Barney Frank’s very libertarian day 

Supporting legislation that would repeal the ban on Internet gambling, House Financial Services Committee chairman Barney frank said that the federal government should not “legally prevent” adults from spending their money “foolishly,” and that it “is a mistake to tell adults what to do with their own money”:

I have always believed that it is a mistake to tell adults what to do with their own money.  Some adults will spend their money foolishly, but it is not the purpose of the Federal Government to prevent them legally from doing it.  We should ensure that they have appropriate consumer protections and information, but otherwise allow people to pursue activities that they enjoy which do not harm others.

Frank then cited a line from John Stuart Mill’s “On Liberty”:

“The only freedom which deserves the name is that of pursuing our own good in our own way, so long as we do not attempt to deprive others of theirs, or impede their efforts to obtain it. Each is the proper guardian of his own health, whether bodily, or mental or spiritual. Mankind are greater gainers by suffering each other to live as seems good to themselves, than by compelling each to live as seems good to the rest.”

Perhaps Frank is having a particularly libertarian  day. In his statement he thanked Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, for his support of the bill.

About The Author

J.P. Freire

J.P. Freire is the associate editor of commentary. Previously he was the managing editor of the American Spectator. Freire was named journalist of the year for 2009 by the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). You can follow him on Twitter here. Besides the Spectator, Freire's work has appeared in... more
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