From Jon Chait, responding to Paul Ryan’s list of favorite books about economics and democracy—which notably fails to include his former favorite book, Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged:
It seems the lesson Ryan has drawn from the harmful publicity surrounding his Rand fixation is not that he shouldn’t associate himself publicly with crackpot authors but merely that he should find different crackpot authors.
Here is Chait’s description of Jude Wanniski’s most famous book, which earns a place on Ryan’s list.
The Way the World Works is a novel argument that the entire history of the world can be explained by changes of tax rates. The fall of the Roman Empire, the rise of the Nazis — Wanniski attempts to explain it all as a result of taxes. It is a work of genuine derangement on the same intellectual level as the sorts of unpublishable hand-scrawled diatribes that I used to scan through when I sorted the mail as a magazine intern.
But…but…but—look! Michael Moore!