Libertarian History/Philosophy

Vice President Paul Ryan Would Not be Vice President Ayn Rand

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Yes, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), Mitt Romney's vice presidential pick, is frequently accused of being an acolyte of the always-dangerous Russian novelist and philosopher Ayn Rand, a grand influence on modern libertarianism. Ryan talked to me about Rand for my December 2009 Reason magazine feature on Rand's revival post-economic crisis. Here's the parts about Ryan: 

Rep. John Campbell (R-Calif.), who gives out copies of Atlas Shrugged to departing interns, and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), who says Rand inspired his political career, both have said recently that the age of Barack Obama reminds them of the statist dystopia portrayed in the novel. Ryan—who stresses that, as a Catholic, he is not a full-fledged adherent to Rand's philosophy of Objectivism, which embraces atheism as well as laissez faire—says that as he looks around Washington these days he can't help but think he's seeing a lot of Wesley Mouch, the sleazy lobbyist in Atlas Shrugged who rises through his connections to become a de facto economic dictator.

"What's happening now is Americans are awakening to see [that] this enduring principle of self-government and individualism is being taken away," Ryan says. "I really believe the entire moral premise of capitalism is being shaken to its core because of the acceleration of government right now, and that's waking people up."…..

Rep. Ryan thinks the GOP needs to embrace Rand's particular approach to politics—not merely stressing the practical benefits of freedom but arguing for its moral necessity. "We have an opportunity," he says, "to make a choice clearly once and for all in the next two elections, and we owe it to the American people to give them a clear choice: Do you want a collectivist welfare state or do you want to get back to being a free market? We need to make a moral, not just practical or statistical, case." Ryan admits he's not sure the Republican Party as a whole is ready to make that argument with Rand's uncompromising passion.

Ryan began denying Rand earlier this year. Here's what he said to National Review in April:

"I reject her philosophy," Ryan says firmly. "It's an atheist philosophy. It reduces human interactions down to mere contracts and it is antithetical to my worldview. If somebody is going to try to paste a person's view on epistemology to me, then give me Thomas Aquinas," who believed that man needs divine help in the pursuit of knowledge. "Don't give me Ayn Rand," he says.

"Real conservatives" have always hated Rand, although many intellectual historians don't understand this, both for her militant atheism and her uncompromising views on proper politics, which, despite her own personal bizarre endorsement of Nixon, leave little room for the typical pusillanimity of nearly all Republican politicians when it comes to keeping government strictly limited to defense of people's life and property. They are, as the subtitle of my 2009 article put it, not radical enough for (true) capitalism.

Jesse Walker already explained all the reasons why a libertarian or Randian should reject Ryan: bad on civil liberties and military spending and policy, immigration, drugs, indefinite detention, and even despite the exaggerated reputation for budget sense, bad on many important budget-busting votes. Buzzfeed made much hay over finding two people from libertarian-identified D.C. think tanks to say nice things about him (in the fiscal context), but that far from supports their misleading headline "Libertarians–Finally–Embrace the Republican Ticket."

Ryan, from his twisty TARP endorsement, is the worst sort of Rand villain: a man whose knowledge and understanding embrace free markets, but who traduces them for reasons of phony "practicality" or belief that one has to go against one's values to defend them. This is especially disappointing for a man who told me in a quote from that interview in 2009 I didn't use in the article that "I think the practical arguments are considered the political path of least resistance and easier to make politically and always in the short term the preferred option. I am of the belief now that's totally insufficient."

Alas, making a moral case for capitalism–which is the same as the moral case for human liberty–requires a voting record that shows an actual belief in the notion that government has, if any, only the powers that the individual can rightly grant them. That's the power to defend one's individual right to life and justly acquiered property. That does not include many, many things Ryan as congressman has supported, from TARP to Medicare Part D to auto bailouts (as un-Randian as you could imagine, as Conor Friedersdorf noted in his article rightly dubbing Ryan a Rand villain) and the Patriot Act. 

There is another Ayn Rand-admiring politician on the scene, the last man standing running against Mitt Romney. His name is Ron Paul, and he rightly saw even Ryan's alleged fiscal toughness as not nearly good enough. Paul was right, and serious conservatives or libertarians who are cheering the Ryan pick are wrong.

