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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on October 17, 2008 3:12 AM. The previous post in this blog was Here comes the sellout. The next post in this blog is Schools in their sights. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



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Friday, October 17, 2008

The real Joe the Plumber

He's a plumber, all right, but he's breaking the law by doing it without a license. The Obama tax plan wouldn't actually hurt his plan to buy a business. And Joe's about as good as paying his current taxes as Sarah Palin is -- which is to say, not very good at all. But hey, they've never let the facts get in the way of a McCain campaign story. Why start now?

Comments (30)

Got to be something wrong with people like Joe. They're just not impressed with Barry.

Every 4 years the Republican party makes an incredible migration that must rival anything Sarah Palin has seen with the caribou.
For a few months, you can actually see them caring about the working man. Oh, the ernest expressions of concern. The phony way they make it sound like it's all about the so-called little guy.

Of course, this Joe Plumber would be meaningless to these people unless the toilet at the club was backed up, and then they wouldn't even want to talk to him. Let the club manager and the other servants deal with that.

But now they need him. Now, suddenly the man is the centerpiece of the John McCain campaign. For a few short days he gets to run with them - well, at least he's on TV. He matters to them. He's one of them. He represents them.

If it works, the GOP will throw a big round of parties - they may even invite Joe Plumber there to show how real it all was. However, shortly after the hoopla, Joe will be back under a house somewhere wondering how it all happened, and the GOP will be back serving the wealthiest members of our society. If Joe feels anything trickling down then, it'll be raw sewage from the pipe he's working on.

Oh well, at least he'll have the smell to remind him of the GOP campaign - the time the mythical Joe Sixpack was replaced by an actual living person, as the Great Republican migration rolled across the countryside on its once-every-4-year visit to pretend to care about the working man.

Who knows? Maybe someday one of their Lear jets will land near his town with a plumbing problem and he'll be called to work on the toilet. He'll see his former buddies from that inauguration party back in 2009, and may even make a friendly remark. But then, of course, an aide will step in and say, "Please don't talk to these people. If you have a question contact your supervisor."
Then, as he's leaving the plane, the aide will begin swinging the door of the expensive jet shut. The plumber will be wiping his hands off and gathering his tools as the GOP aide grins at him and says, "See you in 4 years, sucker."

Obama blew it on his response to that Charlie Chaplin look a like.
He should of explained in CLEAR terms that Joe the loser plumer would be taxes on 250,000 PROFIT NET. If Joe the loser NETS after all expenses & overhead 250k....I'm going to plumer school! His total tax IF (big word IF) he netted a whopping quarter of a million would be $970.00. I think a plummer )or anyone) who NETS 250k could afford $970.00. ALSO,,,,Joe the loser would get a $3,000 credit for opening a new biz and keeping it in the USA.

But then if Joe were Jose the Plumber he wouldn't be expected to pay any taxes.

I don't think Joe the Plumber is breaking the law - I read in Howard Kurtz's column in today's Washington Post that you don't need a license to do residential plumbing, just commercial. Can any plumbers out there confirm this?

I'm not defending the guy - he's gone after his 15 minutes with unseemly haste.

Seems to me this episode should highlight that Obama seeks to expand greatly the number of people NOT paying any federal taxes and/or getting paid with the money he wants to "spread around".
Of course under the farce that it will somehow free the poor from the constraints of their poverty.
Why is it that demomcrats see no problem in the growing portion of the populous that pays no taxes?
It appears you seek to entitlement and dependency your way to world domination.

Having 40 50 or 60% of the public not paying anything and beholden to you is good for America?

Joe is a Keating family member. I kid you not.


Even better: McNasty's transition team exec from lobbying firm that represented Saddam.


You couldn't make this kind of stuff up.

It's actually all quite logical. First you try to flush all those free market deregulation ideologies down the toilet (which really were worth nothing more than wiping your ass with from the beginning) which causes the stout crapper known as the Republican Party to back up; at which time you call the working class hero, Joe the Plumber, to unclog your campaign.

