The school secretary cited in House Speaker Paul Ryan’s now-infamous tweet for making an additional $1.50 a week thanks to the Republican tax bill spoke to CBS News Monday, and she wasn’t exactly thrilled.
“I’m really surprised, actually. [People mentioned in] the paragraph above… my quote and the paragraph below my quote got hundreds more. Hundreds,” she said. “And I get a dollar-fifty more, so it shows me [Ryan] might not have read the whole article.”
The woman, Julia Ketchum, told the Associated Press last Thursday that she was “pleasantly surprised” to see a $1.50 increase in her paychecks, adding up to $78 a year, “which she said will more than cover her Costco membership for the year,” the AP reported.
But, as Ketchum told CBS News, the people cited above and below her in the story both reportedly got an extra $200 in their paychecks.
In any case, Ryan shared the AP story Saturday morning and mentioned Ketchum specifically.
The tweet instantly got attention, but not for the reasons Ryan presumably hoped.
Ryan, President Donald Trump, and other Republicans have claimed time and time again that their tax plan, which was signed into law late last year, would put an additional $4,000 per year in the pockets of average American families. In reality, it does the opposite.
The bill gives corporations a permanent tax cut, but individual tax cuts expire in 2025. Many middle-class people will then see their taxes ultimately rise, reversing even the benefits of a tax cut that is already far less than was promised.
Ryan was quickly dragged for not understanding math and deleted the tweet.
But on Monday, Ryan’s national press secretary doubled down. Notably, though the tweet is different, the math remains the same: $78 more in an American’s pocket is not even close to $1,000.
The tweet has backfired in the real world, though, too — not just on Twitter.
In the 48 hours since Ryan tweeted and deleted his comments about Ketchum’s savings, the Randy Bryce for Congress campaign raised $150,000 from 12,253 individual donors after encouraging people to express their disapproval of Ryan’s tax reform plan by donating to help Bryce unseat Ryan.
Bryce, a Democrat, is looking to unseat Ryan this November, should he win the Democratic nomination. A poll commissioned by the campaign in December claimed Bryce trailed Ryan by just six points, 46 to 40.
According to the Wisconsin Gazette, nearly half of the more than 12,000 contributions Bryce received after Ryan’s tweet were for $1.50.