It starts off:
Fifteen years ago, Paul Ryan was moonlighting as a waiter at a Mexican restaurant on Capitol Hill.But it's the part about Ryan's devotion to Ayn Rand's philosphy that's sure to fire up the GOP's libertarian wing. Continuing:
Today, he's one of his party's most touted young politicians, a GOP point man on the economy and a darling of the conservative movement.
Ryan's emergence this year can be measured in cable news appearances (20), op-eds in the Wall Street Journal and New York Times (three)...
Ryan was the keynote speaker in Washington two months ago at the nation's biggest conservative gathering, the Conservative Political Action Conference. He wrote the chief Republican alternative to the Obama budget. His ability to churn out plans and papers, his media skills and his pro-market zeal have thrust him to the vanguard of the party on the economic issues that dominate today's political debate.
To that task, Ryan brings an admittedly geeky head for numbers and detail. He also brings a deep philosophical attachment to market capitalism and "supply-side" economics - a world view shaped by such icons of individualism and free enterprise as Ayn Rand, Milton Friedman and Friedrich Hayek.Though, Ryan later admits in the article, he's not a 100% down-the-line libertarian, and even cites some occasions where he has disagreed with libertarians on some cultural matters. But rather he's considers himself more of a diehard Randist, with a bit of a socially conservative streak. Continuing:
"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," Ryan said at a D.C. gathering four years ago honoring the author of "Atlas Shrugged" and "The Fountainhead."
At the Rand celebration he spoke at in 2005, Ryan invoked the central theme of Rand's writings when he told his audience that, "Almost every fight we are involved in here on Capitol Hill . . . is a fight that usually comes down to one conflict - individualism versus collectivism."
In that struggle, Ryan argued that shifting Social Security (which he called a "collectivist system") toward personal investment accounts was not only good policy, but would change the political landscape, according to a recording of the event made by its host, The Atlas Society.
"If we actually accomplish this goal of personalizing Social Security, think of what we will accomplish. Every worker, every laborer in America will not only be a laborer but a capitalist. They will be an owner of society. . . . That's that many more people in America who are not going to listen to the likes of Dick Gephardt and Nancy Pelosi, Ted Kennedy, the collectivist, class-warfare-breathing demagogues," said Ryan.