Paul Ryan on Principles & Values

Republican nominee for Vice President; U.S. Rep. (WI-1)


The American Idea: way of life based on freedom and equality

The issues I care about: economic growth, saving Medicare and Social Security, fixing our broken health-care system and passing on to the next generation a national that is secure and debt-free. Nearly two years have passed since our last presidential election, and we still find ourselves moving in the wrong direction. And the price of this state of affairs is the erosion of the American Idea-- a way of life made possible by our commitment to principles of freedom and equality and rooted in our respect for every person's natural rights.
Source: The Way Forward, by Paul Ryan, First Chapter, p. 5 , Aug 19, 2014

We need different policies to safeguard the American Idea

The issues I care about: economic growth, saving Medicare and Social Security, fixing our broken health-care system and passing on to the next generation a national that is secure and debt-free. We still find ourselves moving in the wrong direction. And the price of this state of affairs is the erosion of the American Idea--a way of life made possible by our commitment to principles of freedom and equality and rooted in our respect for every person's natural rights.
Source: The Way Forward, by Paul Ryan, p. 1 , Aug 19, 2014

Appeal to citizens with focus on economy & private rights

I believe the conservative vision can appeal to the majority of our citizens. It offers a way of life that consists of a dynamic economy, a thriving civil society, and a government that protects our rights while offering a real safety net for those in need without overpowering the private economy and the private lives of citizens.
Source: The Way Forward, by Paul Ryan, p. 2 , Aug 19, 2014

The left offers people a full stomach and an empty soul

Ryan speech to CPAC: "The left is making a big mistake here. What they're offering people is a full stomach and an empty soul. The American people want more than that. This reminds me of a story I heard from Eloise Anderson. She serves in the cabinet of my buddy, Governor Scott Walker. She once met a young boy from a very poor family, and every day at school, he would get a free lunch from a government program. He told Eloise he didn't want a free lunch. He wanted his own lunch, one in a brown-paper bag just like the other kids. He wanted one, he said, because he knew a kid with a brown-paper bag had someone who cared for him. This is what the left does not understand."

FactCheck: Did Anderson ever meet such a child? On July 31, 2013, she testified to Congress [and told that same story].

Had she actually met this boy? Her spokesperson said she misspoke; the story came from a TV interview 25 years ago. When we told Ryan, he posted a notice saying, "I regret failing to verify the original story."

Source: Wash. Post FactCheck on 2014 CPAC convention , Mar 6, 2014

Tea Party & libertarians bring "creative tension" to GOP

In his CPAC speech, Ryan celebrates the "messy and noisy" debate currently consuming the Republican Party, and cast the infighting as a necessary step to shape a fresh conservative agenda for the country: "The way the Left tells it, the Republican Party is in a civil war," Ryan says. "It's Tea Party versus establishment--libertarians versus social conservatives."

He compares today's intra-party squabbling to the beginning of the Reagan revolution, when a "battle of ideas" gave way to a long period of conservative dominance in American politics: "We're figuring out the best way to apply our principles to the challenges of the day," Ryan says. "Sure, we have our disagreements. And yes, they can get a little passionate. I like to think of it as 'creative tension.' That's how it always is: You fight it out. You figure out what works. You come together. Then you win. It's messy and noisy and even a little bit uncomfortable. But the center of gravity is shifting. We're developing an agenda."

Source: Buzzfeed weblog on 2014 CPAC convention , Mar 6, 2014

Progressives seem to have answers, but can't keep promises

"Progressivism is well-intentioned but it is also--in my humble opinion--arrogant and condescending," Ryan said at the American Enterprise Institute. "Instead of helping people make their own decisions, it makes those decisions for them. It makes Washington the center of power & politicians the center of attention."

Ryan laced his blistering critique with caveats, saying progressives were not evil, but merely misguided in pursuit of the shared goal of American exceptionalism.

He acknowledged the appeal of the liberal message and the success Democrats have had in peddling their vision to voters. "This vision proved compelling," Ryan said. "It drew thousands of people into government. They seized the moral high ground. They said they were for the people. And their opponents? They were for the rich. They were selfish. Progressives seem to have an answer. The progressive state offers a sense of security. But it's a false sense of security because government can't keep all its promises."

