Who Is Paul Ryan?

If America gets off the road to serfdom, Paul Ryan deserves much of the credit.

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I told Ryan that I fear that most Americans don't understand economics and actually prefer a government that "takes care" of us.

"No. I think people believe in the American idea, (that) our rights don't come from government. ... And so we do not want a government where they give us our rights and redistribute, regulate and ration our rights."

Hope he's right.

In 2008, Ryan proposed a "Roadmap for the Future," a budget plan that would slow the growth of government. It was timid. It wouldn't eliminate the Education Department or other useless government agencies and wouldn't balance the budget for decades.

Yet even Republicans said his plan was too radical. Newt Gingrich called it "right-wing social engineering."

Last year, I invited Ryan back on my show to talk about that. By then, "the needle had moved." Ryan's Roadmap helped change the discussion. Many Republicans woke up. Newt apologized for his comment. The Republican Study Committee proposed bigger cuts.

Now, said Ryan, "I would call (my plan) mild. I was trying to get consensus. We've moved the center of gravity. We've taken on what they call the third rail, these entitlement programs which are the big drivers of our debt. We showed the country that there is a different way to go and that we can get back toward limited government, economic freedom. And I feel pretty good where we are and how we brought this conversation forward."

He should feel good. For 50 years, the needle did not move at all. Americans accepted the welfare state. Now, more understand.

"We have one more opportunity in this country. ... It is not too late to revive and reapply the American idea. But there will come a point where that moment might pass us."

Countries can get off the road to serfdom. Canada did it and prospered because of it. It won't be easy for America, but if we do it, Paul Ryan deserves much of the credit.

"What I've learned in southern Wisconsin (is that) people are ready to be talked to like adults, not like children. And they know we're in a debt crisis."

Hope he's right.

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  • Juice||

    Wow. John Stossel has a way of losing more of respect from me every time I hear him speak or read what he writes. Sad.

  • Tman||

    Why? Because he realizes that Milton Friedman won't be elected to office anytime soon and we need to get the "needle" moving in the direction that shrinks not increases the size of government?

    WTF is wrong with you guys? Politics isn't an all or nothing scenario.

  • Randian||

    The only reason the needle moved at all is because libertarian stalwarts have been hammering conservatives for the hypocrites that they are. Our intellectual positions provide 95% of the small government firepower.

  • Tman||

    I'll give you that libertarians have definitely influenced conservatives to live up to the smaller government mantra, but to suddenly crucify Ryan because he isn't good enough is ridiculous.

    I would much prefer to see Gary Johnson competing for a realistic shot at the presidency but that isn't going to happen this year. But that doesn't mean I think we would be better off re-electing President Not My Fault because Ryan and Romney aren't true scotsman.

    This purity test bullshit is ridiculous.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Randian is right and your apologia for Ryan is the real bullshit. Yes he's better than at least 95% of GOPers too bad he's still awful.

  • Tman||

    So you'd rather have a guy who is about as anti-libertarian as humanly possible get RE-ELECTED?

    I don't understand this logic.

  • Loki||

    I don't see anyone saying they'd rather see Obama re-elected. Just because people are criticizing Romney and Ryen doesn't necessarily mean they like Obama more. It just means that Romney and Ryan still suck, despite being better than Obama.

  • Tman||

    I'm not saying they'd rather see Obama get re-elected, but they are basically stating that it makes no difference whether Obama or Romney is elected in terms of economics and shrinking the size of the government.

    I think that's insane.

    Obama has essentially built his entire political career around socialist policies and building a bigger leviathan-sized government. To say that Ryan is the equivalent is ridiculous.

  • Cytotoxic||

    I NEVER SAID THAT. I'll be the first to say that the RRR ticket is better than Maoboma. The RRR ticket is still beneath my endorsement.

    First John now you? I heard Tulpa went crazy too. All of the Runpublicans are just going into Critical Retard. They must all be getting Pandorum!

  • lucius.junius.brutus||

    Sadly we gotta burn down the village to save it.

  • jacob the barbarian||

    You wild eyed optimist!!

  • Randian||

    OK, but he really isn't good enough, Tman.

    Sorry that bothers you, but a 1% move towards something slightly in line with libertarianism is not close enough for me to suddenly kick the football.

  • Tman||

    Yes, no true scotsman. I get it.

    You guys are fucking insane.

  • Randian||

    I happen to think you selling out for a 1% change is insane, myself.

    If were talking about a 75% candidate, or even a 60% candidate, that would be one thing.

  • Tman||

    Saying that Ryan is only 1% different than Obama is ridiculous.

  • Randian||

    2-3% then? Maybe?

    My vote is a vote for who I want to be President. I want Gary Johnson to be President. Romney/Ryan is not good enough.

    I think you have incredibly low standards if they are.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    When it comes to economic issues, I'm not convinced there's ANY difference between Obama and Romney other than rhetoric. And on most other issues, Romney is actually worse than Obama.

  • cheaurelio||

    Maybe, but it's not so ridiculous to say that a Romney/Ryan administration with a Republican congress is only 1% different than a Obama/Biden administration with divided government.

    Fortunately for those of us in states with predetermined outcomes, e.g. Texas, we don't have to worry about ringing our hands trying to figure out the least bad choice. We can simply vote for Gary Johnson with a perfectly clear conscience.

  • D.D. Driver||

    Where are you getting all of these statistics and percentages?

    Show your math.

  • Voros McCracken||

    It's like comparing a Mongolian and a Russian to a Scotsman. You could make the argument that Russian is closer (e.g. Sean Connery in the Hunt for Red October), but ultimately the two are much closer to each other than being a Scotsman.

