Newsweek Slams 'Scrooge' Paul Ryan as a 'Fraud' Fighting a 'War' on the Poor

The April 18 edition of Newsweek trashed Republican Paul Ryan as a "scrooge" who is declaring "war" on poor Americans. The piece by Jonathan Chait ripped the Representative's budget proposal and included this cover headline: "Why GOP Scrooge Paul Ryan Is a Fraud."

The failing publication, which was sold for $1 in 2010, featured an equally vicious headline inside the magazine: "War on the Weak: How the GOP Came to View the Poor as Parasites and the Rich as Our Rightful Rulers."

Chait, who is a senior editor at the liberal new Republic, offered the Republican Ryan's affection for author Ayn Rand as evidence of a "war" on the parasitic poor:

In 2009 Rand began popping up all over the Tea Party movement. Sales of her books skyrocketed, and signs quoting her ideas appeared constantly at rallies. Conservatives asserted that the events of the Obama administration eerily paralleled the plot of Atlas Shrugged, in which a liberal government precipitates economic collapse.

One conservative making that point was Ryan. His citation of Rand was not casual. He’s a Rand nut. In the days before his star turn as America’s Accountant, Ryan once appeared at a gathering to honor her philosophy, where he announced, "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 continues to view Rand as a lodestar, requiring his staffers to digest her creepy tracts.   

[Emphasis added.] It's probably not an accident that Newsweek decided to stigmatize Rand on the same week the film adaption of Atlas Shrugged is released. Chait mocked the libertarian writer as "a kind of politicized L. Ron Hubbard."

After quoting Ryan as saying the safety net should not become "a hammock that lulls able-bodied citizens into lives of complacency and dependency," Chait derided, "Ryan is saying that the poor should not only be denied cash income but also food and health care."

Regardless of what one thinks of Ryan's economic plans, this hyperbolic, emotional attack might be one reason that few Americans, outside of those in the waiting room of the dentist's office, actually read Newsweek.

Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock is the senior news analyst for the Media Research Center and a contributing editor for NewsBusters.org