Something else Ryan said to me in my 2009 interview with him that didn't make the article will undoubtedly be the mantra of those of libertarian sympathies who will say good things about the Ryan choice: "You don't get perfect choices in politics, but you have to get in the arena and fight and make choices as best as possible and going in the right direction."

I can't be excited enough, as a Rand fan and libertarian, about Ryan to even think a choice of him is the "right direction," for the reasons Walker detailed. Rob Lowe may be right, as he so often is, that loving Rand is no disgrace. But saying you love Rand and having the political career of Paul Ryan is.

Ryan appears in this Reason.tv video on Rand:

My defense of Ayn Rand's enduring value on her centennial. My 2007 book Radicals for Capitalism tells the story of Rand's life and work at length in the context of libertarian intellectual history.

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  1. There is another Ayn Rand-admiring politician on the scene, the last man standing running against Mitt Romney. His name is Ron Paul, and he rightly saw even Ryan’s alleged fiscal toughness as not nearly good enough. Paul was right, and serious conservatives or libertarians who are cheering the Ryan pick are wrong.

    Hear that John?

    You are wrong. Now vote for Gary Johnson bitch!

    1. What ballot is Ron Paul on in November?

      1. he is running for Dog catcher in some inbred lawyered up conservative hamlet in Maryland.

      2. The retirement ballot.

    2. “I think I view the system the same way that Ayn Rand views the system ?that it really oppresses those that create, if you will, and tries to take away from those that produce and give to the non-producers,” Johnson said.

      But, he added: “I would like to see the government help out those truly in need. She [Ayn Rand] wasn’t that way.”

  2. President: Robert Heinlein
    Vice-President: Ayn Rand

    Make it happen!

    1. That could be the premise for a funny Futurama episode. Heinlein and Rand’s heads team up to defeat Nixon and win the presidency.

      1. Not with the new crop of writers, who are fucking terrible.

        1. C’mon, Epi. The new episodes are just as funny as the old ones. You can tell because they’re reusing the same jokes!

          1. Wait, are we talking about Futurama or The Big Bang Theory?

            1. You know The Big Bang Theory is funny because the laugh track tells you when to laugh.

              1. Well, I’ll give credit to the show for the first season. By the second season, I couldn’t stand it anymore and desperately wanted Kaley Cuoco to pull a John Ritter.

          2. “They’re giving out the minor technical awards. I think they’re up to writing.”

          3. I just hope the new Arrested Development doesn’t suffer the same problem as revived Futurama.

            1. There’s a big danger of that. Arrested Development’s entire draw is the wittiness of its writing. If they lose that…

              1. Would it not have been better to just be satisfied with the first three seasons and not risk being disappointed by a fourth season?

                1. Hey, I’m not the one who brought the show back or clamored for it to be brought back. After seeing the disaster that was Futurama being brought back, people need to be very wary of such a thing. All too often a good or great show is from a great team of writers, who then (obviously) move on to other jobs after a show is canceled. Getting the gang back together is almost impossible, and that means the show will almost assuredly never be what it was.

                  Or, like in the case of Futurama, it can start to actively suck.

                  1. The fond memories people have about Arrested Development are probably (ballpark) 30% the fact that it ended strong.

                    Now, it will be brought back for 10 more episodes. Automatically, the new episodes face a 30% reduction in quality just for the nostalgia factor. That means the writers have a nearly impossible task ahead of them.

                    1. “Maybe I’ll put it in her brownie.”

                      http://www.theatlanticwire.com…..ion/55572/

                    2. The Atlantic got some good ones there, but there are just so…many…more…

                      “Talk you off what, Pop-pop?”

                    3. Two minutes of Tobias. If the show can just keep the Tobias is gay running gag going it will still be worth watching.

                  2. in the case of Futurama, it can start to actively suck.

