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Paul Ryan tweets — then deletes — brag about public school worker who saw $1.50 pay raise

And it’s all thanks to the Republican tax bill.

Emily Stewart covered business and economics for Vox and wrote the newsletter The Big Squeeze, examining the ways ordinary people are being squeezed under capitalism. Before joining Vox, she worked for TheStreet.

On Saturday, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) tweeted — and then deleted — an item about a public school employee seeing an extra $1.50 in her weekly paycheck thanks to the Republican tax bill. After being slammed on social media, the Wisconsin Republican apparently figured out the amount isn’t exactly something to write home about — let alone highlight as a major feature of a $1.5 trillion tax cut.

Ryan tweeted a link to an Associated Press report detailing how the tax bill, passed in December, is starting to deliver bigger paychecks to workers. The section of the story he chose to highlight raised eyebrows: Julia Ketchum, a Pennsylvania high school secretary, saw her paycheck increase $78 a year — enough to cover the cost of her yearly Costco membership.

According to the Tax Policy Center’s analysis of the bill, the top 1 percent of earners will receive an average tax cut of $51,000, or about 650 times what Julia’s getting.

Paul Ryan’s tweet about a worker who got a $1.50 per week pay raise thanks to the tax bill.

Twitter was quick to criticize Ryan’s snafu.

Zach Moller, a senior policy analyst at the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, noted that if gains from the tax cut were evenly distributed across all Americans, each person would see an extra $446 per year.

Vox’s Matt Yglesias pointed out that Julia’s pay boost of $78 per year, multiplied by 125 workers in America, is $9.75 billion a year. The tax cut costs $1.5 trillion over 10 years. Where’d the money go? (Wealthy people and corporations.)

Ryan deleted the tweet after it was widely dragged.

Plenty of people — and companies — are seeing a meaningful change in their pay because of the tax bill. Not Julia.

It’s not clear why Ryan chose to highlight Ketchum’s $1.50 a week raise; the story also mentions a Florida managed care worker who saw an extra $200 in his paycheck, a pair of educators who saw an extra combined $200 in their pay, and an aerospace engineer who saw a 4 percent bump in his check.

Friday’s jobs report also showed that January saw the fastest wage growth since 2009. Plenty of US corporations have made quite a bit of fanfare about paying bonuses and upping investments in America thanks to the tax bill. (Many of the announcements are quite cynical.)

But Ryan’s tweet also reveals an important truth about the Republican tax bill: It is disproportionately beneficial to wealthy people and corporations, and there’s not a great way to spin that. While Julia will be able to afford a $60 Costco Gold Star card, she won’t be able to be a Gold Star Executive member. That goes for $120.

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