  • ||

    I used to agree with that line of though Tman, but when you look at the list of things that Paul Ryan and the rest of the Repubs have gone along with (Medicare Part D, TARP, auto bailouts, etc.), it's just too much. The only difference really is the rhetoric. It's great that Paul Ryan can quote Road to Serfdom and can talk like us in some of his speeches, and I used to admire him for that, but it's pretty clear from his record that he is a puppet with strings and is not willing to walk the walk if it means it will hurt his political career.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    It's great that Paul Ryan can quote Road to Serfdom and can talk like us in some of his speeches

    I actually consider this a negative, since it leads to everyone assuming I'm full of shit too.

  • jacob the barbarian||

    The trouble with both TEAMS is that the leadership tells the back benchers (they all start that way) to vote for a shit sandwich (TARP, Part D, No Child Gets Ahead, Obamacare) or else. After a few years, the mind fuck is complete, and the now freshly processed tards are ready to go out into the world and shit out there own shit sandwich's.

    If you refuse, you are usually fucked. Paul is one of the few who managed to escape the 'tardation' process.

  • jacob the barbarian||

    *Ron Paul*

  • CampingInYourPark||

    "Our intellectual positions provide 95% of the small government firepower."

    And when it comes to humility, we are the greatest.

  • Cytotoxic||

    The truth is the truth. Conservatism is a shit heap. We are all there really is.

  • Enough About Palin||

    We are the ones we've been waiting for?

    BTW, that wait? We didn't do that.

  • Randian||

    I obviously don't care about being humble. And that doesn't make me wrong, either.

    And Camping...are you Tulpa?

  • CampingInYourPark||

    "And Camping...are you Tulpa?"

    Nope. Do you see anybody advocating you vote GOP because Ryan is on the ticket in the article, or does your knee always twitch like that involuntarily?

  • Randian||

    I didn't mean it as an insult. I was genuinely curious.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    I was genuinely curious as to whether you can read the article without a knee jerk reaction that consists of you thinking someone is asking you to vote GOP.

  • Randian||

    Where did I talk about the article? My first response here is to Tman.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    Tman didn't ask you to vote GOP either

  • Randian||

    Right. He's arguing so vociferously on behalf of Ryan to convince me to vote L.

    Whatevs.

  • John||

    Don't worry Randian, neither team wants your vote.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    Of course, everything is about your vote. Every article, every criticism and every jot and tittle that can be construed as anything positive is designed to sway your vote to the GOP.

  • Randian||

    *snore*

    Go be Republican cheerleaders. One day they'll tell you how cute you look in red spanx, I swear it.

  • John||

    yes Randian. Everyone here is just a GOP hack. You are not red team or even orange team Tony. You are just flat out Tony.

  • Cytotoxic||

    John's projection is I don't even

  • ||

    I'm a million times as humble as thou art.

  • BelowTheRim||

    "Give me liberty or give me death."

    -Pretty sure it is all or nothing. For this election I'm pretty sure its Obamney which is death, or Johnson which is life.

    Prove me wrong. Paul Ryan is a republcan statist who wants us to think he is a free marketer. He's the same as fucking Pat Tiberti where I'm from in Ohio.

  • Tman||

    Johnson isn't winning. A vote for him is a protest vote, which I can understand, but the choice is between Obama and Romney.

    Yes, I agree, these are terrible choices. It is what it is.

  • Randian||

    You have one of those Two-Candidate Ballots too?

  • Loki||

    Then how about getting with the program? Why don't you jump on the team and come on in for the big win?

  • LTC(ret) John||

    Listen, all I ever wanted was for my Marines to obey my orders as they would the Word of God.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    Unless you believe you have magical telepathic abilities that cause millions of people to change your vote just because you do, the person who wins this election is going to win whether Tman votes for Obama, Romney, or a big hole in the ground.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    Hand in your top hat and monocle, Stossel. You are banished.

  • WTF||

    John Stossel Charlie Brown on Why He's Hopeful About Paul Ryan kicking the football.

  • ||

    A jillionty internetz to you, sir (or ma'am)

  • ||

    Good grief.

  • ||

    Aaaargh.

  • Ryan60657||

    "But at least Ryan speaks against bailouts now."

    The Government Motors plant in his Congressional District shut down in spite of the government handout of TARP funds, so of course he is speaking out against bailouts now. If the GM plant in Janesville was still open, he would still be in favor of auto bailouts. Ryan is a "convenient conservative".

  • ||

    I'll give Stossel credit, though - this definitely isn't of the "preaching to the choir" variety of article he usually writes.

  • John||

    Ryan is a monster. An absolute communist monster. Apparently Stossel is one too or at least one his stooges.

  • Emmerson Biggins||

    I suspect you are being sarcastic John.

  • John||

    Only slightly. Reason has continually made the case that Ryan is horrible and as bad as Obama.

    There is no point in arguing the point anymore. They are right. He is horrible.

  • BakedPenguin||

    You're absolutely right, John. Reason should totally and completely overlook Ryan's doubletalk and back walking on many, many budget issues, because he's about 2% better than Obama. TWO PERCENT BETTER! Yay! I don't know why I never saw it before! He is a small, small amount less evil than Obama! Wow, I'm going to run out and get a Romnery/Ryun 2012 sticker for my car right now!

  • John||

    If you honestly believe that they are only two percent better on the budget, then you probably should case the strategic vote for Obama. It is a thought that I have often entertained.

    The only real reason I can give you to vote for Romney was that he picked Ryan. And Ryan is actually talking about cutting entitlements. And if Romney loses, the lesson will be "no politician can ever do anything about entitlements". And if they win, maybe other politicians can follow and not be afraid to at least debate the subject.

