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“Ignorant, Stupid, or Deceptive”

In his Townhall.com column this week, George Mason University economics professor Walter Williams asks:

“are politicians, pundits and media people -- who persist in talking about a president cutting or raising taxes, or creating a budget deficit -- ignorant, stupid or deceptive?”

The question is well-worth pondering because, as Dr. Williams begins his essay:

“Here's what the U.S. Constitution says: "All bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills." How many times have we heard politicians, pundits and guardians of our news media say that President Bush cut taxes, or Obama is going to raise taxes? The fact of the matter is that presidents have no power to raise or lower taxes. They can propose tax measures or veto them but it is Congress that has the ultimate power to raise or lower taxes since they can, with a two-thirds vote, override a presidential veto. The same principle applies to spending. Presidents cannot be held responsible for budget deficits or surpluses. A president cannot spend a dime that Congress does not first appropriate.”

And what about the credit crunch and high mortgage foreclosure rate? Dr. Williams concludes the essay by writing:

“The credit crunch and foreclosure problems are failures of government policy. In fact, what we see now is a market correction to foolhardy government policy. Congress' move to bailout lenders and borrowers who made poor decisions will simply create incentives for people to make unwise decisions in the future. English philosopher Herbert Spencer said, "The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools."”

Another of Dr. Williams’ column that is well-worth reading in its entirety. And, it should be required reading by every politician, pundit and media person.


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