Paul Ryan took to Twitter this weekend to brag about a secretary who will be making an extra $1.50 per week from his GOP tax plan — while the richest Americans make about 173 times more than that amount each week.
The House Speaker’s ill-timed tweet came on Saturday morning in response to a story written by the Associated Press about the effects of the GOP tax cut for the average Americans. Ryan’s tweet focused on Julia Ketchum, a secretary quoted in the story who said she will make an extra $1.50 per week thanks to the new tax plan.
For Ketchum, it was enough to pay for her annual Costco membership, plus another $18 or so left over.
“A secretary at a public high school in Lancaster, PA, said she was pleasantly surprised her pay went up $1.50 a week…she said [that] will more than cover her Costco membership for the year,” Ryan wrote (via the New York Daily News).
The internet did not seem too amused with Ryan’s boast. The tweet was flooded with responses ripping Ryan for bragging about a middle class worker being given such a paltry sum when millionaires see much bigger increases. According to the non-partisan Tax Policy Center, the top wage earners (those making between $308,000 and $733,000, putting them in the top 5 percent) would see an average of $259 extra per week in 2018. That is roughly 173 times more than the secretary that Paul Ryan bragged about.
Ryan would later delete the tweet under a deluge of criticism, but the damage was already done.
The tweet was immediately seized on by Randy Bryce, who will be opposing Paul Ryan in the upcoming election. Bryce used the tweet as a fundraising opportunity, the New York Daily News noted, and linked to a page suggesting people make $1.50 donations to his campaign.
The flap came after the GOP had tried to attack Democrats over allegations that they were tone-deaf to the plight of working Americans. This week, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said that workers getting payouts from their companies thanks to corporate tax cuts were getting “crumbs” compared to what the wealthiest Americans received, NyMag reported. Republicans had slammed her for the comment, saying that she did not understand the importance of a $1,000 bonus to the average American.
But Paul Ryan’s tweet has turned the criticism back against Republicans again, even after the House Speaker deleted it.