Source: The Hill reporting on Ryan speech at AEI , May 9, 2013

Lives now on same block in Janesville where he grew up

My dad, a small town lawyer, was also named Paul. I'm sure proud of him and where I come from, Janesville, Wisconsin.

I live on the same block where I grew up. We belong to the same parish where I was baptized. Janesville is that kind of place. The people of Wisconsin have been good to me. I've tried to live up to their trust. And now, I ask those hardworking men and women and millions like them across America to join our cause and get this country working again.

Source: 2012 Republican National Convention speech , Aug 29, 2012

Side-by-side issue comparison to Joe Biden

Does the Democratic Vice President Joe Biden agree with Republican Vice-Presidential nominee Paul Ryan on anything? Nope, not among international issues like those listed below. We researched their voting records; their political biographies; their speeches and websites; and present their issue stances side-by-side on each of the following topics (and economic issues and social issues as well):
Source: Paperback: Obama-Biden vs. Romney-Ryan On The Issues , Aug 27, 2012

I credit Ayn Rand for getting me involved in public service

Rep. Paul Ryan [gave] a 2005 speech at The Atlas Society, where he extolled author and philosopher Ayn Rand, particularly her magnum opus Atlas Shrugged. What liberals always seize on is his statement, "I grew up reading Ayn Rand and it taught me quite a bit about who I am and what my value systems are, and what my beliefs are."

In that same 2005 speech: "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," he said. "If we're going to actually win this we need to make sure that we're solid on premises, that our principles are well-defended, and if want to go and articulately defend these principles and what they mean to our society, what they mean for the trends that we set internationally, we have to go back to Ayn Rand," Rep. Ryan said.

"I think a lot of people would observe that we are right now living in an Ayn Rand novel, metaphorically speaking," Rep. Ryan observed in 2009.

Source: Conor Friedersdorf in The Atlantic, "Atlas Shrugged" , Aug 13, 2012

Ayn Rand is thought-provoking, but objectivism is ridiculous

Liberal activists have insisted Ryan's fiscal hawkishness stems from a fascination with the Russian-American novelist, Ayn Rand. The controversial 20th century author--who wrote "The Fountainhead" and "Atlas Shrugged"--was a fierce critic of Social Security and other safety net programs.

Ryan once touted Rand as someone who "more than anyone else has done a fantastic job of explaining the morality of capitalism, the morality of individualism." Speaking about the Obama administration, Ryan added, "And I think a lot of people would observe we are right now living in an Ayn Rand novel, metaphorically speaking."

But last summer Ryan said any talk of an obsession with Rand was a "canard." "You know I read her novels when I was young, I thought they were good at defending free markets and free enterprise. Her philosophy is kind of a ridiculous one in my opinion, objectivism. I'm a devout Catholic, how can you believe in that stuff? But I think her novels are thought-provoking."

Source: CNN blog, "Political Ticker" , Aug 12, 2012

Pursue three goals: Freedom; Growth; and Renewal

I believe we must pursue three very important goals. The first is Freedom. I believe we must restore the concept of freedom by re-limiting the federal government's reach in our society. I want the federal government to do less with less, and I want to see our families do more with more. We must take power and money from Washington and return it back to the states, local governments, and, above all, each of us.

The second is Growth. I believe we must pursue a bold agenda of growth by casting aside the shackles of class envy and promoting economic growth and opportunity through lower taxes and by ultimately replacing the tax code.

The third principle which I will pursue is Renewal. We must replace moral squalor with both public decency and private civility. I believe we can begin this process of renewal by relieving the tax burden and by supporting our wealth of faith based charities. We can help restore good citizenship be freeing up individuals to become good citizens.

Source: 2012 House campaign website, ryanforcongress.com, "Issues" , Aug 11, 2012

Won Tea Party Express poll based on fiscal conservatism

Tea Party Express Chairman Amy Kremer said the selection of Congressman Paul Ryan as the vice-presidential choice of Mitt Romney confirms his strong commitment to the tea party economic issues.