                    1. Futurama never ‘started’ to suck. That’s just always what it did.

                    2. It’s amazing that you’re able to type without any higher brain functions.

                    3. Yes, finally someone reasonable. Futurama was never good.

                  3. That happened to Smallville without any such clamor. It lost the irony, fucking with the audience, and multiple meanings Gough y Millar gave it. Gough y Millar were using the story of Superboy to retell other stories, hilariously.

                2. Oh most definitely – look what happened to “The Family Guy” once it came back on the air.

          4. I’m pinning a lot of expectation on the true, forthcoming conclusion of Lost. Read A.C. Doyle’s Tales of Terror and Mystery, especially “The Lost Special” (and read about that one’s historic basis, the sunken engine 115 in Lindal), and you’ll see what I mean.

    2. Rand’s not a natural-born (zombie) citizen.

      1. My guess is in that in the great Libertopian Uprising, the clause prohibiting the election of non-natural-born citizens will be repealed under the Three Hundred-Fifty-Third Amendment.

        1. …The prohibition against electing dead candidates will be overturned by the courts, of course.

        2. Now you really are living in fantasy-land. Nobody amends the Constitution anymore. It’s a living document. No revisions necessary.

          1. Who needs amendments when you have regulations?

            1. The Consitution is living so vigorously these days, it’s almost like it’s dead.

        3. How about, if you’ve been a US Citizen 35 years, you can run, even if you weren’t born in the US or as a US Citizen.

        4. After the great Libertopian Uprising, nobody will really want to be President, or care who the President is, so the while natural-born thing will be kind of moot.

    3. Reynolds / Washburn 2012!

    4. I wish! I might write an alternate universe novel about it.

  3. Semi-OT:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…..73976.html

    It’s titled Joe Biden Vs. Paul Ryan: Smart Vs. Dumb Visions For America. Good Lord, the stupid is thick with these people.

    1. Say what you will about Ryan, but I can’t wait to see him debate Biden.

  4. Speaking of Randian villains, the Treasury Department says in a new report the government expects to lose more than $25 billion on the $85 billion auto bailout.

    And look out America, Obama wants to repeat that “success” all across America.

    1. Impossible. Why, I believe it was Shrike who just a few months ago told us that the gov’t was going to make a profit on the auto industry bailouts. I linked to The Treasury’s May 2011 report that was referenced in this article which projected losses. Shrike, who before was arguing vehemently on that thread, suddenly went AWOL. Go figure?

      1. Yeah, but if Obama didn’t pour all that money in Detroit would have gone poof and all those jobs would have disappeared! And you just hate poor people and America! //Obama zealot

        1. Yep, if it weren’t for Obama, Detroit wouldn’t be the industrial mecca it is today.

      2. Same Shriek, different name, same bullshit.

    2. I’d argue that anyone with any sanity would know that we have already lost $85B in the $85B auto bailout. There is no “expects to lose” or “will lose” or “might lose”. The money has already been fleeced and given away to cronies of the administration. It is already lost.

  5. If you want the latest evidence that the repubes are not serious, just look at the Farm Bill.

    The republican party will be destroyed.

    1. I thought the Repubs were holding up the Farm Bill and thereby actually doing some good for once?

      1. No, no, no.

        They’re holding up the farm bill so that family farmers will die of starvation and womyns will die from a lack of birth control and abortions.

    2. Wait, won’t the provisions of the Farm Bill result in money being given to evil corporate farmers?

      1. all depends on whom those evil corporations donate money to. Senator Cornbread (D) likes them just as much as Rep Cattle (R).

        That we have a farm bill should, in and of itself, be considered an outrage.

    3. I honestly don’t understand why there needs to be a farm bill at all. They have this thing called “crop insurance” already.

      What’s the fucking point of crop insurance if it doesn’t compensate you when there’s a drought?

  6. New Katatonia. I cannot fucking wait until the album comes out.

  7. Now I ain’t no Paul Ryan fan, but the comments here are so unintentionally hilarious.

    A sample:

    9
    Echo Zen 8.12.2012 at 4:35 am | Permalink
    No thanks. A near-decade of Dubya rule has soured me on the notion that the American people have enough long-term memory to learn from their mistakes. Look how quickly they allowed the anti-regulatory Tea Party to seize power, mere years after anti-regulatory GOP policies nearly brought Wall Street to its knees, along with the United States.