Only it turns out Joe the Plumber isn't really a plumber, that his story is just more raw sewage. And that the only way he was going to make $250,000 is he if had an exclusive contract to do all the plumbing, unliscensed as he was, for the McCain properties. Of course, buying eight homes coast to coast, a good Republican's notion of acceptably spreading the wealth.

When it comes time to trash gay marriage, Republicans are very quick to open their Bibles and point to Leviticus 18:22.

In doing so, you thumb past page after page of parables and lessons all making the point that there is no more noble cause than helping the poor.

It's a pretty big book; how come only one page counts?

Seems like there are a lot of unlikely scenarios for "Joe" the "Plumber" to be in a situation where he would pay more taxes.

First, he would have to buy out his boss, which doesn't seem likely given that his boss has said he's not planning to sell, and "Joe" has no assets with which to buy the business.

Second, he would have to actually be a licensed plumber. Yeah, that would help.

Third, he would have to actually have net income (not gross receipts) of more than $250K, which is extremely unlikely for a two-man plumbing shop in Toledo.

Fourth, if Joe were to find himself fortunate enough to be in the richest 5 percent of U.S. incomes, he would get a bump in his taxes from 36 to 39 percent. Ooh.

benschon said: "Fourth, if Joe were to find himself fortunate enough to be in the richest 5 percent of U.S. incomes, he would get a bump in his taxes from 36 to 39 percent."

This overstates the tax increase I understand Obama to be proposing. I understand Obama to say that he would increase the marginal rate from 36 to 39 percent on the excess above $250,000. The rate on the first $250,000 either would not change from where it is now or it would be reduced.

So ... if Joe the Plumber does find a way to do an apprenticeship, join the local, get his license, pay his back taxes, persuade his boss to sell, find the credit to buy the business, and then operate the business well enough to net $300,000 (that's $50K above the magic number that separates the rich from the rest of us), then his tax on that last $50K would go up by $1,500.

The real question we should be debating is: should people pay an extra 3% on the portion of their taxable income that exceeds $250,000? If people really did vote their economic self interest, the answer to this question would be a no-brainer. Nearly all of the 95% who make less than that would say, yeah, that's a good idea. Even some of the people who are lucky enough to have income that high would vote yes out of a sense of responsibility to the common good.

Bumping from 36 to 39 percent would piss me off, would it not you? That is a lot of money in my world.

This particular Joe The Plumber might not be the guy affected by tax increases, but a whole lot of other Joes will be: Joe The Attorney, Joe The Boat Manufacturer, Joe The Dentist, Joe The Gourmet Food Company Owner, Joe The Guy Who Has A Really Good Job, or Joe and his wife with good combined incomes.

I am not an accountant, but it seems to me that when I add up 39% to the IRS and Oregon's 10% income tax, poor old Joe will be paying nearly 50% of his salary out. And we haven't even talked about property taxes, or any local taxes he might deal with.

Yes, that's what I meant: his marginal rate would go up on the portion over $250K. So, on the high end of what he said his mythical company would "make", which we will generously assume to be net income, the additional tax burden would be

Make a quarter-mil a year, pay an extra $600. You know, I'm not going to feel that sorry for someone in that situation.

The point of the Joe Plumber story, which average Americans get, apparently sails far over the eggheads of the press and 'intelligensia' is that Obama flat out admitted his Marxist plans to 'spread the wealth.'
THAT is what it is about.

Progressive income tax = Marxism? In that case, McCain, who also supports a progressive income taxes, is also a closet Marxist.

Please don't feed the trolls.

