"(Paul Ryan) lives in a libertarian Disneyland where freedom is never abused, where the government is an alien entity whose only function is to flummox the creative intelligence of the Übermensches like Ayn Rand's hero, Howard Roark"
- Joe Klein ('Paul Ryan's Grand Vision') in TIME, Aug. 27, p. 21
It's well known in most circles that pay any attention to political background that Paul Ryan -while claiming Catholicism as his religion (going so far as to back House bills 212, and 3805 to eliminate most contraception and render abortion draconian) is at the same time an acolyte of Ayn Rand. One may query from where he gets his budget proposals, but for anyone who's read any of Rand's "Objectivist" baloney - whether in novels like 'Atlas Shrugged' or other works (i.e. 'The Virtue of Selfishness') , it's quite evident.
To me, it's clear nearly the entire basis for his budget is predicated on the principles Rand lays out in her "bible" : The Virtue of Selfishness. It's instructive, therefore, to go through this work and highlight some favorite Randian quotes, emphases and "principles". In doing this, one hopes people will better appreciate Ryan's own shtick and why he'd propose such a disreputable document as his 'Path to Prosperity' (see image).
Let's then look at some of Rand's bilge:
On whether one ought to save another's life (p. 45):
"The proper method of judging when or whether one should help another person is by reference to one's own rational self-interest and one's own hierarchy of values: the time, the money, or effort one gives or the risk one takes should be proportionate to the value of the person in relation to one's own happiness".
Contrast with the biblical view: 1 John 3:16
"This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers."
One wonders whether Ryan, as a Catholic, ever had real occasion to study his Bible in depth (assuming he owns one).
This might well interest Ryan because he professes to be a "man of faith" and insists his budget is really based on the principles of his Catholic Faith:
p. 38 (Rand):
"Faith is a malignancy that no system can tolerate with impunity, and the man who succumbs to it, will call on it in precisely those issues where he needs reason the most. "
Hmmmmm, interesting. Since it appears Ryan is not quite prepared to go the 'whole hog' as far as Rand's message. He is more than willing to neglect or conveniently overlook her objection to faith and also impose the sort of state violence Rand objected to, i.e. by having women submit to invasive ultrasound probes if they seek abortions (under H.R. 3805). So, do we call Ryan a hypocrite, or maybe a flip -flopper? How about a "hedger"?
On Government Financing in a Free Society:
Rand (p. 116):
"Since the imposition of taxes does represent an initiation of force...in a fully free society, taxation, or payment for government services, would be voluntary. Since the proper services of government - the police, the army, the law courts - are demonstrably needed by individual citizens, and affect the individual's interests directly, they should be willing to pay for such services as they pay for insurance.....Men would voluntarily pay for insurance protecting their contracts."
One method of such voluntary government financing would be a government lottery"
"A fully free society is one that has been constitutionallyreduced to only its most proper, basic functions"
Hey Ryan! Dig that! According to Ayn, your heroine, you shouldn't be increasing the federal tax base (by shifting spending priorities) to increase military funding! If y'all want the military to protect your sorry, scrawny butts or the corporate state, then BUY INSURANCE to support such an endeavor! But don't ask us in the 99% to pay for it with OUR taxes!! That's the use of FORCE!
On Comparing Medicare Beneficiaries to 'Hoodlums' and Gangsters (p. 82-83):
"Out of context goals are those which have to be public because the costs are not to be earned but expropriated. 'Medicare' is an example of such a project.
'Isn't it desirable the aged should have medical care in times of illness?'
"Considered out of context, the answer would be 'yes' it is desirable. Who would have reason to say no? But the fog hides such facts as the enslavement and therefore the destruction of medical science, the regimentation and disintegration of all medical practice and the sacrifice of professional integrity...
"There would be no controversy about some young hoodlum who declared: 'Isn't it desirable to have a yacht, a penthouse, and to drink champagne?' And stubbornly refused to consider that he robbed a bank and killed two guards to achieve that desirable goal."
"There is no moral difference between these two examples: the number of the beneficiaries does not change the nature of the action, it merely increases the number of victims. In fact, the private hoodlum has a slight edge of moral superiority: he has no power to devastate an entire nation and his victims are not legally disarmed."
So there you have it: According to Ayn Rand's "Bible", Medicare beneficiaries are even WORSE than private hoodlums who kill victims, as in a bank robbery, to partake of desired champagne, penthouses and yachts!
Rand does offer a way out for those oldsters who need it, however, as on p. 120:
Any type of "non-sacrificial assistance", as in "a gratuitous gift" is acceptable in a free society which does not depend on any 'redistribution of wealth'. In other words, CHARITY! Thus, all of us Medicare "hoodlums" once tossed out and onto vouchers (if Ryan and Romney get in) can always go and beg at charities if we need extra money after the voucher has run out, say for treatment of prostate cancer or whatever. And since millions of us will be competing for help from the same charities, and only a limited number of us will receive enough....well, I guess we shall (most of us) have to just be ready to meet our "Maker".
Ah yes, Ryan's World! What's not to love?