Rep. Paul Ryan, Really Randian


Peter Suderman noted earlier Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-Wisc.) bold-for-the-GOP calls to actually, in the face of an unsustainable and bank-breaking entitlement program like Medicare, to think about cutting spending on it.

At Talking Points Memo, they reveal where a sitting congressman could have gotten possessed by such a bizarre idea, including a quote from Ryan taken from my December 2009 Reason magazine feature on the newly renewed yet always enduring influence of Ayn Rand.

From TPM:

Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-WI) determination to privatize Social Security and dismantle Medicare—what he calls a "collectivist system"—comes, at least in part, from his longstanding devotion to the works of Ayn Rand.

Rand developed the objectivist philosophy, which values the self, capitalism and laissez-faire economics. Ryan, the ranking member of the House Budget Committee, reportedly requires staffers and interns to read her opus, Atlas Shrugged, and gives out copies as gifts.

In his keynote address to CPAC last year, Ryan said Obama's policies sound "like something right out of an Ayn Rand novel."

Fearing political suicide, Republican leaders have tried to distance themselves from Ryan's "roadmap" budget proposal, which calls for privatizing Social Security. But Ryan is upfront about it.

Ryan participated in this "Rand-o-Rama" last year as well:

NEXT: Reason Writers Around Town: Nick Gillespie and Matt Welch in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin on the Tea Party Tendency

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  1. So two of the handfull of members of the House of Representatives who want to at least think about following the Constitution have “Paul” somewhere in their names.

    1. Jeff Flake?

      1. er, nevermind. You said “two of”, not “all of”

        (though those may be the only three)

  2. Ron Paul, Paul Ryan, Really Randian, Rand Paul . . . my head hurts.

    1. I should point out that Rand Paul is really named Randal or something. Apparently as a kid he liked to shorten the name to a single syllable and hasn’t cared to change it since he became more famous.

      1. My understanding he shortened Randy to Rand during his Dad’s 1988 presidential campaign.

    2. Does Paul Ryan have a daughter named Ayn?

      1. Ryan sounds like Ayn.

  3. Rep. Paul Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican who has recently been under attack by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and lavished with praise by former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R), is ruling out a 2012 run for president.

    Give up, Reasonoids Paul Ryan is clearly a Neocon Theocrat Teabagger.

    1. She also endorsed Rand Paul.

      1. Which, despite Rand Paul’s background, statements, policies, and overall seeming goodness, GIVES ME PAUSE.

      2. Rand Paul is a Neocon Theocrat Teabagger by association as well, and a third-hand BIRTHER.

        1. OK, at first I thought you might be being serious.

  4. “Fearing political suicide, Republican leaders have tried to distance themselves from Ryan’s “roadmap” budget proposal, which calls for privatizing Social Security. But Ryan is upfront about it.”

    That sounds an awful lot like wishful thinking to me. I would say Ryan’s budget proposal gets at least 35% of the popular vote.

  5. Will the alleged fiscal conservatives at the Tea Party ever endorse such necessary reforms? That would be news.

  6. He also cites Jonah Goldberg’s Liberal Fascism as an influence.

    Ryan said his vote for the bailout was influenced by Jonah Goldberg’s Liberal Fascism, a popular book among conservatives that argues that Nazism and other fascist movements were actually left wing in origin, and his belief that a second Depression would threaten capitalism?and rescue Obama’s presidency.

    “I’m a limited-government, free-enterprise guy, but TARP… represented a moment where we had no good options and we were about to fall into a deflationary spiral,” he said. “I believe Obama would not only have won, but would have been able to sweep through a huge statist agenda very quickly because there would have been no support for the free-market system.”

    He couched his support for the auto bailout in similar terms, saying that he feared the bill’s failure would have led the Obama administration to use TARP funds in order to rescue the industry with less congressional oversight instead.

    “A lot of these votes are defensive votes,” he said. “A lot of them are not votes you want to take but under the circumstances they’re the best path forward.”

    1. He’s a limited-government, free-enterprise guy, except for when he’s not.

      Got it.

  7. You guys, he’s a different kind of Republican. Sure he votes for massive state intervention in the economy, but he says pretty things about reducing the size of the welfare state.

    1. What matters is what someone will say they will do, not if they do what they say… Oh wait… that’s… errr…

    2. He also supports the Iraq war

      I respect him for taking on medicare, but let’s limit the praise for him

  8. “Paul Ryan” is an anagram for “Ayn Rand”. Have you ever seen two of them together?


    I think not.

    1. SP… oh, I see what you did there.

  9. Define Rand by her Fountainhead character, Howard Roark in his jury summation, that he had the freedom, as an individual, to be himself, love what and whom turned him on without having to tow the “party line.” Add to that, John C Calhoun’s “disquisition on government” and you see that interests beyond a certain distance fade, the opposite of Obama’s statement that community interests are more important than are individual interests, a far more important factor than debating specs of what one perceives good or bad about Ayn Rand. Look at the whole, as cited in The Changing Face of Democrats on Amazon and

  10. Paul Ryan’s stance on civil liberties are abysmal (opposes gay marriage and is against decriminalizing marijuana). He has a good stance on the economy, but don’t get too cozy.

  11. Paul Ryan is a joke. He is all talk.

    When it came time to vote he voted for of the pork and stimulus.

    Don’t listen to his words, check his actions and history.

    I am from Wisconsin. I will never vote for a phony like him.

    If the Repubs think promoting BigGov and BigBiz is their way back to power, they will never get my vote again.

  12. Reason loves Paul Ryan a lot more than Ron Paul and I have no clue why. He sounds good on economic issues. Sounds terrible on everything else. And more importantly, he votes like a NeoCon straight down the line.

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