Kremer said, "We have been polling our members for the last couple of months, and Paul Ryan, along with Senator Marco Rubio, out of 27 different candidates on the ballot, had the strongest support from Tea Party Express supporters across the country. Ryan is a strong fiscal conservative, and addresses the serious financial woes facing the country."

"Selecting someone like Paul Ryan, who is so popular with tea party activists, proves that Mitt Romney is committed to addressing the economic issues that have been troubling our nation for the last 4 years," Kremer concluded.

Tea Party Express is the largest tea party political action committee in the nation. The organization aims its activity at reducing the size, cost, & intrusiveness of the federal government by electing pro-growth fiscal conservatives.

Source: TeaPartyExpress.org, "Strong Tea Party Choice" , Aug 11, 2012

Adhere to principles to avoid squabbles among conservatives

"Everyone's got to stick together," said Paul Ryan, a 38-year-old Wisconsin congressman and numbers fetishist whose shiny earnestness recalled an "Ozzie and Harriet" America. Ryan hated squabbling amongst conservatives -- the paleos versus the neos, the socials against the moderates, and on and on for as long as he'd been on the Hill, which was all of his adult life. Ryan had long sought to be on the GOP's glue, pleading for adherence to the principles and the data. At times he looked like the underfed, hollow-eyed child of alcoholic parents.

"The only way we'll succeed is if we're united," Ryan told the others. "If we tear ourselves apart, we're finished." But, he added. He liked what he was hearing now. Everyone at the table sounded like a genuine conservative. It was a place to start.

Source: Do Not Ask What Good We Do, by Robert Draper, p. xvii-xviii , Apr 24, 2012

Elected at age 28 & immediately focused on budget issues

Ryan was a numbers geek and a Washingtonian -- and only in the latter city could the former confer rock stardom. Straight out of college he became the economic advisor to Senator Bob Kasten. Elected to Congress in 1998 at the age of 28, Ryan wasted little time impressing fellow House Republicans as a serious, almost monastic young fellow who stayed up nights on a rollaway bed in his Longworth Building office leering at actuarial tables like soft porn. Following liberal Democrat Barney Frank's advice to him to "pick 2 or 3 issues and really focus on them," the freshman staked a claim as the Hill's most vigorous conservative "budgeteer."
Source: Do Not Ask What Good We Do, by Robert Draper, p.136-137 , Apr 24, 2012

Promote American exceptionalism

We only have nine months to defeat Barack Obama--nine months to reject his agenda of debt, doubt, and decline. And while defeating this President is necessary to getting America back on track, it is hardly sufficient. Put simply, Americans deserve a choice--and it is our responsibility to offer them one. They deserve an opportunity, not just to divert from the President's path to decline, but to affirm a reform agenda that restores our bedrock of founding principles. Now is the time to promote American exceptionalism, remove barriers to upward mobility for those in need, and put the nation back on a path to renewed prosperity for all. Look, the Obama presidency has been a disappointing failure. He should have taken steps immediately to restore confidence in the American economy. Instead, he sidetracked the economy to pursue a debt-fueled ideological agenda that squandered the trust of the American people.
Source: Speech at 2012 Conservative Political Action Conference , Feb 9, 2012

FactCheck: "Progressivists" is intentionally insulting term

Ryan uses the term "Progressivist vision" on p. 131; the same term is used on p. 98, p. 112, & pp. 129-132. The term has no political meaning except to insult Ryan's opponents. There are no political groups in America who call themselves "progressivists. The term is akin to using "Democrat Party" as an insulting term for "the Democratic Party" (there is no "Democrat Party," and no one uses that term except in a derogatory manner). The authors, evidently, attempt here to invent a new derogatory term.

Ryan further misleads readers by asserting, "Left-of-center politicians stopped calling themselves 'liberals' and started calling themselves 'Progressives.' I can't say precisely why they made this switch." That is factually incorrect. Liberals and progressives are distinct factions in the Democratic Party, akin to libertarians vs. Christian conservatives in the Republican Party. Hillary Clinton represented the liberal faction in 2008; Barack Obama represented the progressive faction.

