House Speaker Paul Ryan deleted a tweet Saturday afternoon that had drawn immediate and widespread ridicule for advertising a woman’s $1.50-a-week raise as an impressive result of the GOP tax cut.
Though the tweet has now vanished into the ether, screenshots have been lovingly preserved.
Ryan was reacting to an Associated Press article in which public-school secretary Julia Ketchum said that the $78 she’ll save this year as a result of the law would cover her Costco membership. (Though, importantly, it would not cover the cash-back membership program.)
Warehouse-club fees aside, Ryan’s ill-considered boast is a reminder of how feeble the law’s benefits will be for many Americans.
It’s true that the GOP’s tax plan, which the party labeled “reform,” gives the vast majority of Americans some kind of benefit, often more substantial than the 21 cents a day Ryan was crowing about. But the massive cuts, which cost $1.5 trillion for a party that once pretended to care about deficit spending, are enormously skewed to the wealthiest Americans and to corporations, who will see their tax rates plummet from 35 percent to 21 percent. As Twitter let Ryan know, the effort to portray his plutocratic pet project as an act of mercy for the working class is a farce.
When some large companies announced that they would be giving employees one-time bonuses as a result of their tax windfalls, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi called the payouts “crumbs” compared to what the wealthiest Americans would be seeing. Ryan and other Republicans retorted, not unfairly, that Pelosi just didn’t understand how much $1,000 or $2,000 means to the average American.
But on Saturday, Paul Ryan proved that nobody does out of touch like the House Speaker.
And in a tweet he chose not to delete, he seemed to imply that, deep down, he kind of agrees with Pelosi.
Let them eat Costco-brand breadcrumbs.