Government has no resources of its very own. Moreover, there is no Tooth Fairy or Santa Claus who gives the government resources. The recognition that government has no resources of its very own forces us to recognize that the only way Congress can give one American one dollar is to first, through intimidation, threats, and coercion, confiscate that dollar from some other American through its agents at the taxing authorities. Politicians do precisely what we elect them to office to do: take the rightful property of one American and give it to another.
If one asks the question: Which way are we headed, tiny steps at a time—toward more liberty or toward greater government control of our lives? The answer is unambiguously more government control of our lives. What can be done? To recover our liberty requires at the minimum putting Washington back to where it was from 1787 to 1920, when it spent only 3 percent of the GDP, except during times of war, as opposed to today’s more than 30 percent of GDP. A constitutional amendment limiting federal spending to, say, 10 percent of the GDP would be a good start.
From Walter E. Williams, the John M. Olin Distinguished Professor of Economics at George Mason University.