Some libertarians cheer when the government shuts down. Here’s why they shouldn’t.

Libertarians believe in smaller government. How much smaller? Roughly back to its size and scope in the 90s — that is, the 1790s.

So one might naturally assume that libertarians would cheer federal government shutdowns. These do not stop all federal government activities, but they at least suspend some parts temporarily. And no doubt many libertarians do find government shutdowns appealing.

But I think that view is a mistake. Perhaps shutdowns serve the libertarian view in a small way by...

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