Of all the people writing about politics in America, no one makes more sense (to me)  more often than Walter Williams.

Over the next five months, we’re going to be hearing and having discussions about what’s “fair” and what’s not “fair” when it comes to how much you and I should be taxed.

How much would money would be a “fair” amount of money for the government to take from you or me to give to someone else?

Lots of smart people will make convincing arguments for both sides.

And they’ll all be wrong.

Because it’s never “fair” to forcibly take money from one person and give it to another.

“…does an act that’s clearly immoral and illegal when done privately become moral when it is done legally and collectively? Put another way, does legality establish morality? Before you answer, keep in mind that slavery was legal; apartheid was legal; the Nazi’s Nuremberg Laws were legal; and the Stalinist and Maoist purges were legal. Legality alone cannot be the guide for moral people. The moral question is whether it’s right to take what belongs to one person to give to another to whom it does not belong.

Don’t get me wrong. I personally believe that assisting one’s fellow man in need by reaching into one’s own pockets is praiseworthy and laudable. Doing the same by reaching into another’s pockets is despicable, dishonest and worthy of condemnation. Some people call governmental handouts charity, but charity and legalized theft are entirely two different things. But as far as charity is concerned, James Madison, the acknowledged father of our Constitution, said, “Charity is no part of the legislative duty of the government.”

Understanding and adhering to  the sentiments of those two paragraphs would eliminate about 90% of our country’s problems.


  • Tim

    The biggest part of this “stealing” is wealth transfer from the working to the non working for retirement benefits (i.e. social security and medicare). What ideas does “smartest man in the room” Walter Williams have for solving this theft? I’d be all for saving for MY retirement, provided I wasn’t taxed to pay for anybody else’s.

    • John Steigerwald

      He says social security was a lie from the beginning and all federal entitlement programs are unconstitutional.And he says people who have paid in could be paid by money gained from selling federal land.

      • Tim

        I’m all for selling Federal land that the military doesn’t need although I’m skeptical of how much revenue it would generate. If I’m 60 I’m certainly not forgoing Soc. Sec. and Medicare benefits for 40 acres in the middle of Nevada or Alaska.

        • John Steigerwald

          The reveonue from selling the land would be used to reimburse the 60 yr olds.

          • Tim

            How much do you expect the sale of Federal land to net? Soc. Sec. and Medicare cost a trillion a year. If Federal land was worth trillions up trillions they would of sold it long ago.

          • John Steigerwald

            It’s worth trillions.

          • Dan

            Isn’t that a little like selling the mineral rights for your land to a coal company for life in exchange for a few bucks just to pay your January electric bill?

          • John Steigerwald


          • Dan

            Well then can you provide a source to back your claim that it’s worth trillions? One that isn’t the product of a thinktank but some actual numbers?

          • John Steigerwald

            Office of management and budget estimated the value at $800 billion. That’s not calculating the rise in price as demand would go up.

  • Mike from Boston

    Bingo, John. This is a sentiment I keep trying to get through to my liberal friends. When compassion becomes law, it ceases to be compassion.

    This also echoes Nixon’s infamous words to David Frost, though replacing the word “President” with the word “Government”.

    “When the Government does it, that means it’s not illegal.”

  • oksteeler

    I realize we have to have a tax, but not an income tax. It is not fair, moral and the original legality is questionable. I understand it’s legal now, but it doesn’t make it right.
    Even if you leave welfare out of it and just cut 1/4 of government departments and have salary reductions and pension reductions on all federal employees, they wouldn’t need as much of our money.
    I’m a small business owner and I’m taxed to death, with the slowing economy, I’m not hiring and instead have done the opposite. I won’t be hiring in the near future with Obamacare breathing down my neck, the looming tax increases, I won’t even be considering making any new hires.
    However, I don’t see the end of income tax in my lifetime.