House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) is learning that Twitter can be a cruel place.
In a tweet posted Saturday morning, Ryan praised the new tax law spearheaded by the Republican party. The Speaker of the House shared the story of a secretary at a Pennsylvania public high school who was “pleasantly surprised her pay went up $1.50 a week.” The total comes to $78 a year in savings and she told the Associated Press the savings will allow her to pay for an annual Costco membership.
Ryan proudly shared this story on Twitter — only to be met with outrage and amusement. He deleted the tweet less than 3 hours later.
Signed into law last December, the tax bill has been repeatedly touted by Republican lawmakers and President Trump as crucial legislation meant to help U.S. workers. In reality, the bill gave corporations a permanent tax cut, lowering the rate from 35 to 21 percent. Meanwhile, individual tax cuts expire in 2025 — greatly mitigating any initial benefit to most taxpayers.
To put that in the context of the story Ryan shared, Costco paid $1.3 billion in taxes on 3.7 billion in earnings two years ago. The new tax law, with a lower corporate tax rate, will save Costco about $520 million per year, over $5.2 billion over the next 10 years. The woman Paul Ryan bragged about helping will only save $78 per year over the next eight years — so she will save $624 in total.
A number of Twitter users had basic math questions for Ryan — including asking where the money itself went. The tax bill cost nearly $1.5 trillion dollars, while the teacher in question is only seeing $1.50 extra in her weekly paycheck.
Some even thought the account was a parody at first:
Others used the tweet as a reminder to work to defeat Ryan in the 2018 election:
And still others noted that this was a reminder that there still isn’t a living minimum wage in the United States:
As ThinkProgress’ Rebekah Entralgo reported, the payoffs to the working class simply aren’t significant:
A number of companies, including Wells Fargo, Boeing, AT&T, and Comcast, have all announced similar bonuses for their employees in recent days, with most handing out lump sums of around $1,000 per person. While the numbers may appear promising, corporations are actually spending less than one percent of their tax windfall on bonuses for employees.
As a reminder, Ryan himself received a nearly $500,000 campaign donation from the Koch brothers less than two weeks after the House of Representatives passed the tax bill in December.