Paul Ryan deletes ‘embarrassing’ $1.50 pay rise tweet after ridicule

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US Vice President Mike Pence, left and Speaker of the House US Rep. Paul Ryan, right, point during the State of the Union address in the chamber of the US House of Representatives in Washington last week. — AFP

WASHINGTON — US House Speaker Paul Ryan came under fire on Saturday over a tweet that framed a worker’s $1.50 per week pay increase as an impressive result of his party’s massive tax cut plan, US media reported.

Ryan’s tweet, now deleted, told of a secretary featured in an Associated Press report who was “pleasantly surprised” by the marginal pay rise, drawing condemnation from critics who accused the politician of being out of touch with lower-income Americans.

“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, sharing a link to the complete article.

But Democrats, who were quick to round on Ryan, pointed out that wealthier Americans and big corporations benefit much more from the tax cuts.

“Wells Fargo, fresh off of defrauding millions of Americans, gets $3.4 billion,” retorted Minnesota congressman Keith Ellison.

“Paul Ryan deleted his embarrassing tweet of a blatant admission because he and Republicans don’t want you to know the truth: the #GOPTaxScam is a gift to corporate America and the top 1% at your expense,” Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi tweeted.

“He also doesn’t want you to know he got $500.000.00 from the Koch family,” she added, referencing a campaign donation Ryan received after the House of Representatives passed their version of the tax reform bill in November, according to data published by ProPublica.

Meanwhile Randy Bryce, a Democrat hoping to unseat Ryan in Wisconsin, saw the blunder as a campaigning opportunity.

“Moments ago, @PRyan deleted this tweet after we told him just how out of touch he was ... Chip in $1.50 now to help us repeal and replace Ryan permanently this November,” Bryce tweeted.

The tax bill slashes the federal corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent, and the maximum individual income tax rate, for the nation’s wealthiest, drops from 39.6 percent to 37 percent.

It also doubles the standard deduction for families, and doubles the child tax credit, while eliminating or limiting several deductions that millions of middle-class families currently claim. — AFP


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