Opinions

The Top 5 Most Libertarian Former Politicians (Other Than Ron Paul)

2. Grover Cleveland

Grover Cleveland is an important president for several reasons. Perhaps most notably, he issued more vetoes, 584, than all his predecessors put together. Although not a strict constitutionalist, as seen by his signing of the Interstate Commerce Act (which established federal control of railroads and restricted competition in true monopolistic fashion), Cleveland can still certainly be considered a classical liberal for his general theory of government and impressive executive restraint, particularly in economic affairs. His second term was plagued by the Panic of 1893, largely caused by the Sherman Silver Purchase Act of 1890 and the McKinley Tariff of 1890. These two acts lead to rampant inflation and bad investments that eventually resulted in an economic crisis almost as severe as the Great Depression. Cleveland’s response was to ask Congress to repeal the Sherman Act, which it eventually did through a bill he later signed. This, along with his refusal to create “public works programs” or engage in other attempts to provide relief from the depression as Herbert Hoover and Franklin Roosevelt would later do, resulted in the crisis ending in 1895. Such fiscal responsibility and respect for the Constitution should be celebrated by all lovers of liberty.

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