Leaning Libertarian Republican in Congress: Rep. Justin Amash

by Veronique de Rugy

Two weeks ago, Jonah had a piece about how libertarians and conservatives have more in common on economic issues than not. He wrote for instance: 


Just look at where libertarianism has had its greatest impact: economics. There simply isn’t a conservative economics that is distinct from a libertarian one. Adam Smith, Friedrich Hayek, Milton Friedman, Henry Hazlitt, Ludwig von Mises, James M. Buchanan & Co. are gods of the libertarian and conservative pantheons alike. When Pat Buchanan wanted to move America towards protectionism and statism, he had to leave the party to do it.

Libertarian and conservative critiques of Obamacare, the stimulus, and other Democratic policies are indistinguishable from one another. On trade, taxes, property rights, energy, the environment, intellectual property, and other issues, I’d be hard-pressed to tell you the difference, if any, between the conservative and libertarian positions.


I would disagree with Jonah that it may be on social issues like the ending the war on drugs or gay marriage (even though many libertarians would prefer the government out of marriage altogether) that libertarians may actually be closer to getting their ways than on economic issues. That says, Jonah is right that, on economic issues, conservatives and libertarians for the most part oppose the same policies. In theory at least because in practice things are trickier. In this interview of libertarian leaning Republican Justin Amash explains to Reason TV’s Nick Gillespie some of the frustrations that libertarian may have with Republicans in congress on economic issues but also offers a vision that could reconcile both sides. He also tackles social, civic liberty and foreign policy issues. 




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