Just 545 people are responsible for our woes


POSTED: Thursday, September 17, 2009

After reading Charlie Reese's “;545 People,”; it has become scarily simple to explain the woes we have in our country.

Charlie Reese, a now-retired columnist for the Orlando Sentinel newspaper, has broken down our nation into two different groups.

The first group has 300 million United States citizens. Compare that to the second group, which has 100 senators, 435 congressmen, nine Supreme Court justices and one president, making a total of 545 politicians.

We as citizens of the United States of America cannot propose budgets like the president can. Nor do we have the constitutional authority to vote on appropriations like the House of Representatives has. We cannot write tax codes or set up fiscal policy like Congress can, nor control the monetary policy as the Federal Reserve can through Congress.

Furthermore, anything that the president vetoes can be overridden by the Congress. This is not a perspective, but a reality. This format is consistent throughout all levels of state, city and county governments as well. The results are always the same.

The transformation of a citizen to a politician works (kinda) like this: A nonpolitician decides to run for office and the intentions are always honorable. He communicates the wants and needs of his constituents and votes accordingly. The longer the nonpolitician remains in office, an amazing transition begins to take place.

He becomes an important person. Special-interest groups seek him out. Many avenues of opportunity, public and private become available. He begins to experience POWER. He no longer represents those constituents who voted him into office, but now votes for what he deems is best for them and not necessarily what they want. The longer he remains in office the more entrenched a politician he becomes, unwilling to give up the power he now has.

As Reese says, politicians are the only people who create problems and campaign against them.

Is there any wonder why voter registration nationwide—Hawaii as well—is on a downward spiral?

Wake up, America! We should vote all politicians out of office and institute mandatory terms, as we do for the president. We need to remove all “;perks”; and have those 545 politicians work as the rest of America is expected to.


Alfred Ontiveros, Jr. is a Waipahu resident and a registered voter.