    That is thin gruel. And maybe four years of Obama destroying the Democratic Party and getting the blame for everything would be better. I go back and forth.

  • Randian||

    Boy John, it must really suck to live in a district where there are only two candidates.

  • John||

    There are only two candidates who might actually win. And even if Johnson won, he would get rolled by Congress and wouldn't accomplish shit.

    You can vote for the Green candidate or write in Richard Nixon for all I care. But the reality is no matter who you or I vote for, either Romney or Obama is going to be President. So the pertinent question is which one is going to be worse. Pretending that unicorns live and Johnson is going to win doesn't really help.

  • Randian||

    But the reality is no matter who you or I vote for, either Romney or Obama is going to be President.

    So then I guess I'll vote for Johnson.

    Is that not what you meant to say?

  • John||

    Again, vote for whomever you like. Just don't pretend someone besides those two are going to win.

  • Randian||

    Again, vote for whomever you like. Just don't pretend someone besides those two are going to win.

    If everyone acted and believed the way I do, the world would be a much better place.

    If everyone just shilled against the other TEAM, then we would get the world as it is, which is apparently what you want.

  • John||

    Yes Randian if ifs and butts were candy and nuts we would all have a marry Christmas.

    And I hate to break this to you, people are not voting for Johnson because they don't agree with him. They are not mindless team players. They are people who disagree with you. And shockingly enough smugly lecturing them on how they need to stop being team players and join your team isn't going to convince them to stop.

  • LTC(ret) John||

    "If everyone acted and believed the way I do, the world would be a much better place."

    dunphy, is that you? Oh wait, you used capital letters.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Fair enough. If you stop pretending that how either Romney or Obama will actually govern will be vastly different from each other. Note what I said there, John. It refers to the actions they will take if they get or retain power, not the rhetoric they are currently using.

  • John||

    How they actually govern BP will depend on circumstances. And who knows what those will be. The best you can hope for is that circumstances drive them to do the right thing even if for the wrong reason.

  • cheaurelio||

    I don't think anyone, even Gary Johnson, is pretending someone besides Romney or Obama will win. Still, a protest vote is not a wasted vote. In many ways it can be more effective than voting for the least bad candidate, especially when the differences between the candidates are so meaningless.

    A protest vote communicates to both parties that they're ignoring a segment of the voting population, but more importantly it increases the likelihood of libertarian candidates getting taken more seriously in future elections. Just imagine how great it would be to have a candidate in a national debate talking about ending the WOD, reducing entitlement *and* military spending, truly respecting the Constitution, etc. while pointing out the hypocrisies of both parties in a widely viewed forum.

    If you live in a dependably red or blue state, there is absolutely no reason you should vote for Romney or Obama instead of Johnson. Even if you live in a swing state, in the long term the world is better served by your protest vote than it would be by supporting one of the big party candidates.

    For my part, I'm doing what I can to convince all my supported-Obama-in-2008 friends here in Texas that they should vote for Johnson for all the civil libertarian/socially liberal reasons. It's actually not too hard a sell since they know Obama won't win Texas anyway. And to a liberal democrat, a libertarian Republican party is far preferable to a corporatist religious right Republican party.

  • ||

    If Barack Obama manages to bring the whole house down with his evil policies, I predict he will not be blamed, at least by the media and the mindless drones that suport him. There will be many convenient scapegoats to pick - Congress, Bush, Reagan, that republican dogcatcher from Racsoon Spit, WV You name it, they'll blame it.

    So yeah, hoping a Barry O second term will finally wake people up to the ridiculousness is kind of a stretch.

  • o3||

    john, here's another reason to vote romney. a gop friend, in trying to convince me to vote for romney, said "he's whatever you want him to be, whenever you need it" !

  • Fatty Bolger||

    a gop friend, in trying to convince me to vote for romney, said "he's whatever you want him to be, whenever you need it" !

    OO has dumb friends. I'm shocked!

  • Proprietist||

    Well, Obama in 2008 was a tabula rasa all the hopeful youth projected themselves onto as well. Romney's following a proven formula.

  • ||

    It's not strategically better to vote for either of the two. Whether you vote for the lesser or worse of two evils, you still get evil. Nothing changes that fact. The only step in the right direction is to stop buying into the false dichotomy. That starts with us. The fact that this won't change the two party system over night is irellevant.

  • Azathoth!!||

    So, if you vote R/R it would be around 2% better, but if Obama gets his there-are-no-consequences-I can't-run-again' term, how much worse will he make it?

    10%? 30%? 50%? Or will he got for total destruction and try for 100% worse?

    Because if that's the case then getting R/R into office could be as much as 102% better.

  • ||

    Well I'm not going to fault Stossel for wanting to make the best out of a bad situation.

  • Ryan60657||

    Ryan is Big Government, but there are plenty of other Bigger Government folks that Romney could have tapped as his VP.

  • SIV||

    Democrats?

    Has any GOP House member voted for more spending than Ryan during his tenure?

  • BelowTheRim||

    Pat Tiberi of Ohio. Just look at his record, will be very similar to Paul Ryan I do believe.

    Tiberi is such a piece of shit he came to my MIDDLE School in like 1999 to talk about the importance of elections. SUch a skeez trying to propagandize fucking middle schoolers.

  • ||

    If America gets off the road to serfdom, Paul Ryan deserves much of the credit.