    1. But…everyone KNOWS Chimpy repealed all regulashuns!!

    2. The sad think is that a large percentage of people actually believe that bullshit.

      1. A lie told often enough becomes the truth. – Lenin

      2. Leftists not only believe that BOOSCH was a deregulator even a libertarian could love, but believe it vehemently, even when presented with direct, un-obfuscated evidence to the contrary.

      3. The sad think

        And, an RC’z Law for you, good sir.

  8. Its fine to be principled, but Ron Paul will never, ever, be President. In all likelihood, neither will Rand Paul. Libertarians do not have enough support to win national elections alone at this time. Neither do social conservatives, neo-cons, liberals, or populists. Those groups are willing to compromise on some issues in order to form alliances and win. In the end each group gets much of their agenda passed. Love it or leave it, that is the way our system works.

    Ryan is not perfect, and Romney most certainly isn’t. But any candidate that slows the growth of the Fed and American dependence on government should at least be seriously considered.

    1. Ryan is not perfect, and Romney most certainly isn’t. But any candidate that slows the growth of the Fed and American dependence on government should at least be seriously considered.

      And when have either of them ever done that?

      1. I’ll clarify, slows the growth of the fed and American dependence on government IN COMPARISON to his opponent.

        1. So they’re pissing in my face but they cut off the stream .05 seconds faster than the other guys? And that’s worth giving my approval for all the horrible shit they’re gonna do? Plus, let’s not forget which party started this exponential growth in the first place. You ready to take this same establishment’s chosen men at their word?

        2. Romney/Ryan are gonna cut government more than Gary Johnson?

          I’ll have to check in to that, but I’m pretty sure that’s not accurate.

          1. Gary Johnson won’t be cutting anything.

            1. He would, if the majority of the republicrats didn’t have those huge, bloody war-boners.

            2. Jesus Tap Dancing Christ, Archimedes, you’re fucking stupid.

      2. That’s the crux, isn’t it? If Ryan had the voting record to match his rhetoric, it would be easier to trust him.

        Then again, Milton Friedman said the trick isn’t getting the right people into office, but creating a political environment where even the wrong people do the right thing.

        1. There is something to that.

          If a person only perceived as a budget hawk can get elected, could that open the way for actual budget hawks to run and get elected?

          1. No, because as we’ve seen, the party will resort to all manner of chicanery up to and including actual physical assault to prevent it.

          2. Exactly, the more politicians that are willing to cut spending, the less fringe libertarians will be. Getting a large group of truly libertarian politicians in office will take time. Time that the country doesn’t have if Obama is reelected. A Romney Presidency would at least slow, if not stall, the countries slide into statism.

            1. Yeah, just like Bush did.

              1. Bush isn’t on the ticket. That’s a whole nother can of worms.

                1. Bush isn’t on the ticket. That’s a whole nother can of worms.

                  And the difference between Bush’s and Romney’s stated policies are….?

                  1. Ya, I said I’m not going to get into that now and I meant it. If this thread is still going tomorrow I’ll flesh it out more.

            2. I’ve been hearing that sort of bullshit for over a quarter of a century. Are you truly surprised that I don’t believe it any more?

  9. Bernie Sanders today on the Ed Schulz show:

    “If Ryan’s plan goes through retired people may have to get help from their grown kids”.

    Oh the horror, Families helping each other instead of relying on bureaucrats.

    1. Yeah, I don’t get it either.

      Help from one group or help from the other. What’s the difference? Help is help.

    2. They’re getting it from their grown kids anyway, it’s just that it’s laundered through Washington first. Why not cut out the middle man?

      1. Not from their grown kids, from all grown kids, specifically those with jobs. I wonder if people would be so cavalier about their adult children living extended adolescences if they truly had to rely on those kids to take care of them in their dotage.

        1. And thereby penalizing kids who already lack the advantage of having living parents to help them through life (and give them a comfy inheritance).

  10. I find the whole “Paul Ryan is a radical libertarian/big government statist” stuff funny. Especially since liberals will argue both and completely ignore the cognitive dissonance.

