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Javier Milei has been ruthlessly sizing down government, and U.S. conservatives should emulate his policies

Photo credit: Reason Magazine.

Prior to seizing power in Argentina, Javier Milei was considered a wacky and eccentric economist and politician who wasn’t taken seriously by the world’s political class. They saw him as an overzealous buffoon to be underestimated. More importantly, the political class thought that his main priority to cut government down as much as possible was a mere political talking point. Since seizing power, however, President Milei is showing the world that he is not a man to mess with as he carries out diligently his relentless policy to cut down government.

President Milei’s major reform is economic. As a committed libertarian and uncompromising advocate of the market order, he vowed to reduce Argentina’s government spending, to reduce government’s size, to tame inflation, and more importantly, to abolish the country’s central bank. While the process to completely abolish the central bank may take some time to be completed, President Milei has not been wasting his time by cutting down state agencies and departments that he deemed useless.

Indeed, Argentina’s new ruler took his chainsaw to cut 15,000 government jobs, which spurred protests in the streets of Buenos Aires. Determined to balance the country’s budget, he has slashed energy and transportation subsidies, halted public works, cut payments to provincial governments, and devalued the peso by over 50% to close the gap between the official exchange rate and the black market rate.

Milei believes that the only way for Argentina to return to economic glory is by boosting its private sector and dramatically reducing government expenditures and power. Inflation in Argentina went out of control because of accumulated deficits and excessive money printing. Under his leadership, Argentina’s monthly inflation slowed down to 13.2% in February, compared to 20.6% in January, and 25.5% in December 2023.

The results of Milei’s libertarian policies are abundantly clear and effective. While American conservatives praised him, why don’t they push for the same policies here in the United States? The Republican Party claimed to be in favor of limited government, at least on paper, but it does nothing to genuinely reduce government spending. Under Donald Trump’s presidency, the U.S. national debt increased significantly, and monetary policy has been playing a pivotal role in the U.S. economy.

Conservatives and liberals alike are simply accustomed to government intervention. It is rather unthinkable in their mind to imagine the economy without the government’s involvement. It is even more unimaginable to ever think about life in America without the Federal Reserve, although the Federal Reserve has demonstrated its inefficiency and uselessness since its inception in 1913.

Even though it would make sense for conservatives to embrace and implement libertarian policies, they still wouldn’t do it because they are accustomed to a certain political lifestyle and are uncomfortable with radical change, even if that change would be beneficial for the American people.

President Milei is leading the way to practical freedom by implementing libertarian reforms producing real results. If conservatives claim to be in favor of freedom but refuse to do what it takes to genuinely implement liberty-oriented laws, maybe they aren’t really for liberty after all.


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