Behold, the self-deceiving power of unswerving progressivism on an ideological tear. Joe Scarborough’s face, at least, seems to suggest that he’s thinking somewhere along the lines of “Is this crackpot for real?,” but Matthews really steals the show here.
You know what Ryan believes in? Getting rid of the cap-gains tax, period! So he’s a rad—he’s not just a middle-of-the-road guy who wants to make the tough decisions—he’s a guy who wants to help out the winners in society, and make it a little rough for people that are riding along, depending on the government. He doesn’t like those people. Especially. No, no. I think he’s Ayn Rand —
JOE SCARBOROUGH: You think that Paul Ryan doesn’t like people that are struggling?
MATTHEWS: Let’s slow down, for jumping on the way I said it. I don’t think he’s sitting there worried about—I don’t think he’s Tip O’Neill, worried about the people on Pell Grants. I don’t think he’s worried about the working poor. I think he’s looking for the winners. And that’s who he wants to incentivize. And by the way, that’s one of the weird things I notice about the conservative movement is. They believe that the way to get rich people to work harder is to give them more money. The way to get the poor people to work harder is to screw them a little bit.
Okay, let’s just trace out this logic for a moment here. A little more than roughly forty percent of the voting public is currently planning on voting for the Romney/Ryan ticket, and approximately half of the American population self-identifies as conservative. Millionaires and billionaires do not comprise half of the population; ergo, most people in the conservative movement are not tremendously wealthy. And yet, the conservative movement has not been receptive to President Obama’s fundamentally nonserious ploy to ‘reduce the deficit’ by getting everyone to “pay their fair share,” a.k.a. by hiking taxes on the wealthy. How can this be? Are conservatives just self-defeating financial masochists who love to watch greedy fat cats get richer, or could there perhaps be an alternative theory? Could it be that conservatives are interested in helping the poor, but perhaps believe that the most effective, penetrating, righteous method to enhance the living standards and opportunities of the greatest number of people is to foster a prosperous, growing economy in which an intrusive and inefficient government doesn’t wreck entrepreneurial incentives with redistribution and overregulation? Maybe?
Nah, that can’t be it. You got me, Chris Matthews. We’re just hateful and apathetic towards everyone who isn’t wealthy, including ourselves. That’s us in a nutshell!
And by the way, what is it all these liberals and media outlets trying to associate Paul Ryan as some sort of crazed, diehard Ayn Rand fan, and saying so as if it is an absolute and undeniable given that any interest whatsoever in Ayn Rand’s ideas is a bad thing? I’m pretty sure that Atlas Shrugged is a historically long- and well-selling book, and that sales have spiked in the past few years. Heaven forbid anybody walk away from reading her novels with any productive thoughts about the power of self-ownership and rugged individualism, or anything non-statist like that. Ew, gross.