Commonweal on Paul Ryan

From Commonweal in their latest number, comes this editorial against Rep. Paul Ryan (Gov. Romney’s VP pick).

I can only assume that, given the timing of this, Commonweal is attacking Ryan because they want Obama to win.  I am sure you are shocked.

Here is a little bit of the editorial. Read the rest there:

Rep. Paul Ryan has long enjoyed a reputation as a wonk’s wonk. Here was a Republican politician happy to engage in substantive conversation about tax policy, debt, and the future of entitlement programs. The press, accustomed to elected officials far less interested in the nitty-gritty of policy-making, believed it had discovered a serious man on Capitol Hill. Others were impressed that Ryan, a practicing Catholic, didn’t shy away from discussing how his faith has helped shape his policies.

Yet, as Ryan’s national stature has increased, so has scrutiny of his record. He has been well served by media coverage contrasting his allegedly [?] Catholic-infused policies with Vice President Joe Biden’s strained attempts to reconcile his prochoice politics with church teaching. But before long, the same press corps that had portrayed Ryan as a no-nonsense deficit hawk began reporting his long-standing avowal of the works of Ayn Rand as the touchstone for his political life. In 2005, Ryan told a crowd of Rand devotees that he looks to Rand’s writing to make sure his policies “square with the key principles of individualism.” And in a 2009 video he praised her for upholding “the morality of individualism” as “what matters most.” One might detect the influence of Rand’s individualism in Ryan’s 2011 description of the social safety net as a “hammock” that fosters “dependency.”  [Here’s the problem.  Hasn’t Ryan explained the Rand thing?]

Rand, an atheist, considered charity a sign of weakness. Ryan’s Randian views—notably his budget plan’s drastic cuts to food stamps, which now aid 46 million—did not sit well with many Catholics.  That includes the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, which repeatedly criticized Ryan’s budget last spring, days after Ryan claimed that it is informed by Catholic social teaching. “The preferential option for the poor,” Ryan said, “means…don’t make people dependent on government.” [A good thing, right?]


Don’t we want fewer people to be dependent on government?

We can have differing opinions about how to help the jobless and the poor.

Here are a couple books which have a view that probably diverges sharply from what Commonweal wants.

The Road to Freedom: How to Win the Fight for Free Enterprise by Arthur C. Brooks.


Defending the Free Market: The Moral Case for a Free Economy by Robert A. Sirico


Also, have a look at Poverty Cure.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Biased Media Coverage, Liberals, Our Catholic Identity, The Drill, The future and our choices and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. David Collins says:

    Here’s an interesting essay that may shed some light on what Commonweal is talking about.

  2. thereseb says:

    This is not a new problem. Compare and contrast the stultifying patron/client relationship in Roman society, and the “bread and circuses” policy that disempowered roman citizens, with the generous and spontaneous sharing between Christians of the same period. I don’t remember much voting advice in the Epistles, either.

  3. catholicmidwest says:

    Not everything that says it’s Catholic is, in fact, Catholic. This shouldn’t shock you much at this late date.

  4. Pingback: MONDAY MID-DAY GOD & CAESAR EDITION | Big Pulpit

  5. AnnAsher says:

    Yes we want less dependence on government. I also think it is possible to agree with certain positions without agreeing with everything a person espouses. I don’t see the story in this ,

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