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Paul Ryan, Iron Stache, and How #WithABuckFiftyAWeek Was Born: A Short Story

It was clear that Ryan had been "suitably shamed." Even the secretary was surprised her story had been used to "sell" the tax bill.

A campaign ad being run by Randy Bryce, a Democrat challenging Speaker of the House Paul Ryan in his Wisconsin district. (Image: Randy Bryce for Congress)

Republican Speaker of the House Paul Ryan was pilloried overnight and into Sunday morning after posting a tweet on Saturday—one he later deleted—bragging about the $1.50 per week a public school employee was "pleasantly surprised" to find in her paycheck following the passage of last year's tax cuts which gave the nation's corporations and richest people cuts worth millions, and in many cases billions, of dollars.

Back in his home district, Ryan's 2018 Democratic challenger Randy Bryce, a progressive-minded ironworker with the moniker @IronStache, immediately leapt into action.

Bryce shamed the Speaker—whose political machine was showered with $500,000 in contributions from the billionaire Koch Brothers just days after the #GOPTaxScam was signed into law in December—by pointing out how the Kochs measure their tax windfalls in the billions of dollars, as opposed to quarters or dimes:

An analysis released by Americans for Tax Fairness last month showed that while the Kochs spent an estimated $20 million to promote last year's tax bill, they stand to save between $1 billion and $1.4 billion in income taxes per year as a result of its passage. For the 2018 mid-terms, the Koch network is reportedly prepared to spend $400 million to back Republican candidates.

Not long after Bryce pointed some of this out, Ryan deleted the tweet.

It was clear that Ryan had been "suitably shamed." Even the secretary, Julia Ketchum, originally quoted in the article Ryan shared and who spoke to CBS News later on Saturday night, said she was surprised her story had been used to "sell" the tax bill. "So it shows me," Ketchum said, "he may not have read the whole article."

Topher Spiro, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, sent out this message on his personal Twitter account which was then retweeted tens of thousands of times:

And because the Internet never forgets, the damage was already done. Behold, the #WithABuckFiftyAWeek hashtag was born:

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