Congress

Rep. Paul Ryan, Really Randian

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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 Reason.tv "Rand-o-Rama" last year as well: