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Ayn Rand’s Resurgence

Republican deficit hawk Rep. Paul Ryan loves novelist/philosopher Ayn Rand. We’ll look at what it mans to have “Atlas Shrugged” in the middle of the budget debate.

Ayn Rand, Russian-born American novelist, in New York City, 1962. (AP)

Ayn Rand, Russian-born American novelist, in New York City, 1962. (AP)

The American budget battle so far is really a battle of ideals. And at the back of a vocal chorus on the Republican/Tea Party right sits the philosopher-novelist Ayn Rand.

Rand was the refugee from communist Russia who wrote novels celebrating hyper-individualism, egoism, even selfishness — unregulated capitalism and masters of the universe — in “Atlas Shrugged” and “The Fountainhead.”

Now Republican budget maven Rep. Paul Ryan, Rep. Ron Paul and a forest of Tea Party placards call out her name.

This hour On Point: Ayn Rand, back in the thick of American politics.

- Tom Ashbrook

Guests:

Jonathan Chait, senior editor at The New Republic.

Anne C. Heller, journalist and author of “Ayn Rand and the World She Made.”

Matt Kibbe, president of FreedomWorks.

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Aug 28, 2015
WDBJ-TV7 meteorologist Leo Hirsbrunner, right, wipes his eyes during the early morning newscast as anchors Kimberly McBroom, center, and guest anchor Steve Grant deliver the news at the station in Roanoke, Va., Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015. Reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward were killed during a live broadcast Wednesday, while on assignment in Moneta. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

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Aug 28, 2015
Lightning first ignited the Meadow fire on July 20, 2014 in Yosemite. By September 8, the fire had charred 2,582 acres. Bernie Krause has recorded soundscapes of national parks destroyed by large areas of forest fires. Listen below.  (National Park Service)

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Aug 28, 2015
WDBJ-TV7 meteorologist Leo Hirsbrunner, right, wipes his eyes during the early morning newscast as anchors Kimberly McBroom, center, and guest anchor Steve Grant deliver the news at the station in Roanoke, Va., Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015. Reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward were killed during a live broadcast Wednesday, while on assignment in Moneta. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

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