    Or libertarians thinking that defeating phony fiscal conservatism will somehow encourage people to support the real thing. However voting Republican hasn’t done much good and has been blamed on “anti-government” ideology. However the USSR and the Cultural Revolution should be a good rebuttal to the notion that the destroying Republicans will prevent the left from blaming “anti-government” ideology (real or not) for their failures.

    How exactly will libertarians convert people who think that Romney and Ryan are radical libertarians? The left seems to have lately lost their minds in favour of completely mindless statism and collectivism.

    1. I find the whole “Paul Ryan is a radical libertarian/big government statist” stuff funny. Especially since liberals will argue both and completely ignore the cognitive dissonance.

      No they call him a radical libertarian to inform their base.

      they call him a big government statist to ward off libertarians and small government conservatives. ie the concern troll strategy.

      What you are hearing is the left being freaked the fuck out and not knowing what to do. So you hear conflicting reports based on conflicting strategies. My guess is their new “JournoList” (called of all things “Cabalist”) has broken up from infighting.

    2. I don’t think anyone’s arguing that defeating phony fiscal conservatism will lead to real fiscal conservatism. That doesn’t mean phony fiscal conservatism shouldn’t be opposed

      1. phony or not, Ryan is the only guy who has put forth a budget plan that addresses entitlements, even if it does so in name only. That alone not only puts him ahead of the pack, it highlights how pitiful the pack is.

        1. If entitlements aren’t addressed in fact, we’re fucked. It would be insane to walk through the political bed of coals of entitlement reduction and then lack the will to enact it.

        2. Agree with your general point, but Ryan voted for Medicare Part D, so he’s not much of a credible opponent of entitlements, even if we ignore how weak his plan is

    3. The left seems to have lately lost their minds in favour of completely mindless statism and collectivism.

      Agreed. They are actively seeking areas of life that are not government programs, and arguing why they should be. It’s to the point where I’m almost embarrassed for them.

  11. Well I suppose one of the few things that can be said for Romney is that he will hopefully grow the state less than the Democrats will want. This makes him a “radical anti-government” nut to the Democrats.

    I guess the only think that can be said is that the Democrats will suddenly reject their entire belief system in order to stave off bankruptcy. I mean that is what Radley Balko and Kerry Howley said when they wanted Obama to be a liar. Of course the actions of Obama, Hollande and Brown seem to suggest that the left have become a bunch of Mindless Statists.

    Oh and the libertarian case for Obama is Gay Marriage and being hip. That is all the Reason really cares about these days. ‘Cause internet porn has a clear correlation with the reduction of the welfare/warfare/regulatory/theraputic state.

  12. Any comments on the campaign? Are there Will Farrel fans? Any sorta libertarian messages in it even though I highly suspect that everyone involved are extremely hostile to libertarianism? While there be an article on here proclaiming it to be sorta libertarian despite this?

    1. Considering what I’ve been reading about fictionalized versions of the Koch brothers being in it, I’m assuming it’s awful.

      1. I’m wondering if Will Farrel’s character will be portrayed to be an pro-gun and oppose Big Government. If so I highly doubt the film will be complentary to those ideas.

    2. Anti-Koch circle jerk. Kind of anti-politician too. That’s really the only thing I could discern from it. Wasn’t as funny as I hoped. Zach and Will have both been in better movies.

  13. It’s great fun to watch Paul Ryan lying about his fondness for Ayn Rand.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B9LGiJfMVhs

    1. More fun than watching most libertarians here do it.

      Libertarianism as espoused by commenters here would be unrecognizable to Hayek or Friedman, but is essentially Rand–even though Rand founds libertarians too radical.

      1. My fave Tony comments are where he ventriloquizes libertarian icons. They – miraculously!! – sound just like Tony. Minus the lisp.

      2. [Citation needed]

        She accused libertarians of being cranks and comedians, of stealing her ideas without attribution, even of being collectivists (an accusation mainly aimed at anarchocapitalists). Show me where she suggested they should be more moderate.

