Paul Ryan represents one of two branches of the Tea Party. Let’s call it the libertarian branch. These are people who are single-minded and absolutist about “free-market economics”. Theirs is a passion that leads to across-the-board opposition to taxes and government regulation of economic life, to bemoaning public debt, and to the aim of whittling down the American welfare state to extinction. It is a strain of extreme American conservatism that has been with us since its fierce opposition, generally among highly placed corporate leaders, to the New Deal. It fought for decades for dominance in the Republican Party. Once having achieved it with the presidency of Ronald Reagan—and having put American liberalism on the defensive for a generation—it has been consistently dissatisfied with the compromises of conservative politicians in power and has maintained its sense of itself as an insurgent force. This is the Koch brothers Tea Party, the Dick Armey Tea Party. The libertarians, of whom Ryan is very much the exemplar, are grounded in the economic theory of the Austrian school of economics, thinkers like Friedrich Hayek, whose seminal title, The Road to Serfdom, sums up their view of the Keynesian economics they have sought to displace for the past seven decades.
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Paul Ryan, from the "libertarian branch" of Friedrich Hayek
Excerpted, Mapping Paul Ryan, Lawrence Rosenthal, The Berkley Blog: