Walter Williams: ‘Americans deserve the IRS’

Jeff Poor Media Reporter
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It’s been often said that in a democracy people get the government they deserve. Conservative economist Walter E. Williams said in his May 29 column that Americans deserve the scandal-ridden Internal Revenue Service, and he elaborated on that point on Wednesday’s broadcast of Andrea Tantaros’ radio show.

Williams explained that the IRS was just an instrument of Congress, which is fulfilling the wishes of the people it represents.

“In my column that came out this week, I say that Americans deserve the IRS,” Williams said. “And at the end of the column, I say why. Now the bottom line is that the Congress needs a ruthless agency like the IRS. Why? Because we Americans want Congress to do certain things and we want what the IRS does — mainly to take the earnings of one American so that Congress can create a benefit for some other American.”

Williams went on to point out that the founding fathers never intended to create a government that functioned this way. But now that 50 percent of gross domestic product is connected with government spending of some sort, he said, the IRS is filling a required role.

“The IRS agents — they’re just following orders from the United States Congress,” he said. “This scandal is very, very important, but there’s even more fundamental issues. Look, from 1791 when our Constitution was ratified until 1930, federal spending was no more than 5 percent of the GDP. Today federal spending is 25 percent of the GDP. State and local government spend 15 percent of the GDP and if you include regulations, which are a devious form of taxation, we’re talking about the government taking slightly over 50 percent of what we produce. Now in order to get 50 percent of what Americans produce, you need an agency that is capable of putting the fear of God into the American citizen. And the IRS is that agency.”

Williams cited the Ten Commandments, pointing out that “thou shalt not steal” is problematic even when authorized by Congress.

“Once legalized theft begins, it pays for everybody to participate,” he added. “I think all of your listeners must recognize that when God gave Moses the commandment ‘Thou shalt not steal,’ he did not mean ‘thou shalt not steal unless you got a majority vote in Congress.’”

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