Source: OnTheIssues.org FactCheck on "Young Guns" , May 2, 2011

Liberals started calling themselves Progressivists

A few years back, most left-of-center pundits and politicians stopped calling themselves "liberals" and started calling themselves "Progressives." I can't say precisely why they made this switch.

Progressivism is actually an old political movement in America, going back before the beginning of the 20th century. Progressivism marked the point at which some politicians and intellectuals began for the first time to question the meaning of the Constitution, that the Constitution should be a "living" document whose meaning had to "keep up with the times." Suddenly government could create "rights"--and just as easily as it could create them, it could take them away.

The Progressivist vision is to create a new American person who no longer strives to better oneself but accepts one's station in life--and looks to the government to help cope not only with difficulties but with every important personal decision.

[This statement is factually incorrect; see OnTheIssues.org FactCheck --ed.]

Source: Young Guns, by Reps. Ryan, Cantor & McCarthy, p.131-132 , Sep 14, 2010

Thinker of the "Young Guns" conservative movement

Ryan, by 2004, emerged as the congressman who knew more about the federal budget and health care than anyone else in Washington.

In "The Weekly Standard", they appeared on the cover in a photo taken on a Capitol balcony overlooking the Mall. They kne each other as members of the embattled Republican caucus that had lost control of the House in the disastrous 2006 mid-term election. But they hadn't realized their individual skills were remarkably complimentary: Cantor the leader, Ryan the thinker, McCarthy the strategist. Some of us at "The Weekly Standard" had noticed this. Thus the cover story.

In a sense, their alliance and the creation of Young Guns was a revolt against the older, established Republican leaders in the House. The party establishment was dedicated to protecting incumbents at all cost. With money, manpower, and advice, Young Guns supports challengers. Young Guns is not for "me-too" Republicans, those comfortable with a scaled-back version of the Democratic agenda.

Source: Young Guns, by Reps. Ryan, Cantor & McCarthy, p. vii-ix , Sep 14, 2010

America's greatest strengths lie in Americans themselves

"This Road Map is built on a fundamental conviction that America's greatest strengths lie in Americans themselves--in their creativity, their productive capacities and their personal initiative. ...Therefore this plan, to the greatest extent possible, builds on the initiative of individual Americans. Exercised responsibly in a free economy and a democratic political system. Strengthening the role of the individual is the key to invigorating the society and the economy." --Congressman Paul Ryan
Source: Saving Freedom, by Jim DeMint, p.242 , Jul 4, 2009

Religious affiliation: Catholic.

Ryan : religious affiliation:

The Adherents.com website is an independent project and is not supported by or affiliated with any organization (academic, religious, or otherwise).

Whatís an adherent?

The most common definition used in broad compilations of statistical data is somebody who claims to belong to or worship in a religion. This is the self-identification method of determining who is an adherent of what religion, and it is the method used in most national surveys and polls.

Such factors as religious service attendance, belief, practice, familiarity with doctrine, belief in certain creeds, etc., may be important to sociologists, religious leaders, and others. But these are measures of religiosity and are usually not used academically to define a personís membership in a particular religion. It is important to recognize there are various levels of adherence, or membership within religious traditions or religious bodies. Thereís no single definition, and sources of adherent statistics do not always make it clear what definition they are using.

Source: Adherents.com web site 00-ADH11 on Nov 7, 2000

Member of the House Republican Young Guns.

Ryan is a member House Republican Young Guns

The new generation of pro-market, small government leaders filled such a need that in October 2007, Fred Barnes of The Weekly Standard profiled Eric Cantor, Paul Ryan, and Kevin McCarthy and christened them the "young guns."

Kevin approached Eric & Paul about the idea of traveling together, as "Young Guns", to visit Republican candidates interested in a new approach for the party.

What began as an informal way to support like-minded candidates became a more formal structure. Once the three Representatives had studied the candidate and given their support to become a Young Gun, they committed to providing financial support through their campaign committees.

Existing House Republicans were approached with a simple pitch: Are we willing to help ourselves by being proactive and going on the offense to change this House? Dozens of our House Republican colleagues joined the Young Gun effort as one of the many signs that the Republican Party had shifted.

