Milei Is Absolutely Killing It in Argentina

AP Photo/Markus Schreiber

President Javier Milei entered office like Jack Nicholson breaking his way into the bathroom in "The Shining" — with an axe. Armed with emergency powers granted by the Argentine Congress, he balanced the country's out-of-control budget in one month, fired government workers by the thousands, eliminated more than 200,000 "corrupt" social welfare programs, and even cozied up to NATO.


“There’s a lot more chainsaw" to come, Milei promised in March, and I momentarily almost became gay.

The usual fearmongers mongered the usual fears.

A few weeks ago, the New York Times ran an opinion piece — complete with a demonic-looking, high-contrast black-and-white photo of Milei — by Argentine author


The peso becoming the world's best-performing currency is like Zeppo being named the most popular Marx Brother.

"It may also get better over the months ahead," the UK Telegraph's Matthew Lynn wrote last week. "With stabilising prices, and a rising currency, investment should start flowing again into a country rich in natural resources and hyper-competitive on wages costs."

"If so, Argentina would be defying a global economic establishment addicted to bigger government, more regulation, and rising deficits."


"The risk of a default of Argentina has decreased by 38.4% since Javier Milei took office in December," news aggregator Visegrád 24 posted to Twitter/X on Tuesday. "The Credit Default Swap (CDS), which acts as a kind of insurance against debt default, stood at 4,280 points when Milei was inaugurated. Now, it has fallen to 2,634 points."

It's early into Milei's term and his reforms have barely had time to take hold. There will be pain ahead because decades of bad policies don't work themselves out in weeks or months. But shrinking government, tamping inflation, and stabilizing the currency, make for a solid foundation for future prosperity.

Free markets work. Who'd a thunk it?

There has not as yet been anything like an authoritarian crackdown on dissent. No journalists have heard that midnight knock on the door, and no communists have been treated to free helicopter rides.

Can Milei last? More importantly, will his reforms continue? There's just no way to know. This is Argentina, after all, and political stability has never been the country's strong suit. Voters might look at a successful period of free-market reforms and decide that the next election would be the perfect time to finally go Full Soviet.


In the meantime, Milei's results speak for themselves. There's a lesson there for any Republican bold enough to learn it. 

Or there may come a day, maybe soon, when the U.S. shows up at Argentina's doorstep, hat in hand, asking, "May we borrow a president, please?"

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