    When Obama was elected, I thought, "If America gets out of Iraq and Afghanistan, Barack Obama deserves much of the credit." I also thought, "If America at least starts to move towards a rational drug policy, Barack Obama deserves much of the credit." Of course, I knew the odds of either of those things actually happening were slim to none, so I kept those thoughts to myself. Stossel probably should have done the same.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Exactly. I held some small measure of hope that Obama would make good on Iraq (he stated he was an Afghan hawk in the campaign), Medical Marijuana, and transparency.

    It's amazing to think Bob Barr was the best candidate in the 2008 race.

  • dinkster||

    The religion of statism even allures the skeptical cynic.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Having hope that some scumbag will keep a promise does not equal supporting the scumbag. I had some slim hope, but I sure as hell didn't vote for him.

  • LTC(ret) John||

    "Do you reject the glamour of Evil?"

    "Welllll...."

  • lightning||

    The most honest observation in this story is that the Ryan plan is considered "radical". This "radical" tag was accepted by both parties and their followers. The only ones who didn't buy this load of cr*p are people who are capable of doing math without a calculator. Even some so called libertarians considered this plan radical, when in fact it simply goes back to 2008 spending levels. It only slows the growth of the deficit - it does NOT cut it. It also does nothing to the banks, it does not address the fraud in the financial system, or address issues in the financial system that have caused the crisis in the first place (ie, fractional reserve banking, derivatives, CDS's, high frequency trading, insider trading, etc.). If Ryan's motive was to shift the debate, good for him. Unfortunately, to be even moderately effective he is going to have to do a lot more "shifting" to actually acomplish anything.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Imagine the reaction to an actual radical plan.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    It looks a lot like this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VV7i3xXcnmE

    Notice the 2 heads nodding in fervent agreement.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    Rand Paul has proposed one. So has Gary Johnson. The sum total response to them has been a pat on the head and a direction to run along.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    BUUUURRRRNNNNN HIIIIIIMMMMMMMMMM!!!!!

  • OldMexican||

    I like hearing a politician say that.


    You just don't know how irony-impaired you sound when writing that, Stossel.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Favoring feasible, marginal moves away from big government, and not throwing the guys talking about those increments under the bus?

    Just what kind of libertarian does Stossel think he is?

  • John||

    And he is not throwing a guy who used to be on the other side but is making at least some strides to the right side under the bus. Stossell is clearly not a Libertarian. If being a Libertarian means anything, it means hating those who try to come over from the other side or change their ways most of all.

  • Randian||

    Well I guess that increasing government spending at a slightly slower rate is good enough for all libertarians to vote Team Red this year.

  • SugarFree||

    It's the most important election in the history of the solar system. Shut up and vote as you're told.

  • Cytotoxic||

    If it gets John to stop going Total Retard then it may just be worth it.

  • SugarFree||

    It's a presidential election year... all you are going to get from now on is retard.

    Except for what I say, of course. I am sane and rational and always right.

  • Cytotoxic||

    I don't think I can take this.

  • WTF||

    "Grandma, we're all voting Team Red this year, and that's how we'll save the farm!"

  • John||

    You are never going to get people who get medicare now to agree to cut the thing. But you can get people who will get it in the future to agree to change the thing because they know that if something is not done they won't get anything. The current recipients will be dead by the time the thing goes bankrupt and won't care.

    So any plan that has a prayer of passing is going to have to take that reality into consideration. Thus, it can't change shit for about ten years and will necessarily have to increase spending during that ten years to accomodate for people currently in the program.

    That sucks. But that is life. And maybe you don't like that. But it is grossly dishonest of you to point to the ten year figure and then claim anyone who recognizes that reality just wants to increase government.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    What are you talking about, John? It's not like politics is the art of the possible or anything.

  • LTC(ret) John||

    Thanks for that, Bill. Now I have that damned song from Evita running through my head.

    Miserable Argentinian ear worms!

  • ||

    There would be something to that if the stated goal was to phase out Medicare. Theire stated goal, however, is to "protect and strengthen Medicare." Big difference between the two. It's not that we're crucifying someone whose trying to take a step in the right direction, it's just that it's not really a step in the right direction at all.

  • John||

    That is true. But the medicare that comes out the other end is a voucher system. And that is a hell of an improvement over what we have.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Who said anything about voting for Romney/Ryan?

    Stossel didn't, and neither did I.

  • ||

    Stossell is clearly not a Libertarian. If being a Libertarian means anything, it means hating those who try to come over from the other side or change their ways most of all.

    Thats it!!

    John you have convinced me that I should not vote for Gary Johnson.

    I will now vote for Obama as you recommend. Thank you for opening my eyes to the evils of libertarianism.

  • John||

    I think you should totally vote for Johnson. Where did you get the idea I would want you to do anything else?

    You are a libertarian. You should hate Ryan even more than you hate Obama.

  • ||

    You are a libertarian. You should hate Ryan even more than you hate Obama.

    Socialist vs big government neo-con....

    I do have one I hate less then the other, but i fail to see the logic to lead you to assume one or the other...i do not think the answer is intuitive for me or for libertarians in general.

    You are just playing the same game as Tony plays when he calls us all GOP hacks hoping to get a rise out of us.

    It is a bullshit game.

  • John||

    You are not a DNC hack. And you should hate Ryan. There you win.

  • ||

    I don't hate him...

    Still not going to vote for him.

    Who do I relinquish my monocle and top hat too?

  • KDN||

    On one hand, it's the only type of libertarianism that's at all likely to be implemented. On the other hand, when such incrementalism fails to achieve positive, long-lasting change (because we're waaaaaay over the cliff already), its lack of success will be used as a warning any further forays into libertarianism. I hate the future.

  • John||

    That is a fair point. And that is why politics sucks. But most libertarians would rather pretend that anyone who is in any way realistic about what can be done is just a sell out. And then they wonder why they never win elections and no one pays attention to them.

