned a thrice-weekly opinion column.
In the 1980s, he wrote the first version of the non-partisan column below, which eventually was published in the Sentinel‘s March 7, 1995 edition as “Looking For Someone to Blame? Congress is a Good Place to Start.” [Authenticated by] The poem, “Taxed to Death,” and the list of “Taxes A-Z” were added by some anonymous e-mailer(s).
My only disagreement with Reese is that, in the end, it’s We the People who are responsible because we put “The 555” there.
H/t my sis-in-law Shireen.

Charley Reese’s Final Column: The 555

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 nine Supreme Court justices equates to 555 human beings out of the 300 million are directly, legally, morally, and individually responsible for the domestic problems that plague this country. I’ve 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 555 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 was the speaker of the House? Nancy Pelosi. She was 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 555 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 555 people. When you fully grasp the plain truth that 555 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 and Marines are in Iraq and Afghanistan it’s because they want them in Iraq and Afghanistan.
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 555 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 555 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!

Taxed to Death

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 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,
It’s 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 
  • Gross Receipts Tax
  • Hunting License Tax
  • Inheritance Tax
  • Inventory Tax
  • IRS Interest Charges
  • IRS Penalties
  • 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, but America was the most prosperous in the world. We had no national debt, had the largest middle class in the world, and Mom stayed home to raise the kids.
What in the  world happened?

Please follow and like us:

0 responses to “The 555

  1. What happened is that private banks, starting w/the 17th c. Dutch, quietly convinced the central gubbmints of Europe to trust them with the creation of a fiat currency, which allowed feral gubbmints a way to fiance wars without end [sound familiar?] in a way that wasn’t noticed by us tax-paying serfs. Such a deal!
    It’s all laid out in Stephen Zarlenga’s magnum opus, “The Lost Science of Money”, which is where I also first learned why Friday the thirteenth became a superstition. Stephen revealed it long before “The DaVinci Code” was published. The Rothschilds were the first to go international, by financing BOTH sides of the English/French wars as well as the US Civil War/War of Secession, by making multiple attempts to take-over the central bank of the new United States of America.
    Jefferson warned us many times about this, and Andrew Jackson put an end to the last attempted take-over, as did Lincoln. Abe wasn’t as lucky as Andy, however, as he got the Rothschild agent’s bullet. All went well enough until the Panic of 1893, one deliberately created to crush the middle class, and give more power to the banks, led by –guess who?– a European consortium led by JP Morgan, under orders from the Rothschilds. Ho hum, they’re only sheeple, need fleecing, you know.
    We were safe under the gold standard, until President Woodhead Wilson caved into the Rothschild’s agent, one “Colonel” [he wasn’t] House and the cabal in the Senate which created the Federal Reserve Bank. This monster isn’t Federal, has no Reserves, and is not a bank, but a syndicate of private banksters who manipulate our currency and defraud our monetary system, paying themselves 6% a year, and if you’re rich enough, you can buy shares in it. They never tell you about that part, do they? Are you getting that much on your savings? I didn’t think so….
    Neither Kanada nor the US can ever be free until we END the FED. Period. This is why Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich are ignored by the bankster-owned MSM. Stephen Zarlenga’s book suggests the Federal Reserve Bunco –sorry, I meant Bank!– be kept only as an accounting institution, not as a currency-creating one, and retail banks cease creating fiat currency electronically.
    This is a complex subject and I’ve vented my spleen on it, but you all are very intelligent people and can quickly get to the root of the problem from the info herein presented.
    Good luck, God bless, and all best!

  2. Having been born in 1980, I am sad to report that I don’t remember life any other way.

  3. A couple of years ago, county by county in Western Washington, the sales tax was raised 1/2 cent — Mental Health tax. I know because my it was my responsibility to update the tax codes in the company database. As I understand it, the money is earmarked for treatment of drug and alcohol addiction.
    With Obamacare in effect, why should local governments have anything to do with ANY medical care or payment for ANY treatment?

