Ryan, Paul Davis, 1972–, U.S. politician, b. Janesville, Wis., grad. Miami Univ. (B.S. 1992). A politically active, conservative Republican, he was influenced by the economic theories of Hayek and Friedman and the political philosophy of Ayn Rand. In 1998 he first won election as a U.S. representative from Wisconsin. A member of the House Budget Committee, he became its ranking Republican in 2007 and chairman in 2011. Ryan has advocated reducing government spending, privatizing Social Security, replacing Medicare with a voucher program, turning Medicaid into block grants to states, repealing President Obama's health-care legislation, and lowering income-tax rates. A favorite of Tea Party Republicans, he was chosen by Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential candidate, as his running mate; the two lost to the incumbents, Obama and Biden, in the general election.