I have permanent brain damage due to getting a degree in economics (the honors track only made it worse), so I'm naturally susceptible to libertarianism. All that government reducing efficiency. That dreaded darkened triangle
of lost welfare, all that unsold lemonade, the consumer surplus that was never consumed. I get it. But they you get out of your brain and back to reality, and you see some problems. You think, "Requiring wheelchair ramps is an infringement of liberty, and probably not profitable, so the ADA is bad," but then you think about it for another second, and decide, "Fuck it. Let's have the wheelchairs ramps anyway." And when you think about other problems like education, mental illness, homelessness, energy, the environment, etc, and start making more exceptions ... tada! you're not a libertarian
I've noticed this pattern with conservatives too. I remember way back when George Will writing about how the Americans with Disabilities Act is wrong based on conservative principles, but his friend is in a wheelchair, and it's made life better for his friend, so it's really okay. And you find the odd article in National Review defending special ed for the same kind of reasons. And now Sarah Palin, who's got a kid with special needs, has made a big policy speech about how the government needs to spend an extra $15 billion/year on that. So now let's turn to the great Mark Schmitt, who gave this phenomenon a name, Miss America Conservatism
This is the apotheosis of what I once called (long before the former Miss Wasilla joined the ticket), "Miss America Conservatism," in which conservatives express disdain for all of government except for their single "platform" issue on which they lavish money and attention (as Palin says, "it's not all about money") to show their human side. Yes, governor, it is all about money, and when your priorities are tax cuts, war and freezing spending, special needs children are not going to be a priority.
If you have the tiniest bit of empathy and imagination you don't actually have to know someone with this or that problem to want to do something about it. I'm not going to wait until I get cancer before I want the government to tax and spend money for cancer research. I want it now, for everybody. And I'm not the only one who thinks this way, which is why there are so few libertarians.