    • Not to put too fine a point on it, but the Obamamama’s concern is not for us mere sheeple, but the further enrichment of Big Pharma, which is already –ahead of the oil companies!– the MOST PROFITABLE sector in what’s left of our once triumphant economy.
      I guess that’s part of his payoff to them for getting him sElected…. Not that Billary’s going to be any better. The Fraud will continue to do what is ordered of him, unless he really wants to be exposed. NOT!
      Dear God, wouldn’t it be grand to get our countries back! Let it be, let it be!!

      • I don’t believe in turning a wealthy industry into a villain (big oil, big tobacco, big pharma, etc). We can’t talk about wanting capitalism and then turn around an criticize whatever industry we perceive to be too rich,

        • When I write of capitalism, I mean classic, small-saver entrepreneurial savings set aside for the initiation of an owner or family enterprise. That is what I did in my life, as did many millions of others. Big Pharma and other mega-corporations no longer depend on the savings of their original owners: they have a stock market license to virtually print money for whatever purpose they wish. I know intimately how this works, as I’ve been a witness to this activity, in a very minor way, of course.
          The problem w/the moneyed set is still what Adam Smith stated more than two hundred years ago: that as soon as they meet, they cannot help but conspire to fix prices and limit free markets, the better to enrich themselves. Smith was first of all a Christian theologian, concerned for the moral and ethical aspects of usury and capital. See
          Today’s hucksters and banksters lift his writing out of context and put it in our faces w/a “So there!” attitude, as if it were the gospel truth. He would be appalled, of course, to see the terrible twist put upon his thinking, perhaps no more so than in the cruel misuse of his phrase, “the invisible hand”.
          “The misuse of the ‘invisible hand’ metaphor is on of most frequent topics. Smith used the metaphor once in Theory of Moral Sentiments and once more in Wealth of Nations. It is an incidental reference in both cases and in neither case is to referring to a magical free market.”
          For a Christian commentary on the metaphor as Smith used it, check out this post:
          This is a complicated historical reference, and I cannot take more space here for it. If you want more information please write me at “” By the bye, Smith considered his “Theory of Moral Sentiments” as his master work, as he was not chiefly an economist.
          All best, J

        • Right on, Steverino! There’s no excuse for the Fraud sucking up to Big Pharma when it’s the fattest profit center of ALL markets: making zillions by playing with our lives!

          • Making zillions playing with our lives? Come on. We’re conservatives. We’re smarter than to use liberal hyperbole.
            I used to work in pharmacies in my younger days. Why does Canada get such discounts? Because they whined to the UN about how their socialized healthcare plan couldn’t afford to pay full retail, so they qualify for discounts normally given to developing countries. Also, Canadians have much less power to sue a drug maker for making them sick, so the cost of doing business in Canada is much less risky.
            WalMart makes zillions selling food that otherwise might keep starving people alive. Are they playing with people’s lives?
            All of these companies, big and small, lobby the government for favors. If an industry with a razor-thin profit margin does the same thing, are they evil for doing it, or just the rich guys?
            I’m not defending Obama for cutting a deal with them – because he obviously did – but there’s no point in singling out one industry when everyone else is doing the exact same thing. I saw the effects the war on Big Tobacco has had on the southeastern part of our country. Attacking an industry that makes a product *never* turns out well.

            • If we want to blame anyone for why healthcare is so expensive here, in all fairness the biggest problem really is insurance.
              Republican geniuses in 1993 tied healthcare benefits to employers forevermore, and since then the HMO system has become a real racket.
              But I don’t sit around attacking them, because that’s the predictable outcome when the government sets up bogus systems.
              Go back and read this article again, The 555. Reese’s whole point is that we can’t let politicians off the hook by blaming the industries who offered them money. No one twisted Obama’s arm to take favors from anyone.

  4. Sent this to the GOP,as they have ALL LOST THEIR WAY!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *