In selecting Representative Paul Ryan as his running mate, Gov. Mitt Romney has framed the 2012 election squarely in terms of jobs, the economy and the need for budget reform. He has also sharpened the contrast between our choices come November. If elected officials were ideologues as bold as their candidate personas, a Ryan vice presidency would enact a more radical revision of American government than we have yet seen. It is a less intrusive government, at least in terms of dollars and economic distortions, and one that makes divisive distinctions between perceived dependence and the virtues of self-reliance.