No benschon - Obama's exact words were spread

The subtext of today's politics, (developed since Raygun, per Atwater, Rove, et al., in the model of Haldeman concocted from his formative adoption in the cult of J.Walter Thompson -- one-time "largest ad agency in the world"), is personalizing the 'product,' the product as person, (mass)marketing the personification (of a 'spokes'figure) as the product, the method by which targeted buyers identify themselves as/with the tout person who 'uses' the product, and so therefor the buyer buys the product to 'complete' the identity. The buyer's 'buy in' is irrespective of and without consideration of the value / quality / features of the product per se.

The very coinage of the term 'consumer product' is J.Walter Thompson-perfected, emphasizing the personal 'accomplishment' obtained in buying the product. As opposed to the (prior) marketing methodology of attesting, (or adverting to), the qualities of the product or the company which manufactured the product or the person(s) who founded the company, in the tradition of craftsmen or craft-guild product 'marketing.' For example, buyers were sold on Model-T Ford cars due to Henry Ford's character, or his 'respect' for the assembly-line auto-worker (employees); and NO mention was made of the car conferring on the buyer some sex appeal or civic influence. Until there was ad agencies and ('buying') psychology studies (c. 1930s) and 1950s The Man in the Grey Flannel Suit and 1970s Haldeman (Atwater, Rove, etc.)

So the failed (1948-66) political tenets of Nixon, culminating in his 'F'-off press conference -- "you [politics 'consumers'] won't have Richard Nixon to kick around anymore" -- became 'consumerized' repackaged 2 years later ('68) in the 'personality' modality, (suppressing common sense which knows that he's still fatefully corrupt and, characteristically corruptible, but no) -- 'He's tanned, rested, and ready.' {Haldeman "presenting a revitalized Nixon to the public, using the experience of his many years in advertising.")

Okay, but what are his political beliefs and benefits? to We, the People?

'Putting a human face on' -- the 'human-interest' angle -- of 'politics' as product (marketing), became Raygun as the image, the icon, of what 'Republicans' believe of themselves and so stonewalling substantiation of what 'expletive deleted' the true believers truly 'believe' explicitly or implicitly. 'Republican' (Raygun) being a cardboard placard propped on the altar at the Point-of-Purchase, that is, appearing in Press (media) Releases. Where We, the People purchase our 'politics.' 90% of what 90% of People 'know' (as belief and believable) comes from TV. Raygun looked 'sexy' so 'Republican' looked sexy.

Turns out, as the syphillitic turns, that the totalitarian is 'sexy' all right -- sex-perversed. We see, thirty years later.

Willie Horton was the 'human interest' face-on-it angle which was imaged on Dukakis = 'Democrat.'

Rove-rote re dux on Bush II, 'human-faced' the guy with Dubya having beers, who was shown in the style of Harvey the Invisible Rabbit as an illusory being there, a hole across the table from Dubya, into which the programmed self-identity put itself -- "you having a beer with Him." As if.

2004 was planned to be the warrior human-interest face, but Dubya deserted the duty. Was out looking for 'soccer moms' maybe, emulated in 'sexy' soon-appointed Secr.of State {cough, cough} Condi Racy.

So now it's Joe the Plumber. 'Joe six-pack,' and that's not talking abdominal musculature. Persons who don't have a 'gut feel' for the principle tenets of politics in human nature, persons who 'haven't got the stomach' for stepping dutifully forward to watch and take a hand in law being made -- picture those people as the 'Republican' voter. Except no one has ever seen one of those people. Except in a mirror. And disliked the ugly picture.

'Ugly' in the unnerving way when there's NO reflection, the way Harvey the Rabbit and standard-issue werewolves are invisible, in a mirror reflection; self-identity recognizing an absence of substance for reflection. Creepy self. The 'Republican' voter. Unreflected life: not worth living.

It's turning out Joe the Plumber is a scam-job piece of work. Same as Palin is turning out.

As opposed in stark contrast to Obama, who talks all tenet principles all the time; he talks 'People interest' rather than person interest. There's a lot of talk, eventuating in action, of We the People (WTP?) buying and owning international banks and local electric utilities and maybe every organization in between. 'Socialism' it's being called, although that's a misnomer. The precept tenet of it, (whatever it's named) is that ownership privilege comes with dutiful responsibility for oversight -- We own it, We direct it. By our voting, (on propositional principles, not candidate 'faces'), just like shareholders as a board of directors.

