Williams: Free stuff is not free

Just a quick economics primer from Prof. Walter E. Williams’ syndicated column this morning. The “stuff” some refer to as “free” always has a cost, even if you’re not paying a price for it. Think about it and read today’s column.

An excerpt.

The vision of getting something for nothing, or getting something that someone else has to pay for, explains why so many Americans are duped by politicians.

That’s all you get … go read the rest.

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Steve McGough

Steve's a part-time conservative blogger. Steve grew up in Connecticut and has lived in Washington, D.C. and the Bahamas. He resides in Connecticut, where he’s comfortable six months of the year.


  1. scottm on August 31, 2010 at 4:18 am

    Both parties have spent a lot of money, the difference is what they spend it on.  Wars and tax cuts contribute to debt also.

  2. Dimsdale on August 31, 2010 at 4:19 am

    "The good news is that, according to the Obama administration, the rich will pay for everything. The bad news is that, according to the Obama administration, you're rich."    -P. J. O'Rourke

  3. Dimsdale on August 31, 2010 at 4:48 am

    Bottom line: government spending increases debt.  Time to limit the spending to just what we need, not always what we want.

  4. TomL on August 31, 2010 at 5:12 am

    Tax cuts only contribute to debt because the spend money they didn't have in the first place

  5. GdavidH on August 31, 2010 at 5:43 am

    Tax cuts don't add to the deficit… overspending does. we all, except scottm, agree.

    War, or rather the defense of the nation, protection of the collective states, should be the ONLY activity the federal gov't uses tax revenues for.

  6. Tbone McGraw on August 31, 2010 at 5:46 am

    Hey Scott!! It's our money!!! Tax cuts add to the deficit? IT'S OUR MONEY STUPID!!!!

  7. PatRiot on August 31, 2010 at 6:02 am

    I will agree with Scott in the fact that a tremendous amount of money spent on ther war.  If it was out of pocket it would be more palatable.  BUT IT ISN"T – it is borrowed money and we haven't paid for any of it yet except in military personnel losses. 

  8. PatRiot on August 31, 2010 at 6:05 am

    Tax cuts are a trade off.  A cut may create incentive, but the ability to pay down debt is reduced.

  9. PatRiot on August 31, 2010 at 6:08 am

    The trick is to get these nuts to stop spending beyond our means. 

    Being duped by free stuff isn't the only battle the American people have.  It is also the fact that while we bicker about left and right, Dem and Repub. black and white and who spends more, the politicians keep spending and taking our liberties.

  10. scottm on August 31, 2010 at 6:38 am

    To cut taxes while starting wars was completely asinine and contributed greatly to the deficit.  Alan Greenspan was recently quoted as saying that tax cuts do not spur economic growth.  Remember the giveback program where everyone got 400 bucks?  That money was borrowed from China.  I have to be honest, I enjoyed getting the money but to borrow it?  And there are a lot of wealthy people who received it that feel it's not even worth the effort to cash it.

  11. TomL on August 31, 2010 at 6:39 am

    PatRiot makes many valid points. Well said


  12. Steve M on August 31, 2010 at 7:46 am

    @scottm – of course, you completely ignore reality concerning what happened to tax revenue after the 2001 and 2003 federal tax cuts. What happened Scott? The problem is – and has mostly been – the totally out of control spending side of the equation.

    Tell me… what happened to federal tax revenue after the 2001 and 2003 cuts?

    Tell me… what happened to the percentage of taxes paid by corporations as compared to individuals after the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts?

    We didn't start a war Scott – there were these events that happened starting in the 1990s culminating on Sept. 11, 2001. Do you remember?

  13. scottm on August 31, 2010 at 9:29 am

    Iraq was INVADED 2 years after 9/11.  Some of Bush's cabinet were investigated for lying to convince congress to vote for the INVASION of a country that had nothing to do with 9/11 and had no WMD's. 

  14. Steve M on August 31, 2010 at 9:42 am

    Yeah, OK. Funny … I can practically see scottm screaming at his screen and banging on his keyboard … funny stuff. I'm not even going to bother with going into details like Hussein's cash support for terrorists, the oil for food scandal, his complete disregard for the cease fire agreement from Gulf War I, and the fact that just about every Democrat – including "reporting for duty" Kerry signed up to "invade" Iraq.

    I won't even remind him that Vicevich did not want to go into Iraq a second time, yet once the die was cast, he supported the mission 100 percent. I did not have a public opinion at the time, but I certainly was not a fan of going back in there.

    Go ahead dude … bang on those keys a bit harder. You continue to make a fool of yourself around here as you dismiss reality.

    Good times man, good times.

  15. Steve M on August 31, 2010 at 9:44 am

    Oh and by the way … just to drive scottm a bit more over the edge, I'm closing comments on this thread since his first comment drove us off topic.


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