McCain accused Obama of promulgating “class warfare” and introduced “Joe the Plumber” to America.
“Joe wants to buy the business that he has been in for all of these years, worked 10, 12 hours a day,” said McCain. ” . . . But he looked at your tax plan, and he saw that he was going to pay much higher taxes.”
He continued: “When Sen. Obama ended up his conversation with Joe the Plumber — we need to spread the wealth around. In other words, we’re going to take Joe’s money, give it to Sen. Obama and let him spread the wealth around. . . . The whole premise behind Sen. Obama’s plans are class warfare.”
The phrase “Joe the Plumber” was mentioned nine times during the debate. At one point, McCain even referred to him as “my old buddy, Joe the Plumber.”
“In media interviews, Joe acknowledged that he earns nowhere near that amount at the moment. But he said he expects to cross the $250,000 threshold someday.”
So Joe the Plumber admits he would get a tax break under Obama’s plan, but he doesn’t want a tax break because someday he will be rich. How, exactly, does this make any sense? Are we to believe that Joe the Plumber is more concerned with a theoretical future than he is with his current and very real situation?
Here’s the thing about Joe the Plumber: No half-rational person thinks like this guy. Nobody who is struggling to make a living worries about the added taxes they would have to pay if they became rich. Everybody is concerned about getting to the rich part first — then they can worry about the extra taxes. Getting a tax cut today goes some way to getting to the rich part. That Joe the Plumber doesn’t see this makes him truly weird.
Joe the Plumber is not a hard-working “everyman,” he is either an ideologue who can’t stand a Democrat who wants to give him a tax break or he is a pie-in-the-sky dreamer who’s more concerned about the high taxes he’s paying in his daydreams than in the challenges he needs to overcome if he ever wants to make his dreams reality. The Ohio resident made the mistake of confronting Barack Obama over the fairness of his tax plan. Wurzelbacher told Obama that he was a plumber who was thinking of buying his own business. But he was worried that, under Obama’s plan, he’d pay more in taxes. For five minutes, Obama explained that Joe would only pay more if he made more than $250,000 per year.
That’s where the story would have ended if not for one thing: Obama flubbed the answer. He actually acknowledged that, while he was happy that Joe was doing well — and in a position to do even better if he bought a plumbing business — what concerned him were “all the people behind you” who weren’t doing as well and needed a leg up. Obama said that, if elected, he planned to “spread the wealth around” from the well-to-do to the not-so-well-off.
That’s not good. It’s often the case that the not-so-well-off have made some not-so-good decisions and all manner of bad choices, and this sort of behavior should not be rewarded. And it’s also often the case that the well-to-do have worked hard, made sacrifices, taken risks and made good choices, and this sort of behavior should not be punished.
It’s also not a good thing for a politician say out loud, even if he believes it. They teach this in the first semester at the Kennedy School of Government, where baby politicians go to cut their teeth and learn how to get things done. Rule No. 1: Get elected. Rule No. 2: Don’t do anything that interferes with Rule No. 1.
With just a few weeks until the election, Obama made a major boo-boo that could cost him the race. What are Democrats and their simpaticos in the media supposed to do? They can’t turn back time. So instead, they turn on Joe the Plumber. Obama and Biden take pot-shots at Joe the Plumber. And the media starts digging.
What has happened to the Democratic Party?
It seems like just yesterday that the party of Franklin D. Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy was talking about income equality and civil rights and worker protections and going to bat for the little guy, the blue collar laborer, the everyday Joe the Plumber.
Now, the well-to-do elites who run the Democratic Party — and their surrogates — greet these people with brickbats. They insult them, talk down to them, and even try to destroy them. Isn’t that the sort of war on the working class that Democrats are always accusing those greedy and heartless Republicans of waging? In fact, since the Democratic presidential nominee isn’t exactly a drinking buddy of Joe Six-pack, he knew enough to recruit a regular Joe to be his running mate. What? Joe Biden wasn’t chosen for his eloquence or rhetorical discipline. It’s his job to schmooze so-called lunch bucket voters.[Hey, the media has time on its hands. It’s not like they’re investigating the connection between Obama and unrepentant domestic terrorist William Ayers.]
So before the Dems can say “character assassination,” the smear-mongers have found out that Joe Wurzelbacher is really Samuel Joe Wurzelbacher, that he owes back taxes and has a lien on his property, that he doesn’t have a plumbing license, and that he may not even be — gasp — registered to vote.
I never, ever thought I would see the time when a politician running for President would actually demean the middle class and go after a working class ‘Joe’. Leading news is that the majority of Americans are not elites who can afford to tell someone with the dream of owning their own business that ’spreading the wealth around’ means taking money from those who have worked for it and giving it to those who haven’t. There are lots and lots and lots of registered voters who know people just like Joe, who grew up in similar areas and have family living the same kind of lives as he has.
That effort to ridicule and demean Joe is a direct attack on the blue collar and working middle class of America. They have just been told that they don’t deserve to be listened to, to be treated as fellow citizens and if you have the temerity to ask a question of a politician you will be raked over the hot coals, your life questioned, your skills doubted, and political pressure will be brought to make your life a living hell. We are all plumbers now when we are told ‘this is good for you’ by politicians willing to stifle the voice of the average American to force their political agenda on the Nation. Now it is ’shut up about your betters… or else…’.
And if you have ever had to use a plumber’s helper, you will now have your lack of license questioned, your ability to do that work doubted, and you, who dare not to be certified, will be vilified no matter how good a job you do. I grew up with people like Joe, in a neighborhood not as good as his, in a town where doing a good JOB and fighting the tax man was a constant battle. That work goes under the table with high taxes and it STILL gets done. The dream of Joe was to save enough to buy a small business, probably with a loan, and hire people that he would PAY to do good jobs and live by his reputation in supplying good work to paying customers. That is wealth redistribution the ‘old fashioned way’: using your liberty to EARN IT.
If Joe the Plumber is what has happened to the American Dream, then America is in bigger trouble than I thought.