Ask Joe the Plumber if, besides his current holdings and worth, 'socialism' gives him additional shares in The Company and a voting seat on the board of directors, or an enfranchising vote for who sits on the voting seat, and see if Joe don't think that improves his net worth. Of course it does. With a catch: he has to earn it, he has to do the work, of oversight, public inspection, 'regulation;' his self-identity gains added responsibility for keeping well-informed enough to vote well on the board of directors. Or seeking someone who does keep well-informed -- a 'representative.'

Which is a lot of our esteem for Jack's reading the municipal bond offerings and honorings to us, here at bojack. We own bonding, we watch oversight of it, we direct it. This is hard work, this adult-education 'socialism' thing.

Regardless of its pitfalls and pratfalls, the internet is actually educating People. "Democracy is what comes out the end of the internet" - Bill Clinton. It causes 70% of what 10% of the People know. And 10% is enough People doing the hard work to rep. re. sent.

Maybe Joe the Plumber should be Secr.of State, Elections Div'n, and get to govern voting, of the board of directors, of WTP, of the State, of things going and coming. It's a salaried position but it's term-limited, too, like being drafted in the military. Now ask him if he gains 'human nature' value with this 'socialism' thing, even after subtracting his responsibility cost, (i.e., taxes?)

Internet material, and search engines finding it, behind any political 'human face' TV-image in Rove's photo-op prop-up menu, is the political-sea-change point in today's tidal shift of Principles concern: into substance (character), from 'Republican' disillusion. dissolution. disrepute.

Dubya the Puppet blew up in Rove's faces.
McInsane of the Poop Deck blew up in Rove's faces.
Sarah the Pale-and-Beyond blew up in their faces.
And now Joe the Plumber blew up in their faces.

That would be shards of autocratic hubris you see splattered against the wall. Say 'Joe' and voters think 'Joe' Biden.

And that would be the substance of self-recognition you see still standing, in principle, in politics, on the ballot.

Joe the Plumber doesn't vote. He cedes his representation to Limbaugh and O'Reilly and Murdoch and LIARS, who are not registered to vote since in their enthronement -- all crown and no cattle -- they have not earned a stakeholder share among WTP, have not paid taxes tribute.

Pay taxes, folks. No representation without taxation. (That's why churches, untaxed, apolitick, don't get to vote.)

BTW, did you know We, the People could pay our taxes and fees in scrip? Locabucks: Are local currencies a way to escape the liquidity trap? which we directly authorize ourselves?

By all means, let's not spread the wealth. Let's concentrate it in those who deserve it most: GOP contributors. Let the Wall Street bankers continue to receive (I started to say "earn," but that would be wrong) their tens of millions, while unemployment ranks swell, home foreclosures skyrocket, and the ratio between the pay received by executives and the pay received by the working man and woman reaches heights unparalleled in US history. McCain says there is greed on Wall Street? Why, the very idea! Wash his mouth out with soap!

I called a plumber to my office last week, because the toilet was overflowing. He came in on a Saturday, spent a couple hours working on it, and handed me a bill. $300/hr for working on a Saturday. I looked at the bill, my eyes bugging out, and said, "are you kidding me? I'm a lawyer, and I don't charge $300/hr!"

You know what he said, right? "I didn't charge this much back when I was a lawyer either."

Sorry. Couldn't resist a chance for a stupid joke - my favorite kind.

The Obama plan is to scale back tax breaks given to the wealthy to better level the playing field and lighten the burden on 95% of the taxpaying public. The tax breaks enjoyed by the wealthy were not an entitlement, in fact they were temporary and set to expire. Were Ben not a troll, he might honestly admit that he too would benefit from Obama's plan just like "Joe the Plumber" given his true financial condition. I guess though, in order to attack Obama, middle class Repubs must extrapolate their wealth in order to justify their indignity.