  • $park¥||

    The fact that it's only realistic to say "We're going to change things in 10 years, we promise, but until then we have to increase how much money we take away" is a sad commentary.

  • John||

    See above. You are not going to get people who are currently on medicare to agree to cuts. Why should they? They were told it was going to be there and planned accordingly. Why do they now owe the country cuts? And no amount of screaming and yelling about greedy geezers and evil boomers is going to change that.

    So your choices are do nothing, or tell the world you are doing something in ten years and start to plan for it.

  • $park¥||

    And then in ten years don't change anything. Because that's what is going to happen.

  • John||

    Then nothing is going to happen no matter what so why worry about it?

  • $park¥||

    Who says I'm worried about it? You're the one who brought up being realistic and the most realistic understanding is that nothing is going to change no matter who says what when.

  • Proprietist||

    One can be incrementalist and still be a libertarian. There are plenty of pragmatic, moderate libertarians out there - Gary Johnson, for instance. Those who criticize GJ for his impurities are letting the perfect be the the enemy of the good. GJ's policies still move us consistently in the right direction on all fronts and start cutting government from year 1.

    But Ryan is not a libertarian at all, although he is probably some sort of oxymoronic Objectivist social conservative. He does not share any core principles with libertarianism, with letting people live their lives as they see fit and with the government leaving us alone and respecting individual liberty. He supports a wasteful foreign policy and his budget is little better than Obama's. Frankly, his foreign policy relative to Obama's may cost more than his proposed entitlement savings.

  • John||

    Ryan is not a libertarian. And Libertarians should have no problems voting for Johnson. But they need to understand that Johnson is not going to win anything. And they are going to have to live with one of the two major candidates.

  • Randian||

    I am trying to figure out what kind of world you want to live in, John.

    Do you want to live in one where you are perpetually shilling for someone who agrees with you on 9% of the issues because a different party only agrees with you on 8% of the issues?

    Or do you want to elevate those parties that agree with you much, much more than that?

    It seems to me that the way you are acting is that you like the status quo, but you claim not to.

    So color me confused.

  • John||

    Here is the thing. I don't particularly like Johnson either. But I would love to see him be President just to give his followers a lesson in reality as they watch him get run over by Congress and driven by events to break most of his promises.

  • Randian||

    In other words, you want a Libertarian President just so the BLURED team can crush him?

    I wonder what it is that drives a man to be so sadistic.

  • John||

    No Randian,

    I just wish Libertarians would stop chasing windmills and believing everyone would agree with them if they only knew the truth or that the political process would be somehow less messy if we just got the right "Top Man" in charge.

  • Proprietist||

    A president willing to use his veto pen vigorously is all I ask for. Johnson has unquestionably proven himself such a man.

  • ||

    I just wish Libertarians would stop chasing windmills and believing everyone would agree with them if they only knew the truth or that the political process would be somehow less messy if we just got the right "Top Man" in charge.

    BULLSHIT BULLSHIT BULLSHIT!

    Romney and Ryan are talking about liberty and the constitution and free markets and all sorts of crap that McCain never did. They are doing it because they have been pushed to. Libertarians are getting elected to the fucking Senate last i checked.

    This is not the time to fucking quit and cash in...cuz once we do is the day republicans or democrats and independents forget about us.

    I for one plan on keep pushing until i hit libertarian untopia or die.

    you can give up if you want...and it is not really all that bad in my view...if a small number libertarians peel off it shows that republicans can get some of our vote...if dems did the same thing fine...but there always has to be a core who just will not give up...without that core we are lost.

    Anyway Romney and Ryan are going to win in November no matter what. What is bothersome is that you are choosing to peel off at the worse possible time...you could show support for libertarianism and still kick Obama in the balls and still get your Republican government.

    You are making a mistake.

  • Proprietist||

    If someone held a gun to my head and forced me to choose between Ryan, Romney, Obama and Biden, I'd probably choose Ryan as the least of four evils. That doesn't change that those candidates are mostly differences without distinctions, and that I would only vote for any of them under threat of bodily harm. Would rather just stay home.

  • ||

    If someone held a gun to my head and forced me to choose between Ryan, Romney, Obama and Biden

    I think I might pick Biden...if only because the 0.005% libertarianism in Ryan is not as valuable to me as the 100% comedy that Biden would bring to office.

    Also I think of the 4 Biden is the most honest...an honest crazy idiot is still honest.

  • ||

    But they need to understand that Johnson is not going to win anything.

    You don't think libertarians and Libertarians (yes, these are two different things) realize this?

  • John||

    I wonder sometimes Kristen.

  • ||

    I never met a libertarian or a Libertarian that didn't know full well that any 3rd party candidate for national office was doomed to failure. I personally believe (queue Miss Teen SC) that the LP (of which I am most certainly not a member, and therefore not a Libertarian) would be better served putting all of its eggs into local and state election baskets and not running a Presidential candidate at all.

  • Randian||

    Kristen, if that were the premise that John was selling, then I could at least quibble with it good-naturedly.

    However, John wants to claim that Gary Johnson would get crushed by Congress because the Presidency apparently doesn't matter while simultaneously he pules with us to change our measly few votes.

    It's a flabbergasting and pitiful display of doublespeak, to be sure.

  • John||

    Randian,

    Where have I ever asked you to change your vote? I have said at least five times on this thread you should vote for whoever you want to vote for. Maybe you are trying to change mine and are projecting or something.

  • Randian||

    Every underhanded bit of melodrama and mendacious misrepresentation you make is in an effort to support your god-blessed team, John.