      3. $

    2. Ayn Rand, “conservative hero?” Does he even know what’s been written in, say, the pages of National Review about Rand? Larry’s a fucking blockhead.

      1. She was antagonistic towards Mr. Libertarian, Murray Rothbard, and Mr Conservative, William F. Buckley Jr., so I don’t see how she’s a “hero” to anyone other than an Objectivist.

        1. I don’t see how she’s a “hero” to anyone other than an Objectivist.

          I think a lot of people just read the books as fiction then started investigating.

          “hero” may be a strong word. Originator of many a libertarian’s inquiry into libertarianism is a better description.

          Anyway I have never read Rand, and I don’t plan on it….but I take it on other libertarian’s word that Rand simply got them interested.

  14. The Emancipation Proclamation did not respect the property rights of slave owners. Romney-Ryan will reverse that horrible decision.

    1. Actually, it did. It didn’t do anything for slaves that were held in states still in the Union.

    2. Concern troll seems concerned.

      Tell me more about how two northern state Republicans are going to over turn Lincoln.

  15. What we have in the usa is another civil war: The rich agianst everybody else, where the rich have convinced many of “everybody else” to fight on the side of the rich.

    1. There’s a war, alright, but it’s between the plunderers and the plundered. Guess where you fit in, Archie?

    2. What we have in the usa is another civil war

      Everyone has smart phones and neither sides have any casualties.

      Our civil war seems to be a much better war then one Obama is using drones to bomb babies in.

      Have fun voting for the baby killer come November.

    3. Re: Archimedes,

      The rich agianst everybody else

      Right, because that is how one becomes rich: By being a one-man army!

      Idiot.

    4. Dull troll is dull.

  16. agree with it or not, one guy in DC has put on paper a plan that recognizes SS and Medicare are not sustainable in current form. That guy is Ryan. No one on the Dem side is willing to even touch either program, and no other Repub seems to do more than give lip service to a need to “do something.” Numbers on paper beat ‘do something.’

    1. Unfortunately, Ryan’s numbers and plan are also lip service and his voting record isn’t even that. He is better than 95% of the congresscritters and it ain’t good enough.

    2. And really, all Ryan and Romney have to do is just point out to America that Obamacare will inevitably butcher Medicare worse than their plan will. With the way the population is aging and the costs rising there is no way to save Medicare without rationing care.

      1. Why touch that rail at all? What’s good politics about that, considering it’s contrary to decades of conventional political wisdom? Ryan’s a grandbaby of the conservative movement. He actually believes their economic bullshit as a moral precept. His generation wants to do away with the welfare state and they want to do it now. They don’t seem to realize, though, that nobody’s ever figured out how to sell it when it’s their own old white voters’ handouts they want to obliterate. It doesn’t matter how expensive it is either, because with yet another politically ridiculous devotion to dogma, Ryan and Romney refuse to raise a cent in anyone’s taxes. Even old white people aren’t gonna buy the unsustainability line when they refuse to allow any revenues in any case.

        But you’ve articulated the central irony of the Tea Party movement: they won because they acted as the defenders of socialized healthcare. You seem to advocate repeating that strategy. At least Romney’s well practiced at being completely incoherent.

        1. What the hell are you blathering about? Just how much do you figure the taxes will have to increase in order to not make any changes to entitlements? And I want actual numbers here, no more of this vague posturing.

          1. Well the real question is how do you preserve Medicare without raising any taxes. The claim is preposterous.

            You acknowledge that the dollars we’re talking about are the people’s dollars, right? Well, they’re going to have healthcare expenses whether Medicare exists or not. But Medicare saves money compared to the private market. Its cost per beneficiary have risen 400 percent in the last 40 years–a bad job at controlling costs no doubt. But private insurance premiums have risen 700 percent in the same time period. So if you’re looking to save the people money, how about putting more people on Medicare? Healthcare costs don’t go away by taking away government healthcare. The Republican plan just shifts the costs from the rich to the non-rich. That’s all.

            Can we afford to provide health security to the old and disabled given rising costs? is an irrelevant question. We’re not gonna start telling old and disabled people to fuck off and die.

