Birds of a Feather: Paul Ryan’s Budget and Ayn Rand’s Philosophy

Paul Ryan Ayn Rand

Paul Ryan Likey Ayn Rand

Paul Ryan’s budget plan is a plan of organized exploitation that echoes Ayn Rand’s philosophy. He is admittedly, an Ayn Rand nut. In 2005, as a speaker at the Ayn Rand Centenary Conference, he describes Social Security as a “collectivist system”. He gives Ayn Rand credit for inspiring him to enter into public service. He lavishes praise on Ayn Rand on his Facebook account and says, “Ayn Rand, more than anyone else, did a fantastic job of explaining the morality of capitalism, the morality of individualism.”

Ryan’s plan does do two things in immediate and specific ways: Hurt the poor and help the rich. After extending the Bush tax cuts, he would cut the top rate for individuals and corporations from 35 percent to 25 percent. Then Ryan slashes Medicaid, Pell Grants, food stamps, and low-income housing. These programs to help the poor, which constitute approximately 21 percent of the federal budget, absorb two-thirds of Ryan’s cuts.

Ryan spares anybody over the age of 55 from any Medicare or Social Security cuts, because, he says, they “have organized their lives around these programs.” But the roughly one in seven Americans (and nearly one in four children) on food stamps? Apparently they can have their benefits yanked away because they were only counting on using them to eat.

Ryan casts these cuts as an incentive for the poor to get off their lazy butts. He insists that we “ensure that America’s safety net does not become a hammock that lulls able-bodied citizens into lives of complacency and dependency.” It’s worth translating what Ryan means here. Welfare reform was premised on the tough but persuasive argument that providing long-term cash payments to people who don’t work encourages long-term dependency. Ryan is saying that the poor should not only be denied cash income but also food and health care.

The class tinge of Ryan’s Path to Prosperity is striking. The poorest Americans would suffer immediate, explicit budget cuts. Middle-class Americans would face distant, uncertain reductions in benefits. And the richest Americans would enjoy an immediate windfall. Santelli, in his original rant, demanded that we “reward people [who can] carry the water instead of drink the water.” Ryan won’t say so, but that’s exactly what he’s doing. Source: The GOP’s War on the Weak

RAND’S PHILOSOPHY

The philosophy, such as it was, which Rand laid out in her novels and essays was a frightful concoction of hyper-egotism, power-worship and anarcho-capitalism. She opposed all forms of welfare, unemployment insurance, support for the poor and middle-class, regulation of industry and government provision for roads or other infrastructure.

She also insisted that law enforcement, defense and the courts were the only appropriate arenas for government, and that all taxation should be purely voluntary. Her view of economics starkly divided the world into a contest between “moochers” and “producers,” with the small group making up the latter generally composed of the spectacularly wealthy, the successful, and the titans of industry.

The “moochers” were more or less everyone else, leading TNR’s Jonathan Chait to describe Rand’s thinking as a kind of inverted Marxism. Marx considered wealth creation to result solely from the labor of the masses, and viewed the owners of capital and the economic elite to be parasites feeding off that labor. Rand simply reversed that value judgment, applying the role of “parasite” to everyday working people instead.

On the level of personal behavior, the heroes in Rand’s novels commit borderline rape, blow up buildings, and dynamite oil fields — actions which Rand portrays as admirable and virtuous fulfillments of the characters’ personal will and desires. Her early diaries gush with admiration for William Hickman, a serial killer who raped and murdered a young girl. Hickman showed no understanding of “the necessity, meaning or importance of other people,” a trait Rand apparently found quite admirable.

For good measure, Rand dismissed the feminist movement as “false” and “phony,” denigrated both Arabs and Native Americans as “savages” (going so far as to say the latter had no rights and that Europeans were right to take North American lands by force) and expressed horror that taxpayer money was being spent on government programs aimed at educating “subnormal children” and helping the handicapped. Needless to say, when Rand told Mike Wallace in 1953 that altruism was evil, that selfishness is a virtue, and that anyone who succumbs to weakness or frailty is unworthy of love, she meant it.

Source: The Truth About GOP Hero Ayn Rand

Protesters, many of them seniors toting signs that read ‘Hands Off My Medicare,’ waited for Congressman Paul Ryan after a meeting at Gateway Technical College in Kenosha.

Inside, the auditorium was filled to capacity. During public comments, one man said, “Do not renew the Bush tax credit for the wealthy.” As the crowd became more raucous, Ryan told them “If you’re yelling, I just want to ask you to leave.” “If you’re going to scream out like that, it’s just not polite to everyone. We’ve got media here. Let’s prove to them that Wisconsinites can be cordial with one another.”

Congressman Ryan couldn’t take the heat. He sneaked out of a back door and left in a different car than he arrived in and scrapped an interview that had been set up with Today’s TMJ4.

During a phone call to TMJ4, Ryan said, “There were just definitely some loud hecklers who came that gave the police a little concern.” “I left in another car with the police. My car, some people did surround. But, they didn’t cause any problems and I had a staffer who drove my car and we had really no problems.”

You can run, but you can’t hide, Paul Ryan. Here’s a snot rocket with your name on it.

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