emphasized that Ryan “has become an intellectual leader of the Republican Party” on economic policy. But a close examination of Ryan’s monetary and fiscal policy proposals makes it hard to understand why he is held in such high regard.
Ryan’s views on monetary policy are, by his own admission, heavily influenced by Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged. Concerns about inflation – currency debasement – are prominent in Rand’s novel, and those concerns drive Ryan’s monetary policy proposals. For example, Ryan introduced legislation in 2008 to replace the Fed’s dual mandate to stabilize both inflation and employment with a single mandate to stabilize inflation. Under Ryan’s proposal, the Fed would ignore employment when making policy decisions.
Ryan’s lack of concern over employment is disconcerting, but it’s at least possible to find economists who support a single inflation mandate for the Fed. It’s much harder to find anyone who will support another inflation prevention policy Ryan has proposed, a policy similar to a gold standard.