            So Medicare needs some reform–cost controls, which Republicans call death panels. But there’s world’s worth of evidence that the most effective first step would simply to be extending the more efficient means to more people and get rid of the waste and excess of the private sector–which is in turn what feeds the costs of Medicare.

            1. But Medicare saves money compared to the private market. Its cost per beneficiary have risen 400 percent in the last 40 years–a bad job at controlling costs no doubt. But private insurance premiums have risen 700 percent in the same time period. So if you’re looking to save the people money, how about putting more people on Medicare?

              A) doctors are opting out of medicare at an vastly increasing rate. What’s your solution? How much will it cost? Put up or shut up.

              Can we afford to provide health security to the old and disabled given rising costs? is an irrelevant question. We’re not gonna start telling old and disabled people to fuck off and die.

              B) You’re demanding a policy of raising taxes in order to take care of this. It is very relevent. How much? Put up or shut up.

              So Medicare needs some reform–cost controls, which Republicans call death panels.

              So your solution is to put more people on a plan and then start rationing care? And how much money will this genius plan need? I want numbers. Vague pleas for more money are distractions from the issue. Put up or shut up.

            2. But private insurance premiums have risen 700 percent in the same time period.

              An irrelevant statistic without any supporting citations to boot.

              So if you’re looking to save the people money, how about putting more people on Medicare?

              Yes, more entitled individuals = cost savings!

              What is it about “this is a person’s own money” do you not understand?

            3. Re: Tony,

              Well the real question is how do you preserve Medicare without raising any taxes. The claim is preposterous.

              Of course it’s preposterous, considering that even with tax hikes it cannot be preserved either.

              So Medicare needs some reform–cost controls, which Republicans call death panels.

              You’re right. The answer is to call them “Cost Saving panels.”

            4. You do realize that Medicare underpays, and providers make up the difference by overcharging patients with private insurance, right?

            5. My grandmother spent most of her life in Asia, didn’t pay much taxes in the US, but she gets all kinds of benefits, medicare included. She had a dizzy spell and spent a night in the hospital, and the place gave her a wheelchair (over a thousand dollar). It’s collecting dust in our garage.

              Of course the cost was “low” to nonexistent for her, because it was assumed by someone else.

              If an American senior wanted to give her grandson, cousins and strangers some medicine through medicare, there’s close to nothing anyone can do to stop it. All you need is an understanding doctor willing to write a prescription. In the immigrant community, it happens all the time.

              1. She had a dizzy spell and spent a night in the hospital, and the place gave her a wheelchair

                My wife went to the ER w/ an ankle sprain, taking w/ her the crutches she had from a previous injury. The almost unused crutches were taken from her and she was given a ‘new’ set of crutches.

                I imagine that our insurer was charged at least $300 for the crutches, and the hospital reissued the used crutches to another patient, billing their insurance another $300.

                There’s a reason healthcare is so expensive and a lot of it has to do with the gov’t/healthcare industrial complex.

              2. and the place gave her a wheelchair (over a thousand dollar). It’s collecting dust in our garage.

                You know, you could give the wheelchair back.

        2. $

          1. Symbol-minded.

  17. I need to know where Ryan stands on the issue of bacon pancakes.

    1. As a level 5 Vegan, you disgust me.

      1. Sockpuppet jumps shark

        1. Actually, he’s just starting to get entertaining. With that level of quality trolling, I’m thinking he should stick around.

          1. My name is Brutus, and I approve Hazel’s message.

    2. Where is the pancake part?

      All I see is bacon in that skillet.

      1. First things first.

    3. I had bacon pancakes in Amsterdam. They fucking ruled. If the Dutch know how to do anything besides grow weed, it’s make fucking pancakes.

      1. Pannekoeken rule, no question.

  18. Why haven’t you written any books since Radicals for Capitalism, Brian?

  19. There’s a documentary about Rand on Netflix, “Ayn Rand the Prophecy of Atlas Shrugged”. Pretty interesting.

  20. lol, that dude jsut looks corrupt as the day is long lol.

    http://www.At-Anon.tk

  21. Vice President Paul Ryan would not be Vice President Joe Biden

    Good enough for me.

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