George Mason University professor and renowned economist Walter E. Williams on March 7 delivered a rousing keynote address to the founders of the Independence Institute, entitled, “The Legitimate Role of Government in a Free Society.”
Williams’ address examined the growth of the federal government within the context of constitutional liberty.
“In the course of my comments I’m going to say things that will break with conventional wisdom on a whole range of topics. I’m going to say some things that may sound mean, mean-spirited, uncaring and politically incorrect,” said Williams.
“One of the justifications for the growth of government—far beyond what the founders envisioned for us; the justification is fairness and justice,” said Walters. “But we must also ask, What fair and what is just?”
In answering these questions, Williams referred to the U.S. Constitution and the vision of our Founding Fathers.
“Nowhere in the Constitution do we find authority for Congress to tax and spend up to three quarters of what Congress taxes and spends today,” said Williams. “In other words, there is no Constitutional authority for farm subsidies, bank bailouts and food stamps,” he said.
“We can safely say that we have made a significant departure from the constitutional principles of individual liberty and limited government. And it was indeed limited government that made us a rich nation in the first place. And the principles – these principles of freedom – were embodied in our nation through the combined institutions of private ownership of property and free enterprise.”
The Independence Institute is a Colorado-based think tank that promulgates pro-freedom economic policies.
Watch Williams full address below: