Rep. Paul Ryan has tried to distance himself from a 2005 speech (audio below) in which he expressed his admiration for controversial author Ayn Rand [who opposed charity and favored capitalism with no limits] and attacked government programs such as Social Security, reports OurFuture.org.
Rep. Ryan said in a speech before the Atlas Society in 2005: "I just want to speak to you a little bit about Ayn Rand and what she meant to me in my life and [in] the fight we're engaged here in Congress. I grew up on Ayn Rand ... and it taught me quite a bit about who I am and what my value systems are, and what my beliefs are... 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."
Rep. Ryan also called for privatizing Social Security, saying it was part of a broader “fight of individualism versus collectivism.”
“Social Security right now is a collectivist system... It’s a welfare transfer system... Autopilot will bring more government, more collectivism, more centralized government, if we do not succeed in switching these programs and reforming these programs from what some people call a defined benefit system, to a defined contribution system.”
However, Rep. Ryan recently told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that he would no longer would describe programs like Social Security as “collectivist” as he did in a speech before the Atlas Society: “I don’t think of it like that.”