Rep. Paul Ryan refused to tip an elderly waiter today at a Washington-area soul food restaurant.
According to witnesses at Auntie Ruth's Bistro in Northeast D.C., Ryan stiffed his server on the grounds of "personal austerity" and proceeded to tell the 72-year-old man to "get a real job."
The situation started when the Wisconsin Republican showed up with 15 of his staffers to have a two-hour working meeting at the restaurant. Although he didn't have a reservation and no one called ahead, the staff at Auntie Ruth's worked hard to accommodate his request.
James Anderson, who's been waiting tables at the restaurant for 20 years, skipped his lunch break to serve the congressman and his entourage.
After hours of backbreaking work, the congressional staff returned to their offices and Congressman Ryan stayed behind to put the bill on his government credit card.
Human of the Year
When Ryan attempted to leave the premises without paying any tip at all, Anderson politely asked Ryan if he was satisfied with the service.
"Listen, I was satisfied with the service," Ryan explained, "but I'm not paying you a cent. You know why? Because you're a taker. I've already paid for my meal. I've spent the money I'm legally obligated to spend - and here you are begging for more.
"Why don't you go out and get yourself a real job? Get an education and then go be an engineer or something. Don't sit around doing shitty jobs your whole life and then expect me to pay for your bad decisions.
"You don't like the fact that you work a minimum wage job? Tough. You should have used your parents' inheritance money to get a college education instead of wasting it on booze and women."'
Genius Next Door
For his part, Anderson says he was fully within his rights to suggest Ryan leave a tip and is "disappointed" by Ryan's comments.
"I didn't take my lunch break just to serve Ryan's table," he explains. "I was serving 15 people. That 's a big group, and I worked very hard. I rely on tips to pay my bills, so I felt I had to ask.
"The truth is, I never got any inheritance money from my parents. My folks were sharecroppers down in Georgia, never had a dime to their name. What little money I ever had went to pay for their health care.
"I was the top of my class in high school. And I got a scholarship to go to Georgetown University. But when I showed up, the school withdrew the money. They didn't know I was black.
"So I've just been here in Washington ever since. Doing odd jobs. Just trying to make enough to get by. I think I would have made a great engineer. Math was my best subject. But those were the segregation days."
A spokesperson for Ryan says he has no plans to apologize to Anderson, and claimed "those people" are the reason why this country is going bankrupt.