Walter E. WilliamsWalter E. Williams, (1936-2020) Columnist, Professor of Economics at George Mason University

Walter E. Williams Quote

“Conservatives and liberals are kindred spirits as far as government spending is concerned. ... Since government has no resources of its own, and since there’s no Tooth Fairy handing Congress the funds for the programs it enacts, we are forced to recognize that government spending is no less than the confiscation of one person’s property to give it to another to whom it does not belong -- in effect, legalized theft.”

Walter E. WilliamsWalter E. Williams
~ Walter E. Williams

Ratings and Comments

Mike, Norwalk

We hold this truth to be self evident. No longer in the US is private ownership recognized at law. The theft is complete. Some times the statist theocracy, under its arbitrary rules (this no longer being a government of law but rather, a government of men) will temporarily allow a resemblance for control's sake.

J Carlton, Calgary

Oh but there IS a tooth fairy handing the government money. Its not real money, it's just about as valuable as Monopoly money...but you will pay back the interest on the loan for these paper tickets with your labor, or you will go to jail.

jim k, Austin, Tx

You commit theft and you go to jail. The hacks in our congress do it and get paid to do it.

dick, fort worth

Another meaningless quote.

J Carlton, Calgary

Actually're just another meaningless communist.

Barbara, Austin

For the most part you are right. Every now and then Congress actually comes up with an idea that will help all of us and then funds it. Unfortunately, most Congress men's & women's ideas plus funding goes to their special interests (usually companies & individuals who fund their campaigns) or to fund yet another war.

Waffler, Smith

Editor where do you find the clowns that you tab as famous quotes. People were joking about government back in Washington's time. This crap ain't new in the last 30 years. We have less debt today than we had in 1948, we have lower income taxes etcetera. Washinton almost could not fight the war due to the stingeness of Congress. At one point he virtually offered to finance it himself. Where are our patriots like that today.

ValerieN, Richmond VA.

The government consists of legalized thieves.

Robert, St. Emilion, France

Sorry, but this quote is way out of reality as it paints a broad stroke over a very complex canvas.....

  • Reply
anonymous    9/16/14

Move to a country that has no programs.

Robert, St. Emilion, France

America no longer has a democracy or a republic - it lost any sense of ethics and morality when the politicians sold their sold to the corporations and the military. It is a fascist, military, oligarchy with religion as its bedfellow... It is so obvious why America and the west are beating the drums of war. It's called protecting the empire and grabbing more resources while you're doing it! If you don't wish to be invaded by America and the West you better be in debt to the IMF (central banks), trade in dollars, and grow Broccoli...

Robert, St. Emilion, France

"The greatest threat to peace is the barrage of rightist propaganda portraying war as decent, honorable, and patriotic." - Jeannette Rankin
Resource: ICH

Mike, Norwalk

Waffler, WHAT ? ? ? Your mis-direction / off topic would only be sad if it weren't for the heinous happenstance of your occupying statist theocracy infesting this land. Well over half the working age individuals are on some type of government dole; and, of those working, nearly half are supported one way or another by government based emoluments (construction, infrastructure, military, directly, military industry complex, etc.). That means less than one forth of the people are paying for three fourths of the people's existence. Mathematically, that isn't possible so, enter the Federal Reserve to make the theft complete and the upcoming crash inevitable. No individual owns property, the government owns it all (you may have a title but, that is not ownership) = that is theft. No individual owns his being or labors, the government owns it all = that is theft. A once land of liberty has had peace, prosperity, property, etc. stolen a long time ago (equally by both left and right).

Mike, Pleasant Hill

The Wafflers strike again! There are plenty of countries that are in line with your beliefs why don't you go live there for a while and stop screwing up our country for those of us to actually believe in liberty and freedom and the rule of law under natural law.

jim k, austin tx

Walter Williams is exactly right and this quote brings the commies out of the woodwork to reply negatively. Mark Twain remarked as to public servants ; " Persons chosen by the people to distribute the graft".

Bob L., Charlotte, VT

LOVE THIS SITE! It raises the ire of both the right and the left.
My guess (and it's as good as any other's) is there's truth in each statement from readers; how much truth may never be determined. Anyway, if ISIS/IS/ISIL has its way, the freedom espoused and expressed by this site may find its head rolling down the street. And THEN each or any of us may find extreme right and left conjoined in appreciation of our democratic republic's first amendment -- not FORCED to become Islamic, but choosing it as one of our many God-given rights.

Ronw13, Yachats Or

Well said Jim ! The quote puts a face on reality. As FDR said, now all have become slaves to the state forever. Socialism forced upon the people. Joining ranks with Europe. Strong arming by way of the money lenders.

E Archer, NYC

I notice that those that have objected most strongly above have been generally 'progressive' in their past posted opinions -- even though Williams blames conservatives as equally as liberals. Seems like a knee-jerk reaction.

It's even worse than Williams admits that the government takes from one to give (some) to another and it is in essence legalized theft -- the truth is the government borrows much more than what it can steal from the people in order to pay for those 'programs' that anonymous above defends. The USSR had even more programs -- why don't you move there, anonymous -- oh, that's right, their completely controlled economy crashed. It can't happen here? It's already happening -- the US economy is headed for strictly palliative care to make the inevitable as painless as possible (for those holding the purse strings, that is). And to top it all off, the 'money' the government 'borrows' at interest is created the instant they borrow it -- thus increasing the money supply without an increase in its backing resulting in inflation. This inflation is the greatest theft -- it steals from everyone who actually have any money (rather than debt).

As long as conservatives and liberals continue their ignorance of economics and therefore act in collusion with those that hold the nation's debt (and piling on more), the people will continue to be fleeced and the prosperity of all will be squeezed. If the people cannot prevent their government from borrowing more on their backs, how long can we keep the charade going? Sooner or later the people will have to admit that the emperor is wearing no clothes! ;-)

E Archer, NYC

;-) Waffler -- too funny -- there is not one iota of truth to any sentence in your post. But I guess I have to ask, did you find that in your Funk and Wagnall's?

warren, olathe

To fully understand the quote you need to understand where Williams is coming from. The quote when taken in its entirety is indisputable. Waffler just makes crap up. Libs can do that because they can redefine anything to mean anything they want it to. As you may remember it depends on what your definition of what is is. Therefore all they say is true. Whatever supports their position is therefore true. Facts are arbitrary.

Mary - MI
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Mary - MI    9/17/14

Thumbs up to the wise intellectual Walter Williams.
And, thumbs down to all the Progressive-Socialist .. Big Brother serf ignoramuses such as Reston, Robert, St. Emilion of France, dick of fort worth and Waffler who most certainly would proudly clothe themselves in a Hammer and Sickle.
They are truly enveloped in the 10 Planks of the Communist Manifesto.

John, Newcastle, Wa.

warren. Well stated. Basically, we have one party; the government party; it just has two names, republican and democrat.
Also, The federal government has no resorces of its own. It creates nothing and it has nothing to sell. Everything it has, it TAKES from The People.
??? "We have less debt today than we had in 1948." ??? 06/30/1948; 252 billion. 17 Trillion today.


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