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Thursday, October 16, 2008
Joe The Plumber
A new icon for the 2008 election was introduced last night. Joe The Plumber. If you haven’t heard of him yet, you will. I thought it was a very effective move on McCain’s part to bring Joe into the picture. Now I don’t argue that big businesses need to pay their share of taxes. Not at all. Everyone should pay taxes. I’m surprised the media didn’t jump on Obama’s statement “I don’t mind paying a little more”. Of course he doesn’t mind. He’s all about Spreading The Wealth. Joe The Plumber made a good point this morning on GMA: (loosely quoted) “Why should I pay a higher tax rate just because I work hard and am successful?” He wouldn’t disclose who he is voting for, which is probably a good thing. Joe is now a famous person, supposedly representative of working-class America, whose endorsement would be huge. Poor Joe. I’ll bet he has already had to change his phone number. For we Average Joes at home, it is so difficult to form an opinion about whose ideas are better, especially on taxes and health care, when the candidates can apparently spout of facts and figures, regardless of their accuracy. I used to hate it when the news commentators would come on afterwards and dissect every word, but now I kind of enjoy it. Especially when they do the Fact Checks. Both candidates are guilty of making false statements. So what does the average Joe Plumber believe? I am a McCain supporter, and as stated above, thought his bringing Joe The Plumber into the ring was a great move. However, wanting to know more, I found the complete Joe/Obama exchange on YouTube. (Watch it here.) Again, remembering that the candidates often don’t tell the truth, and pander to the audience at hand, the entire conversation between Joe and Obama sheds a little different light on the subject than the clips you will see on TV. Joe will pay 33% taxes on his company’s income up to 250K. The money that he makes in excess of 250K will be taxed at 39%. The way the McCain campaign has presented it is that all of Joe’s money would be taxed at a higher rate. So- if Obama is telling the truth, then while it is still unfair and leaning toward a socialist ideology, it’s not quite as bad as I had thought before. However- Joe had another very valid concern this morning: Right now Obama says it is 250K. What if in the future he decides- well 250K is a lot of money, so let’s lower it to 100K. That would hurt a lot more people. How are we supposed to trust that? And how can we trust something we don’t understand? The other day I asked my boss (a very successful orthopedic surgeon) if he understands McCain’s health care/insurance reform proposal. He laughed and said he doesn’t think anyone understands it. I have looked at the websites of both candidates, and I really can’t make heads or tails out of it. Negative campaign? We NEED negative campaigning. Otherwise, we would only see the sugarcoated promises of the candidates. I want to know the down side of McCain’s proposals. I want to know the downside of Obama’s. Do you think THEY are going to tell us? Nuh Uh. Of course, the negative jabs aren’t always true either, but I think it kind of evens it out, and gives us cause to question. My mama used to tell me- If sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. I’m just ready for it to be over. And let the bleeding begin. Because bleed we will. In the meantime, Joe my friend- get out there and do the American thing. Capitalize on your new name. These folks are already doing it. Hurry and copyright Joe The Plumber (think Dale Earnhardt) and make yourself some money. Just be sure you don’t make over 250K and you’ll be fine.