    Everyone here knows it, and your wide-eyed babe in the woods act isn't fooling anybody.

  • John||

    Every underhanded bit of melodrama and mendacious misrepresentation you make is in an effort to support your god-blessed team, John.

    LOL. You really have lost your mind.

  • ||

    I don't get the whole vindictiveness of John's angle, either. People vote for whom they vote. Either Obama or Romney will win the election, so why get his panties in a twist over a few of us wanting to go another way? I guess it's not John's opinion itself that I don't get, because I hear the same from many TEAM players, it's the vehemence that's puzzling.

    So most of us will either vote for Johnson or not vote at all. So what?

  • Randian||

    Because you're either with John or you're against John, Kristen. But his river of tears staining multiple threads were all just an act; ask him, he'll tell you.

  • John||

    Are you sure you are not MNG Randian. Your whining sure sounds a lot like him.

  • John||

    Kriston. I am not vindictive at all. But voting for Johnson doesn't mean you can't or shouldn't contemplate who is actually going to win and what that means.

  • Proprietist||

    All any third party really needs to do to be truly effective is to win enough House seats to prevent both major parties from having a majority and force issue-based coalitions.

    The problem is that a credible Presidential candidate is the most effective marketing tool for a minor party, especially with a candidate as experienced and credible as Gary Johnson.

    I'm also beyond the point of believing the LP itself can even be that entity and support a takeover of the shell of the Reform Party with a centrist-libertarian message.

  • John||

    Proprietist,

    At some point in the next twenty years, the libertarians are going to form some kind of allience with liberals.

    Don't laugh. I am not trolling and am not kidding. Here is the thing. The liberal model is dying. The economic debate is ending. Whatever the future holds, it isn't going to be the economic big government model liberals espouse. It is going to be a small government economic model. Finances and reality will dictate it.

    So what is there to fight over? Where will the debate be in 20 years? It will be over social issues and what pieces of the old model will be kept. And that debate is between libertarians and conservatives.

    Think about it. If you wanted to start one of those cable yelling shows, who would make an interesting pair? I would take Gillespie and some conservative like Jonah Goldberg because that is where the debate is. Liberals have nothing to add right now because they are clinging to a model that is dying.

    When the model finally dies, where will liberals go? They will go with libertarians and fight it out with conservatives over cultural issues and national defense because those will be the only debates left.

  • Proprietist||

    I disagree with your prognosis, because as long as there is capitalism there will always be regulatory statists. The economic debate is and will remain regulatory corporatism vs. non-regulatory corporatism (i.e. capitalism) vs. the free market. I agree some programs will go by the wayside due to economic reality, and these will all collapse hardest on the backs of the poor, but I don't see the death of Marxist or Keynesian economics, even if these philosophies as implemented are about to get a deserved haircut.

  • ||

    The liberal model is dying? That's news to me. The situation you are describing is practically utopia. I wish that was where we were going to be in 20 years. It's not.

  • John||

    It is dying Alan. The repo man is coming. The whole things is going to collapse of its own weight. And no one is going to realize it is happening until it does. Think the collapse of communism.

  • Proprietist||

    I think social conservatism is really what is dying over the next 20 years, and the choice will be libertarianism vs. a politically correct corporatist-welfarist war machine. It's kind of there already, but you sadly keep joining the wrong side.

  • John||

    Proprietist,

    I think social conservatism is sadly the future. Social conservatives have more kids. And immigrants are generally much more conservative than the rest of the country.

    Social liberalism is the product of a dying upper middle class white liberal culture. Think about it, blacks and Hispanics are homophobic, religious, and socially conservative as hell. The only reason they don't vote Republican is because the Dems have convinced them that Republicans hate them. Dems are able to totally ignore minorities on social issues because they won't vote Republican.

    That won't last forever. At some point either the Democrats are going to have to give on social issues or minorities are going to start voting Republican because of those issues. When that happens social conservationism will rule ubber alles.

    I don't consider that to be a good thing. I am not a social conservative. But you are kidding yourself if you don't look at the Demographic trends and see where this country is headed and it aint towards social liberalism.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    "I think social conservatism is sadly the future. Social conservatives have more kids. And immigrants are generally much more conservative than the rest of the country."

    I think social conservatives are coming to the realization that government isn't the means to their end and are becoming a lot more alarmed at gov't trying to control social issues through economic policy. I think the majority will realize a free society is more conducive to having their positions heard than trying to legislate them. At least I hope so, to borrow from Stossel.

  • John||

    That may be true camping. But the end result is that our society as a whole will be more conservative even if it isn't as addicted to big government.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    "But the end result is that our society as a whole will be more conservative even if it isn't as addicted to big government."

    Society being conservative doesn't bother me in the least. If it's the free choice of people to be socially conservative and they're not constricting my individual choices then so be it. What does bother me is one side using the hammer of government to form society into the model of their choosing.

  • John||

    I doubt they will cease using government Camping. Government will be broke. But enforcing social laws is cheap.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    "I think social conservatism is really what is dying over the next 20 years"

    I agree with this

  • John||

    Camping,

    I have about five billion people in the world who are grossly conservative who say otherwise. You have to realize how awful most of the world is. Gays have no rights and are generally considered criminal deviants anywhere outside of Western Europe and North America. The world is a sick fucked up place. And they are having a lot more kids than we are.

    You guys think social conservatism and you think people in Okalahoma. No no. We are talking people in places like Baghdad and New Deli. That is the social conservatism that is going to rule the earth. And it won't be good.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    "I have about five billion people in the world who are grossly conservative who say otherwise"

    I can't really speak for 5 billion people. I know that in American society, having a socially conservative heritage and immigrating here in the 30's, the later generations in our family have grown, if not less socially conservative, at least not willing to give the gov't the benefit of choosing morality for others.

