Open Prep: 15 Things to Read, See and Hear About Paul Ryan

Monday, August 13, 2012 - 09:00 AM

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) with the Republicans' 2012 budget proposal, dubbed 'The Path to Prosperity.' (Getty)

Mitt Romney has chosen Wisconsin representative Paul Ryan for his vice presidential pick. Reihan Salam of the National Review will be discussing the pick on Monday's Brian Lehrer show. In the meantime, here's some background reading on Ryan.

→ Official Campaign Announcement: America's Comeback Team

→ Profiles/Analysis: New Yorker Profile | Weekly Standard Endorses Ryan | Paul Krugman of the NYT on Ryan | Ezra Klein of the Washington Post | WNYC/It's A Free Country Archive

→ On the Record/Issues: On the Issues | Politifact Ryan Archive | WaPo Vote Tracker | Open Congress

→ The Ryan Budget: Path to Prosperity (2013 Budget) Roadmap for America's Future (Previous Budget)

Brian Lehrer Show: Nicole Gelinas on Paul Ryans 2013 Budget

→ Paul Ryan Response to Obama 2011 State of the Union

→ Something Lighter: An April Fools Day Prank Played by Ryan on Romney


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Comments [16]

The Press and comedians are having a ‘field day’ with the Republican candidates. -Their policies are so idiotic. However, it must be considered that there are dire consequences!
My elderly aunt was a devoted Communist.
After the 1933 German election, she confessed to her friends that she voted for Hitler. “WHAT?” her friends screamed. “Are you crazy!”
“No, you will see. His policies will be so outrages, that the German people will never again elect a Fascist regime.”
She was right, of course. The Third Reich lasted only 12 years, while the following Communist government lasted more than half a century.
But, what a price was paid for that lesson, -all the death and the immense destruction!
She and her husband had to flee and live ‘underground’ for a decade. Many times, they almost lost their lives.

Aug. 17 2012 11:50 AM
Richard Sloat

My question did Ryan vote for the unreal Balanced Budget Amendment? If he did how can he justify his real budget that takes 20 years to "balance" the budget.

Aug. 16 2012 07:24 AM

No one wants to discuss what is really troubling US citizens especially elders. Two wonderful programs that are already on the books are Hoover Dam and Social Security. Both were set up to help many. Because of solid basics, Hoover Dam is working beautifully and Social Security was working beautifully until our "representatives" raped it. This has been and should always be a program of the people, by the people and for the people funded by monies from employers and employees. This is not a freebie, it is OUR money,it is an insurance policy in our future, it is an obligation to protect ourselves and to keep it in place for those who come after us, should they need it.
It is a revolving money machine meaning what we need is JOBS, JOBS, JOBS.
Support this wonderful program DO NOT DESTROY IT. Have a stimulus to return all monies to SS that were taken illegally(?). Our lax, inept administrators should use these funds for strictly social issues i.e. education, shelter, food, medical (WE PAY FOR MEDICARE)and other needs of our people. Employers must be in business and employees must have work.
Retirement age should remain at 65 years of age (this is old enough). SS is not a freebie and neither is Medicare. It is our money. REINFORCE ITS FOUNDATION - DO NOT DESTROY IT.

Aug. 15 2012 09:48 AM
bob from new jersey

let´s not lose sight of the basic issue here. republicans have been trying and suceeding in reversing the ideas and programs of the new deal for decades and this is just the latest version. Ryan simply wants to get the federal government out of the business of entitlement programs. once medicare responsibility is turned over to the states just try assuring that each state provides acceptable care to everyone. it will be a mess.
Cutting costs is key and the best way to cut costs is to reduce the hefty one third of every dollar spent on health care that the insurance companies take to administer health care and as their profits, overt and hidden, which are huge and growing. Insurance company profits would be enough to insure every uninsured american. Certainly finding and cutting waste and fraud in the system is also essential but why should we believe that this will be done better at the 50 state level.
I don´t expect that everyone should believe as I do, that single payer is the best way to go but those against it should admit that plans like Ryan´s are at least as extreme on the other side.
Every american has to decide if they want to live in a country where you get good health care only if you can afford it, and let´s face it that is a shrinking number, or if it is a right as it is in virtually all western countries and even some developing ones.

Aug. 15 2012 05:11 AM
Barb from New York

Ryan and Rand hypocrites?

"Critics of Social Security and Medicare frequently invoke the words and ideals of author and philosopher Ayn Rand, one of the fiercest critics of federal insurance programs. But a little-known fact is that Ayn Rand herself collected Social Security. She may also have received Medicare benefits.

An interview recently surfaced that was conducted in 1998 by the Ayn Rand Institute with a social worker who says she helped Rand and her husband, Frank O’Connor, sign up for Social Security and Medicare in 1974.

Federal records obtained through a Freedom of Information act request confirm the Social Security benefits." From:

Paul Ryan's entire professional life has been spent working in the public sector, his salary being paid by the taxpayers. He has an excellent healthcare plan (paid for by us), yet doesn't think any one else should have the same. His belief in Ayn Rand's "philosophy" is yet another example of superficial, misguided thinking.

Aug. 14 2012 11:43 AM
fatima Randolph from fairfield, ct

I am astonished that this pretender to VP espouses philosophies of a 3rd rate russian-born-and-raised writer/philosopher whose views are largely discredited and whose main point is "it is better to destroy your work than to compromise" . This is a sociopathic view of the world where one self is at the center. We deserve politicians who care and work towards our society and not towards one's self interest.

Aug. 14 2012 11:36 AM
Corey from Brooklyn, NY

You meant Upton Sinclair, the author of "The Jungle", not Sinclair Lewis, author of "Babbit"

Aug. 14 2012 11:21 AM

On the Medicare issue, since funding depends on the Medicare tax collected from everyone working who is younger than 65 (i.e., Medicare is not fully funded by the premiums Medicare recipients pay), how can the system be viable if people now under 55 are allowed to opt out?

Will any reporters, commenters, or the Democratic Party ask this elementary question at some time before the election?

Aug. 14 2012 10:41 AM

@Bob -

Where were you when Bush II and the GOP doubled the debt? ($5T when he took office, $11T after his last fiscal year) Three-fourths of the revenue shortfall is CAUSED by the recession. So if Congress had taken recovery seriously, the debt would be $4T lower. 1) Recover the economy, 2) rein in spending. Do it backwards at your own regret.

Aug. 13 2012 11:17 AM
gary from queens

Brian is getting a beating, big time.

This is what happens when you let a competent conservative into the liberal fortifications.

Don't expect Reihan will be invited back anytime soon, even with that nice third world name of his.

You dont beat up Brian in debate and expect a return bout.

Aug. 13 2012 10:20 AM
Craig from Westchester, NY

As a young independent I only hope this choice allows the candidates to clearly outline their plans for tackling the serious issues facing this country. Healthcare and medicaid do need repair but both candidates refuse to speak on cutting the biggest budget of all, the military.

Aug. 13 2012 09:46 AM
Magreve from Red Hook, Brooklyn

Isn't this Ryan in some way connected with the home-construction-Ryan family? I think they spread into midwest ... from Wisconsin ... e.g. "Ryan Homes" built a lot of the southern suburbs of Pittsburgh, PA, my childhood home. I was under impression family had branched into many industries, including politics.

I am not eager for the political-industrial complex to take up a mogul-relative of yet another 1% family. Was it possible he was able to spend all those years in the House because he had that familial support? Is anyone digging into this? TWO moguls teamed for the White House? I don't think that's a lot of touch with the "common man."

Aug. 13 2012 07:08 AM
Michael Marme'

To the list of Profiles/Analyses, add the Jonathan Chait profile which appeared in New York magazine this spring. It demonstrates both Ryan's lack of consistency re reforms to the guaranteed student loan program (he has opposed the government take-over in spite of the flagrant waste of tax payer money funneling the funds through the banks has involved) and reporters chronic failure to call him on the details.

Ryan's father and grandfather both died before they were 60. Although Social Security survivor's benefits enabled him to go to college, does his belief that he will never live long enough to collect have anything to do with his desire to gut medicare and Social security?

Aug. 12 2012 01:18 PM

Actually since the poor are more likely to be in debt I doubt inflation is going to bother them much. Any inflationary policies are to help home prices really. If your house is underwater one hope is to have inflation bring it back up to what you actually paid for it. Not to mention reducing the purchasing power of the dollar makes imports more expensive so locally manufactured goods will be competitive. Inflation may be "harsh medicine" but it is certainly no worse than "austerity" policies aimed at reducing the working class standard of living in order to save the rich from having to pay taxes.

Aug. 11 2012 06:01 PM

We are at a crossroad in the United States. We have spent ourselves into a $16 TRILLION DOLLAR DEBT & CLIMBING! We need to address this problem now so we don't soon find ourselves in the same financial position as Greece. Cut the size and scope of government at all levels in both "guns and butter" categories. The Military, Social Programs and Government largesse are the cause of our financial problems and need to be drastically reduced. Rep. Paul Ryan is a good pick for VP because he has articulated the problem we're facing and has the courage to confront and fix it. Inflating our way out of debt, the way the cowards in government are currently doing it, is a tax on everyone's spending power and hurts the poor the most.

Aug. 11 2012 01:02 PM
Jack Jackson from Central New Jersey

"We will tell you the truth..." Ryan at his announcement

Well, if you have the ability to KNOW the truth...

Aug. 11 2012 10:01 AM

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