Meet the Real “Joe the Plumber”

17 10 2008

Ah yes, perception vs. reality.

At the debate Wednesday, John McCain kept bringing up the “fact” that Joe the Plumber would be taxed more under Obama’s tax plan. The trouble with making Joe a national hero for conservatives is that the national media descended on Joe. They learned a couple of things, like (1) his name is Sam, not Joe, (2) he does not have a plumbing or contractor’s license, items required by city ordinance, (3) the taxable income from his plumbing business would qualify him for a tax cut under the Obama plan, not an increase, and (4) he has an outstanding lien for over $1000 in backtaxes he owes. Maybe he wasn’t such a great choice as role model for McCain after all. [from Electoral-vote.com]

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3 responses

17 10 2008
sokabs

This misses the point of why “Joe the Plumber” entered the dialogue in the first place. The issue here is not “Joe,” but Obama’s response that “I think when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.” That’s the reality of why “Joe” entered the debate in the first place, and these investigations of “Joe” seem to me to be nothing more than attempts to deflect from Obama’s response, which is of major concern to many Americans who now have Obama’s own words to fuel their (possibly misguided?) fears that he’s a socialist.

If anything, this episode shows the real danger of politicians constantly picking people they don’t even know and mentioning them specifically in debates, speeches, etc. as if they are good pals with them or something. I understand the benefit of personalizing these issues, as the mere mention of average Americans strikes a chord with the public. Every candidate in this election (including Obama), and for most of those I can remember, have repeatedly used this tactic to relate to real people on the ground. I wonder how many of those references would stand up to the same scrutiny “Joe” is receiving now?

If you want to talk about “perception vs. reality,” let’s look at the actual issue of Obama’s response, which is a “reality” that should be addressed. Whether you like Obama’s response or not, let’s actually address what he really meant by it, not try to deflect from the issue.

17 10 2008
ochesnut

The perception vs. reality issue here is twofold. First, the media is swarming on this man who, unless the McCain campaign had brought him to the forefront, would have been completely unknown. The media and McCain campaign are treating him as some kind of working class hero, when he seemingly doesn’t fit the bill. Not to mention calling him Joe when his name Sam, and then as soon as the story has gotten to good to be true, throwing him under the bus.
Second, he asked a supposed “tough” question admitting that he wanted to rile up Obama, unlike his neighbors who were asking lightweight questions. To do so he gave a scenario that isn’t true, involving the purchase of this plumbing company. Either he was knowingly deceptive or just uninformed as to the details of Obama’s plan and he would be taxed in that situation (not sure, which is worse). So, he did put himself in the spotlight in a way, and has been basking in it ever since (just listen to some of his responses to various interviews).
Third, they are using him as a talking point to attack Obama and quietly bring up the socialist card. Yes its true that Obama’s statement sounds quasi-socialist. But that is an off the cuff answer to a surprising question, the details of which were incorrect. Obviously the term “spread the wealth” is something that should be addressed on its own terms, but it is something that no one, except Obama, is willing to do. The media just want to talk about Joe the plumber and the McCain campaign just wants to insinuate about socialism, terrorism, Islam, corruption and whatever else they can tie to Obama and not talk about the issues. So with this post I was just showing the silliness of the whole thing.

18 10 2008
Steve

Come on!!!! Joe the Plumber is in no way going to be able to buy a business anyway, unless he gets a loan and that is just not going to happen anytime soon. I think Joe or Sam has a better chance on writing a book and making millions from that and not have the hassle of making payroll, increasing customers of future business, or worry about all of the taxes that might go with the regularities of owning small businesses.

I think a good topic for him to write about is “How To Fool America, and Political Leaders.” If he can write about that, he will be worth millions, because that is exactly what he is doing or has done to some people. Better yet, “How to be used to fool America by Political Leaders and get Famous doing it”.

There is no way that this guy is what he says he is. God Bless him if he is able to buy a business. I wish that he could. How ever, the wealth is going to have to be spread around from somewhere if he is ever going to do just that. Have you ever heard of a loan, McCain? That is where the banks (use to be a common practice) give you money to start a business or buy one and then you in turn pay that money back plus interest over a period of time. Guess what else, that money that you get as a loan comes from spreading the wealth. That’s right they give you the money off other peoples money that they also pay back and the interest. The money that Joe pays back plus the interest will go to another Joe that is wanting to reach the American Dream.

So, if the wealth is not somehow redistributed back to others, then we not going to be bale to live. Oh yea, I forgot to mention that Uncle Sam (or GI Joe) needs his share too. Seeing that Cindy McCain made $4.1 million last year and paid $1.2 in taxes, that means that Joe probably pays a higher percentage than she does. That means that she paid just under 30%. Joe who makes $47,000 per year at the same rate paid $14,000. So, looking at that comparison, I think Joe pays too much tax now and Cindy McCain pays too little. Whoops, I forgot that she has 12 cars and 7 houses. Therefore, she needs to pay less for the upkeep. What am I thinking? Joe should pay more so that Cindy McCain can keep the Bush tax break and pay less.

At the end of the day, Joe would have to work 100 years to Cindy McCain’s in order to get into her tax bracket where he would begin to pay less. In a lifetime comparison of working, Cindy McCain will make $120 million pay $36 million in Taxes while Joe will make $1.4 million and pay $420,000 in taxes.

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