My father was about as non-political a person as I was ever around. He did not read a newspaper and, to my knowledge, never voted in an election. Much of that had to do with not having finished high school and working 16-hour days. He was born in 1905 and raised his children through the Great Depression and WWII. When asked about government or politics my father had a standard answer, “It’s a mess.”  
   We can all detail the problems.  The IRS, four open borders, the VA mess, a national debt that boggles the mind and a long list of other problems that seem to defy logic.  So who shall we blame?
   There are 327,000,000 people living in the U.S., and yet we can point the finger of blame at less than one-thousandth of 1 percent of the total population.  Who makes up that small fraction of the population?  We have 435 representatives and 100 senators, one president, and nine members of the Supreme Court, for a total of 545.  These 545 hold 100 percent of the power of the federal government.  Thus, anything that is wrong with the government of the U.S., they either made it that way or failed to fix it.   
   How can that be?  Well, all bureaucracies of the government were created by Congress or by executive order of the president.  All are financed by Congress and all enforce laws passed by Congress.
  You don’t like the policies of our Agriculture Department?  Go see Congress.  You think the IRS, VA and any of the other agencies that regulate us are out of control?  Go see Congress.  Congress is the only originator of all regulatory agencies and, because of the way our Constitution is written, they are the only remedy for the problems of the various agencies.  
    We like to blame our presidents for our country’s problems.  After all, a president is the most visible of our national leaders.  Surely we can blame the presidents for budget deficits.  Not so.  Our Constitution gives responsibility for financial issues to congress.  Only Congress is empowered  to authorize, appropriate and levy taxes.  If they don’t authorize it the President can’t spend it.
   For the past 40 years, Democrats and Republicans have each held control of the two houses of Congress almost an equal amount of time and, yet, during those four decades we have only had six years of balanced federal budgets.  Members of Congress can point all the fingers they want at the other political party but if they want to know the real cause of the problem they should just look in the mirror.
    With thanks to Charlie Reese, formerly of the Orlando, Florida Sentinel.

    Dr. Mark L. Hopkins writes for More Content Now and Scripps Newspapers. He is past president of colleges and universities in four states and currently serves as executive director of a higher-education consulting service. Contact him at