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Saturday, October 22, 2016

Paul Ryan Reading Guide: The Best Reporting On The VP Candidate


Originally posted at ProPublica

Aug. 12: This post has been corrected.

Want help going beyond the horse race? We’re gathering the best stories out there on Congressman Paul Ryan, his positions, and his background. Have other stories to share? Add them in comments.


Fussbudget, The New Yorker, August 2012 This sweeping profile is a great introduction to Paul Ryan and his politics. Starting in his hometown of Janesville, Wisconsin, it lays out the evolution of Ryan’s economic beliefs, and his rise through the G.O.P – from his early affinity to Ayn Rand to failed attempts at privatizing Social Security, to his Path to Prosperity budget plan, which would make radical changes in Medicaid and other social programs. The article also looks at the ways that federal-funded projects have helped Ryan’s hometown–and notes that Ryan’s plan “would drastically reduce the parts of the budget” that are funding exactly these kinds of projects.

Ryan shines as GOP seeks vision, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, April 2009 A broad look at Ryan from his home-state paper at a time when Ryan’s national profile was on the rise. Ryan discusses, among other things, how having gay friends led him to break with his party on a gay rights bill in Congress and his “real passion” — bowhunting.

The Legendary Paul Ryan, New York Magazine, April 2012 A look at how the Republican party rallied around Ryan’s “Path to Prosperity,” putting the newcomer’s fiscal agenda at the center of the 2012 presidential campaign well before voters had even chosen Romney as their Republican nominee.

On the paradox of Paul Ryan, The American Conservative, April 2012 What does Mitt Romney gain from Paul Ryan? Romney may be betting on a boost from conservatives who view Ryan as a hero for his aggressive stance on entitlements and federal spending, but as W. James Antle III points out, that may not be enough to win over grassroots conservatives. Antle writes that despite his anti-entitlements campaign, Ryan’s voting record “more closely resembles that of the Republicans who have lost to Tea Party primary challengers than that of a ruthless government-cutter.”

Man with a Plan, Weekly Standard, July 2012 The Weekly Standard’s Stephen Hayes wrote a favorable profile of Ryan in July in the midst of veep buzz. The piece traces his entire career with a particular focus on how, in recent years, Ryan became “the intellectual leader of the Republican party.”

How Important is Altas Shrugged author Ayn Rand to Paul’s political philosophy?  The Atlas Society, April  2012 In a 2005 speech to the Atlas Society, Paul said, “The reason I got involved in public service, by and large, if I had to credit one thinker, one person, it would be Ayn Rand…you can’t find another thinker or writer who did a better job of describing and laying out the moral case for capitalism.” According to the excerpts and audio of his speech posted on the society’s website, he also said that Rand was “required reading” for his interns and staff.  But recently, Ryan has said while he had read Rand’s novels when he was young, his supposed obsession with her was “an urban legend.” “I reject her philosophy,” Ryan told Robert Costa at National Review in April. “It’s an atheist philosophy. It reduces human interactions down to mere contracts and it is antithetical to my worldview.”

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Copyright 2012 The National Memo

    I believe that Mittens has made a mistake in selecting Ryan as his running mate, because Americans have traditionally shied away from voting for extremists and Ryan is an extremist.

    My feeling about him is that he says things for effect, not because he really believes in what he’s saying. I think that like Romney his approach is to deduce what his audience wants to hear so that he can say it.

    Romney’s biggest advantage is the white senior citizens’ reluctance to vote for a black, even though voting for Romney is definitely contrary to the senior citizens’ financial interest.

  • Fred Helstone

    It is the old, worn-out Bush-Cheney rhetoric all over again: huge tax breaks for the rich and the super rich, downgrading of social security programs, promotion of gun ownership and a lot of totally empty screaming about abortion and the inappropriateness of marriage equality. So Ryan or no Ryan, at the end of the day there’s nothing new under the sun there. Only a whole barrel of blah blah that’ll scare the hell out of the elderly, the homeless and jobless.

  • I respect Paul Ryan a lot more than most Republican politicians. At least he has the courage to stand by his convictions and does not hesitate to articulate and put in writing what he believes is the best way to achieve our common goals. Unfortunately for him and the GOP, their proposals are so radical that most voters are bound to reject them or ignore them. Mainstream Americans are neither far right or far left, most of us are centrists and most of us are not in favor of eliminating social programs that have served us well for decades. Social Security needs minor changes, such as raising the contribution cap, and MEDICARE definitely needs adjustments, such as controlling the exhorbitant amounts service providers are charging to the system and eliminating subsidiesto pharmaceuticals and insurance companies, but neither program should be privatized or dismantled. Even former President Reagan, that alleged hero for most Republicans, referred to our social programs as the safety net and vowed to protect them.

    • oldtack

      Good logic Dominick.

  • nomaster

    We need to be cautious about Willard the Rat man and his partner Ben the rat Ryan. They walk a slippery slope and are never definite in what they truely stand for, changing like the chameleon to the will of the crown to whom they speak. Ben the Rat is however more a man of radical beliefs than Willard the Rat man. One thin for certain is that Ryan doesn’t like Medicare nor any of the safety net programs that he wishes so eagerly to disband in the name of debt reduction.

  • If the tea party likes the guy, that’s all I need to know. Pray for tea party extinction.

  • Talk about the Sheep in the Wolf’s clothing…He should have to wear a Warning Sign, just like a pack of cigarettes: BEWARE: voting for this man and his friends will be hazardous to you health, finances and your rights as provided by the Constitution…