Tags: Williams | Thomas | government | programs

Cal Thomas and Juan Williams Spar Over Philosophy

By    |   Thursday, 17 Apr 2014 07:41 AM

Cal Thomas sat down with his friend and Fox News colleague Juan Williams to discuss his new book, What Works: Common Sense Solutions for a Stronger America, with a forward by another Fox News colleague, Sean Hannity, as part of the C-SPAN series AfterWords.

What attracted me was the opportunity to find out whether the conservative Thomas thinks that the political system is fixable and what would make him think that. In the political context, every advocate thinks his or her message represents common sense, and if the parties could just put aside petty differences the country could work much better.

Instead, the ideas offered here appear to be better suited to self-help, and the program is suitable for a quiet time with tea or perhaps an adult beverage.

The program offered an opportunity to reflect on the personal stories of the principals. Thomas said that after he flunked out of his first year of college, his father made him work his way through; he is a graduate of American University. He made his career in journalism through sheer will, sending out sample columns to newspapers and syndicates until he got his break from a liberal editor of the Los Angeles Times.

Williams, a graduate of Haverford College has written extensively about the civil rights movement and received an enhanced role at Fox News after he was fired by National Public Radio over some remarks he made on Fox News in 2010. Googling reveals an article quoting his wife, Delise, as saying that even though she is "on the other side," she is included in the social life at Fox, whereas at NPR she was treated "as if I didn't exist." One of Williams' sons interned for Sen. Strom Thurmond, R-S.C.

Thomas hastened to assure Williams that he is not opposed to all government programs, but rather, he believes that Social Security and Medicare need to be "updated." He finds that the traits of envy, greed and entitlement "subsidize failure." He argued repeatedly that "Government should be the last resort, not the first response."

He complained that the federal government is sponsoring 40 literacy programs, and he contends they should be pruned by a method analogous to the Bass Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process. (I have suggested this process be applied to the bank regulatory agencies.)

Thomas admitted that the elimination of a program to promote virginity was a good idea, even though he sympathized with the sentiment, his point being that no programs should be immune from such scrutiny.

Another Thomas theme was that the government has taken the place of religious institutions, and he blamed the government for bailing out the rich. When Williams suggested the examples of the housing bubble and Wall Street, Thomas added that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac pushed home ownership on people with bad credit, and he lamented that GM was not allowed to fail.

Thomas sees hope in the move by a growing number of states to eliminate their income taxes. His favorite governor is Sam Brownback, R-Kan., who sends money back to constituents when the state is able to run a surplus.

(Archived video can be found here.)

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Robert-Feinberg
Cal Thomas sat down with his friend and Fox News colleague Juan Williams to discuss his new book, What Works: Common Sense Solutions for a Stronger America, with a forward by another Fox News colleague, Sean Hannity, as part of the C-SPAN series AfterWords.
Williams, Thomas, government, programs
528
2014-41-17
Thursday, 17 Apr 2014 07:41 AM
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