  • John||

    Camping,

    The effect goes both ways. The immigrants will get more liberal. But so will society. The idea that a society will get more liberal in spite of or because of an influx of conservative immigrants seems a bit counter intuitive.

  • Ice Nine||

    Stossel is impure! Kill him.

  • Randian||

    Alright libertarians, you heard the man: Paul Ryan is advocating for a slowdown in the growth of government, so all his votes for wars and restricting abortion and auto bailouts and TARP and the Drug War...that means you fucking dead-enders can pack it up and go home, because Paul Ryan says that Obama's three-cent titanium tax goes too far.

  • Cytotoxic||

    ^THIS^

  • XM||

    Lots of politicians voted for "wars", auto bailouts and TARP. In ADDITION to that, some of them still think the TSA, Obamacare and union monopoly are a good idea.

    Was Scott Walker a doctrinaire libertarian? Is he for legalizing drugs? Did he always vote for limited government? What about Mitch Daniels? Chris Christie? Rubio? Jindal?

    Name any Republican who can (and has) actually influence policy in terms of limiting the size of government in some way, and that person isn't Ron Paul. Many of them are social conservatives.

    Stossel ran specials about medicare before 2008, and nobody cared. By the virtue of being a Republican who proposes cuts to medicare, Ryan got the attention of the other side and helped put medicare issues under the spotlight.

    This isn't a movie, you can't actually win on principles alone.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Scott Walker, Brown, and Daniels were good strategic choices because of the situation and the alternative.

    DemintRyan

  • Jeff S||

    Let's not forget he wants a constitution amendment to ban gay marriage, and define when life begins.

    Yeah, this guy is really for freedom and "small government". Whatever.

    This guy is a great with budget numbers, decent looking, and likable. Too bad he's still a hypocrite.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Ice Nine,

    Stossel is impure! Kill him.


    No, just naive. That is, the working definition of "hopeful."

  • Proprietist||

    Yeah, Stossel on Ryan in 2012 = several of the Reason writers on Obama in 2008.

    These candidates' rhetoric is so sweet and their purported intellect is so sharp, how can you say no?

  • ||

    The primary difference being that Ryan's rhetoric actually attempts to comport with libertarian values. The Reason staff got moist in the shorts for Obama almost entirely because he was black. He didn't betray any of the values he espoused on the campaign trail while in office.

  • ||

    I wish Stossel would have asked him why he voted for Medicare Part D. Would have been interesting to see him b.s. his way around that.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    I think the best way to consider this is to consider the universe of choices one is looking at. If one looks at the options as the universe of all possible choices, Ryan isn't anywhere close to as good a choice as Johnson. If one restricts the option set to what is at all a possible outcome, then Ryan is probably as good a choice as a libertarian can expect on the major party tickets.

  • ||

    Eh

    I am hopeful that medicare and Obamacare gets replaced by a voucher program proposed by Ryan. I was also hopeful that Obama would legalize gay marriage and allow gays to openly serve in the military.

    Of course the voucher program will never get me to vote for the son of a bitch any more then I would vote for Obama.

  • John||

    Obama did allow gays to serve in the military.

    And yeah the voucher program would be an enormous improvement. But since a Libertarian didn't propose it, it might as well be full on communism.

  • ||

    But since a Libertarian didn't propose it

    I am pretty sure I heard about vouchers to replace medicare at CATO and Reason before I even knew who Ryan was.

    Ditto with gays in the military and Obama.

  • CampingInYourPark||

    "I am pretty sure I heard about vouchers to replace medicare at CATO and Reason before I even knew who Ryan was."

    I think the point was it's actually written in a bill by someone that can write bills that representatives vote on. Those things that can eventually become laws. I'm pretty sure it would be easy to pass a voucher program for medicare if the Reason commentariat were Congress.

  • T o n y||

    HOW THE FUCK ARE CASH HANDOUTS BETTER THAN SOCIAL INSURANCE???????

  • ||

    Vouchers as Ryan proposes them still are "social insurance".

    They are better then the current system because they would bring down health care costs significantly and improve quality.

  • ||

    Also they would not stifle innovation like Obamacare will.

  • ||

    They remove a layer of government bureaucracy between the recipient and the provider. Same reason we give people food stamps and then let them go to the local grocery store and spend them rather than give them a voucher and send them to a government-run grocery store where there are 15 managers, every employee earns 80k a year with union benefits, and everything is 50% more expensive.

  • Romulus Augustus||

    Sure, incrementalism is the only way libertarian ideas will ever be implemented. On the other hand, if we sell out our votes for a feeble 1% or 2% promised movement in our direction, then where is the incentive to move 5% or 10% if we are contentedly in the bag?

  • Bill Dalasio||

    And what if no one else is even considering the 1%-2%?

  • Bill Dalasio||

    And what if no one else is even considering the 1%-2%?

  • John||

    Real simple, always vote against incumbents. If you do that, the challenger will always be interested in your vote. And if someone actually gives you your ten percent, you can re-examine the rule.

  • Proprietist||

    I sarcastically look forward to your non-sarcastic advocacy of the Democratic candidate in 2016 if Romney wins.

  • John||

    Sure. Libertarians punished Republicans in 08 for Bush. Should they not now punish Dems for Obama? And if not now when?

  • Proprietist||

    Who's saying they won't? Many libertarians even here on HnR who should know better are advocating for Romney, while hardly anyone is advocating for Obama. The libertarians who voted for Obama in 2008 should have known better as well.

