This week, we begin a new feature: the day’s most interesting and important story on nonprofits from the world’s media. For a full survey of media coverage of topics relating to nonprofits, philanthropy, volunteering, and civil society, go to the Hauser Center’s news blog, Nonprofit News & Comment.
Today’s featured story from the New York Times discusses vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan’s engagement in the Beltway’s conservative policy universe.
“Conservative Elite in Capital Pay Heed to Ryan as Thinker.” By Annie Lowrey. New York Times. August 17, 2012.
With the debate over the federal deficit roiling last year, David Smick, a financial market consultant, held a dinner for a bipartisan group of connected budget thinkers at his expansive home here.
At the table were members of the city’s conservative policy elite, including Alan Greenspan, the former chairman of the Federal Reserve, and William Kristol, the editor of The Weekly Standard.
But that evening, none drew more attention than a relatively new member of that best-of class: Representative Paul D. Ryan, Republican of Wisconsin and now Mitt Romney’s running mate, who spoke passionately about the threat posed by the national debt and the radical actions needed to rein it in.
Much has been written about Mr. Ryan’s intellectual influences: canonical conservative thinkers like Friedrich von Hayek, the Austrian economist, and Ayn Rand, the novelist and philosopher. Mr. Ryan’s enthusiasm for them dates at least to his days as a precocious undergraduate at Miami University in Ohio.
But since first coming to Washington in the early 1990s, Mr. Ryan has been closely tied to an intellectual world more concerned with the political agenda of low taxes, light regulations and small government than philosophical ruminations on work and freedom.
And since his emergence as the key Congressional Republican on the budget issue, Mr. Ryan has become a particular favorite of — and powerful influence on — the intellectuals, economists, writers and policy makers who are at the heart of Washington’s conservative establishment.