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House Speaker Paul Ryan really put himself in an awkward spot on social media on Saturday. Ryan’s tweet celebrating a public high school employee earning an extra $1.50 per week went mega-viral—and not in a good way, with countless people mocking and deriding the Wisconsin congressman for the tone-deaf tweet.
The following message was tweeted out from Ryan’s account on Saturday morning and then was subsequently deleted after it became clear how poorly it was being received.
Needless to say, people were more than a little surprised to hear Ryan, one of the foremost architects and ideological supporters of the GOP tax plan, bragging about putting a paltry extra $1.50 in a working woman’s pocket every week. And now there’s a hashtag, #WithABuckFiftyAWeek, trending as the result of Ryan’s epic flub.
With the quarters I found in the sofa + #WithABuckFiftyAWeek I can take the bus to Panera Bread and stand outside, sing Broadway show tunes for loose change to eventually buy a sandwich at Panera Bread.— nicki (@nickiknowsnada) February 4, 2018
#WithABuckFiftyAWeek you can save $10,000 for a downpayment on a house in 128 years! Home ownership here we come!— DocLisaJ (@Lisajon66479615) February 4, 2018
#WithABuckFiftyAWeek I can buy a decent box of diapers for my 3 month old in 17 weeks— Michael Vogel (@MichaelVogel1) February 4, 2018
Whoever sent that tweet from Ryan’s account, whether it was him or a hapless staffer, has to be feeling a little sheepish right now. The image of Ryan boasting over a woman’s paycheck increasing by a dollar and a half each week―in order to pay for a membership to get her into a big warehouse store full of other goods she’d need more money to buy―gives off more of an Oliver Twist impression than one of compassionate governance.
Moments ago, @PRyan deleted this tweet after we told him just how out of touch he was. Show Paul Ryan what you think of his tax bill. Chip in $1.50 now to help us repeal and replace Ryan permanently this November.https://t.co/c3Fii4Q0Jn— Randy Bryce (@IronStache) February 3, 2018
Ryan’s opponent in the 2018 congressional elections, Randy Bryce, also responded to the tweet, taking the opportunity to try to juice his own fundraising efforts. Whether that ends up helping remains to be seen—although with all the extra nickels apparently spilling out of people’s pockets these days, it might not be the worst strategy.
Chris Tognotti is a frequent contributor for the Daily Dot. He’s a news and current events writer based out of Berkeley, California, and a co-host of the podcast Now We Know. While he specializes in domestic politics and opinion writing, he’s also savvy on sports, video games, and film.