In the past 10 days, we’ve learned a lot about Paul Ryan and the events in his upbringing that influence his policies today: The 42-year-old Congressman grew up in Janesville, Wisconsin. He’s a devout Roman Catholic. He was elected class president in high school and selected as prom king. He works out and likes to fish and hunt for deer. On his bookshelf you can find his favorites, from Ayn Rand’s "Atlas Shrugged" to the Bible.
He’s perhaps best known as the architect of the Paul Ryan budget, the leading Republican plan to balance the budget, and the book that may very well have influenced his economic ideals is George Gilder’s "Wealth and Poverty."
A copy of that book was first handed to him by Republican political insider Cesar Conda when Paul Ryan was just a 19-year-old. At the time, that book was regarded as the intellectual guide for Reaganomics and the Reagan White House in the 1980s. When Conda got his copy of the book back from Ryan in 2007, it was heavily marked up.
George Gilder is the author of "Wealth and Poverty," which was re-released last week.