  • John||

    I still have the over under on Reason staffers voting for Obama at 2.

  • RBS||

    At the rate he's going someone will John committed before then.

  • Cytotoxic||

    I know what you tried to say but this is funnay.

  • califernian||

    I can absolutely that Ryan (even if he were to be in a position to affect budgets) would cut nothing. He is a big spending, big government republican like all of them.

    Give a break.

  • T o n y||

    Ryan's plans do not shrink government, do not reduce the deficit, and do not increase anyone's individual freedom. Libertarian pragmatism says we must vote for him!

  • John||

    If all of that is true Tony, you should be voting for Ryan. What is not the love about increasing government and keeping the deficit? That is your platform isn't it?

  • T o n y||

    Nope.

  • ||

    True. Tony supports increasing the government and RAISING the deficit - not just keeping it the same. Get it straight correct.

  • ||

    Ryan's plans do not shrink government

    It takes less bureaucrats to run a voucher program then Obamacare, plus it would push health care costs down. That is smaller government.

    do not reduce the deficit

    It will reduce health care costs which will make our socialized health care cost less. this will reduce projected deficits.

    and do not increase anyone's individual freedom.

    people will have greater choice in what medical services they can get. Also we will not have all this nanny state bullshit telling us that our diet/lifestyles/health is government property. Also I think he does away with the insurance mandate. That is increased individual freedom.

  • Loki||

    I'd just like to point out one thing that might have been lost in all this hoopla over Paul Ryan: Paul Ryan is not running for president. Mitt Romney is.

  • Cytotoxic||

    ^THUS^

  • Alex the wolf||

    Good for this article.
    Romney Ryan can be a great team. The economy should be growing at 5% like in the Reagan recovery.
    If Romney is reelected, he repeals Obamacare (as he explictly promised) lowers taxes, repeals Dodd Frank and at least tries somehow to reform the entitlement crisis, oh and also stops this class warfare and attack on capitalism, he should be a wonderful choice.
    Grow up you people. Johnson is not a choice, politics is the art of the possible. And dont tell me that Romney and Obama are the same, they are clearly not. A true libertarian should love to see a businessman for president. Otherwise you are just a right wing hippie, like Ayn Rand once described some libertarians.

  • ||

    Johnson is not a choice, politics is the art of the possible.

    Perot ran on balancing the budget.

    After the election the budget was balanced for the first time in like a gazillian years.

    That seems pretty real to me.

  • jason||

    The Paul Ryan is a young face to Americans that is why he become too much popular in the media.

  • CGeary44||

    Let's say Paul Ryan is only 20% libertarian and 80% "same ol same ol." I would totally disagree with that, in fact I would flip the numbers, at least, but let's just say he really is only 20% in agreement with "us" (to say that there is a libertarian orthodoxy is itself troubling, but I think y'all know what I mean.). Ryan is being vilified by his opponents--literally being labeled as a "cruel" person who "intends to hurt people,"--BECAUSE of the 20% he's like us. Same thing if you lower it to 1%. Wake up, folks! If you can't bring yourself to vote for him, let alone defend him, it least have the decency to engage his detractors to defend what Ryan's being pilloried for, namely his perceived belief in a free market ideology, rather than to continue sniping at him from the sidelines.

  • Thomas||

    "Perceived belief" are the key words. Voting for TARP and the auto bailouts really don't show much support for the free-market, if you ask me.

  • CGeary44||

    But that's exactly my point. If you read or watch all the politicians, commentators and voters who think Ryan is just this side of Lucifer, they're not going after him because he voted for TARP and the auto-bailout. They're castigating him because he believes that government would benefit from free market dynamics, because he thinks handouts from the government lead to dependency, because he believes in equal opportunities, not equal outcomes--hell, because he's indicated he LIKES the works of Rand and Hayek. All the attacks on Ryan from everywhere EXCEPT libertarians are attacks AGAINST libertarians! They are trying to convince America that anyone who offers libertarian solutions is, by definition, unfit to hold office. Man--even if you can't stand him, at least defend what you believe in!

  • Mr. FIFY||

    As I am not a fan of Ayn Rand, I won't be voting for Paul Ryan by way of voting for Romney.

    Nor will I be voting for Obama.

  • Alex the wolf||

    Objectivist politics is basically libertarianism. If you have political differences with Ayn Rand, then by deffinition you are not a libertarian.

  • Thomas||

    For the most part, yes. However, there are some differences. Personally though, my view of Ayn Rand is in line with Milton Friedman's: She was "an utterly intolerant and dogmatic person who did a great deal of good." Her ideas (especially towards capitalism) were great, but the woman herself turns me off a bit. Frankly, I one reason some people don't like her ideas, is because they don't read her work and just judge her by her actions.

  • Alex the wolf||

    Well, Rand was certainly tough, but keep in mind that her family died of starvation in Socialist paradise. As for Friedman, he was the best

  • lucius.junius.brutus||

    The guy posed in front of a "Protect and Save Medicare" sign. He's a Lyndon Johnson Democrat, not a Goldwater Republican. He's as socialist and anti-constitution as any of the rest.

  • Thomas||

    I love John Stossel, and usually I agree with everything he says. I do agree that Paul Ryan is at least giving a better budget than Obama, and is one of foremost advocates the downsizing of the government (I say this not because of any ideas he has, but solely on the basis that the Libertarians who want real change are often dismissed as third-party nuts by voters and the mainstream media). However, voting for TARP and the auto bailouts is just unacceptable, and although his budget is likely to get more votes because of how "timid" it is, it's still complete crap compared to Ron Paul's budget. I wouldn't trust Ryan in office. He'd turn big government like just about every President.

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