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Ryan’s Conservatism Influenced by Free Market Economists

Sunday, August 12, 2012

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Serving in Congress since 1999, Paul Ryan is a conservative Republican whose ideology was shaped early on by thinkers who extolled individualism and free markets, warned of an overweening state and promoted tax-cutting “supply-side” economics.

His intellectual heroes include the economists Milton Friedman, Ludwig von Mises and Friedrich Hayek, author of “The Road to Serfdom,” Ayn Rand, author of “Atlas Shrugged” and “The Fountainhead,” and former New York congressman and vice presidential candidate Jack Kemp, for whom Ryan once worked.

Of all these, Ryan’s interest in Rand has probably gotten the most attention.

“Paul can still quote every verse out of Ayn Rand,” his brother Tobin said in a 2009 interview.

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