Monday, March 3, 2014

FORBES: Rep. Justin Amash's 'Libertarianism' Will Likely Disappoint Libertarians

By John Tamny

Recently I had the chance to see Rep. Justin Amash (R – Michigan) speak during a trip down to Florida. Known as one of the few libertarians in Congress, I approached his talk with excitement.

Figure Amash has been vocal in the verbal and legislative sense about NSA overreach, and then he’s rather famously known for consulting the Constitution ahead of every vote. The Constitution greatly limits the power of the federal government, and Amash’s consultation of it speaks to a politician who properly believes much federal government activity obnoxiously exceeds the strict limits set by our founding document.

Of course, it was Amash’s sterling reputation as a strict libertarian that made his talk a bit of a disappointment. If the fact that he looked down and read most of the speech can be ignored, his questionable economic views cannot be. Most libertarians would have been puzzled by the talk, and probably discouraged.

Indeed, it was hard to watch him read the speech without concluding that Amash is the latest in a long line of small-government talking Republicans fully willing to let the federal government grow by leaps and bounds. Evidence supporting this claim was his fixation on budget deficits over government spending, his view that massive tax increases will be required to pay the deficits off, and his strongly held belief that a balanced budget amendment is the solution to a federal government that always seems to grow no matter the political party in power.

Read the rest here.


  1. A career politician will never be a libertarian.

  2. The mark of a statist, no matter how moderate he would like to appear, is that when push comes to shove, the bill will always end up being on the taxpayer’s plate. When government makes a mess, the statist will not only claim it definitely needs to be fixed, but that the costs are yours, the taxpayers, to pay for.

    Imagine if in real life, one individual makes a huge mess, and then tells another individual that it needs to be cleaned up, and that this other individual should also pay for that cleaning up. The first individual would be declared delusional.

    But the mark of the statist politician is that he thinks this is perfectly logical. This is the statist who claims that taxes need to be raised in order to clean up the government pigsty. Amash might say that spending reform could prevent that, but no libertarian would ever set any such conditions; they would refuse to make taxpayers foot the bill, period. No matter the consequences for government.