Paul Ryan on video: 30 percent of Americans ‘want their welfare state’

First there was Mitt Romney’s “47 percent” comment, caught on tape at a GOP fundraiser. Now, Paul Ryan has his video, and his percentage of Americans to put down.

From the Huffington Post:

“Seventy percent of Americans want the American dream. They believe in the American idea. Only 30 percent want their welfare state,” Ryan said. “Before too long, we could become a society where the net majority of Americans are takers, not makers.”

Ryan’s comments were delivered as part of his keynote address at The American Spectator’s 2011 Robert L. Bartley Gala Dinner, which the magazine posted online. A reader tipped HuffPost to Ryan’s speech, given in November — six months before Romney’s videotaped remarks.

The “makers versus takers” rhetoric is characteristic of followers of Ayn Rand, the late philosopher and author of books like Atlas Shrugged, in which she argued that American society is composed of rich, entrepreneurial “supermen” and useless cogs in the wheel. Ryan has in the recent past denied he was a follower of Ayn Rand, who was among other things, an atheist.

The Romney-Ryan campaign issued the following response to the Huffington Post story:

“Paul Ryan’s message at this open forum — just as it is every day on the campaign trail –- was one of upward mobility and opportunity for all Americans. The discussion was about the size of government and nothing more.”

Read more at the Huffington Post.

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