Source: Young Guns 10-HRYG on Sep 14, 2010

2012 Governor, House and Senate candidates on Principles & Values: Paul Ryan on other issues:
WI Gubernatorial:
Scott Walker
WI Senatorial:
Tammy Baldwin

Newly-elected Democrats taking office Jan.2015:
AZ-7: Rep.-Elect Ruben Gallego
CA-11:Rep.-Elect Mark DeSaulnier
CA-31:Rep.-Elect Pete Aguilar(R⇒D)
CA-33:Rep.-Elect Ted Lieu
CA-35:Rep.-Elect Norma Torres
FL-2: Rep.-Elect Gwen Graham(R⇒D)
HI-1: Rep.-Elect Mark Takai
MA-6: Rep.-Elect Seth Moulton
MI-12:Rep.-Elect Debbie Dingell
MI-14:Rep.-Elect Brenda Lawrence
NE-2: Rep.-Elect Brad Ashford(R⇒D)
NJ-12:Rep.-Elect Bonnie Coleman
NY-4: Rep.-Elect Kathleen Rice
PA-13:Rep.-Elect Brendan Boyle
VA-8: Rep.-Elect Donald Beyer
Seated in special elections 2013-2014:
AL-1: Bradley Byrne(R)
FL-13:David Jolly(R)
FL-19:Curt Clawson(R)
IL-2: Robin Kelly(D)
LA-5: Vance McAllister(R)
MA-5: Katherine Clark(D)
MO-8: Jason Smith(R)
NC-12:Alma Adams(D)
NJ-1: Donald Norcross(D)
SC-1: Mark Sanford(R)
VA-7: Dave Brat(R)

Newly-elected Republicans taking office Jan.2015:
AR-2: Rep.-Elect French Hill
AR-4: Rep.-Elect Bruce Westerman
AL-6: Rep.-Elect Gary Palmer
CA-25:Rep.-Elect Steve Knight
CA-45:Rep.-Elect Mimi Walters
CO-4: Rep.-Elect Ken Buck
FL-26:Rep.-Elect Carlos Curbelo(D⇒R)
GA-1: Rep.-Elect Buddy Carter
GA-10:Rep.-Elect Jody Hice
GA-11:Rep.-Elect Barry Loudermilk
GA-12:Rep.-Elect Rick Allen(D⇒R)
IA-1: Rep.-Elect Rod Blum(D⇒R)
IA-3: Rep.-Elect David Young
IL-10:Rep.-Elect Robert Dold(D⇒R)
IL-12:Rep.-Elect Mike Bost(D⇒R)
More newly-elected Republicans taking office Jan.2015:
LA-5: Rep.-Elect Ralph Abraham
LA-6: Rep.-Elect Garret Graves
ME-2: Rep.-Elect Bruce Poliquin(D⇒R)
MI-4: Rep.-Elect John Moolenaar
MI-8: Rep.-Elect Mike Bishop
MI-11:Rep.-Elect Dave Trott
MN-6: Rep.-Elect Tom Emmer
MT-0: Rep.-Elect Ryan Zinke
NC-6: Rep.-Elect Mark Walker
NC-7: Rep.-Elect David Rouzer(D⇒R)
NH-1: Rep.-Elect Frank Guinta(D⇒R)
NJ-3: Rep.-Elect Tom MacArthur
NV-4: Rep.-Elect Cresent Hardy(D⇒R)
NY-1: Rep.-Elect Lee Zeldin(D⇒R)
NY-21:Rep.-Elect Elise Stefanik(D⇒R)
NY-24:Rep.-Elect John Katko
OK-5: Rep.-Elect Steve Russell
PA-6: Rep.-Elect Ryan Costello
TX-4: Rep.-Elect John Ratcliffe
TX-23:Rep.-Elect Will Hurd
TX-36:Rep.-Elect Brian Babin
UT-4: Rep.-Elect Mia Love(D⇒R)
VA-10:Rep.-Elect Barbara Comstock
WA-4: Rep.-Elect Dan Newhouse
WI-6: Rep.-Elect Glenn Grothman
WV-2: Rep.-Elect Alex Mooney
WV-3: Rep.-Elect Evan Jenkins(D⇒R)
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