I'm not sure how I'm the troll in this situation.

Warren Buffett once said, "There’s class warfare, all right. But it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning."

I think, benschon, you were the one feeding "D" trolls.

"CLEAR terms that Joe the loser plumer would be taxes on 250,000 PROFIT NET"

Puh-leeze don't be a sap. Sen Obama says he is gonna cut taxes on 95% of the people and yet at the same time come up with spending programs >$1T? You need to go back to basic math to see why this aint gonna fly. You know as well as I do in about 2 years he'll look at a huge deficit and want to spend more. You know he will raise taxes on everyone yet.

Maybe Obama can establish a new cabinet position of Deficit Reduction Czar and name Bill Clinton to head it. It worked once before, why not again.......

Steve, I thought the Laffer curve was established doctrine among tax-haters. So a tax cut for 95% of taxpayers should increase tax revenues, right? And we all know that government spending will generate federal tax revenues through job creation and the multiplier effect. So the combination of tax reductions and increased spending should wipe out the deficit in no time.

Try and get beyond the trollage, pay attention and actually respond to what I said. Not what you want said.
The Obama plan to raise taxes on what he sees as the wealthy will NOT "better level the ANY playing field.
His increase in redistribution/spreading will increase the % of the non-taxpaying public. No the tax breaks enjoyed by the wealthy were not an entitlement. They were keeping their own money while still paying a far greater % and amount of all taxes.
No this middle class troll does not think he'll benefit from Obama's plan.
He'll likely not be able to lower my taxes and at the same time expand government and entitlement-dependency class.
There is no question that's what he seeks to do. Just as Oregon Democrats do here in Oregon.
It doesn't take any extrapolating to twell the truth.
Do you see not see any problem in the growing portion of the populous that pays no taxes?
50 or 60% of the public not paying anything is good for America?

I have no problem with a poor person paying little or no tax. I have a big problem with the wealthiest among us paying a smaller percentage than I do. Particularly when they speculate on unconventional investments, lose, and receive a bailout from our treasury. Who is getting something for nothing here. We just gave the wealthiest among us the largest tax credit in history. That aint free market economy in action, it's a transfer of wealth from the middle class to the rich. Now, people like Ben want to give em more. We've been "trickled on" alright, and some apparently enjoy it.

Come on now, with all the tax break who really pays their fair share of taxes?!?!?

My tax breaks:

interest on mortgage
property taxes
401K contributions (up to $11K pre tax/yr?)
$5,000 pre-tax childcare expenses, deduct balance over $5K
$5,000 pre-tax medical flex spending
college savings fund for kids(pre-tax dollar contributions)

And if I just owned my own business I could write off so much more: car, home office space, meals with 'clients', etc.

The funniest Joe The Plumber parody is at

I'm Pullin' For Palin - The Unofficial Tribute To Our Future VPILF

Joe The Plumber - I Know Crap When I See It


As a lawyer/blogger, I get
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The Occasional Book

Marc Maron - Waiting for the Punch
Phil Stanford - Rose City Vice
Kenneth R. Feinberg - What is Life Worth?
Kent Haruf - Our Souls at Night
Peter Carey - True History of the Kelly Gang
Suzanne Collins - The Hunger Games
Amy Stewart - Girl Waits With Gun
Philip Roth - The Plot Against America
Norm Macdonald - Based on a True Story
Christopher Buckley - Boomsday
Ryan Holiday - The Obstacle is the Way
Ruth Sepetys - Between Shades of Gray
Richard Adams - Watership Down
Claire Vaye Watkins - Gold Fame Citrus
Markus Zusak - I am the Messenger
Anthony Doerr - All the Light We Cannot See
James Joyce - Dubliners
Cheryl Strayed - Torch
William Golding - Lord of the Flies
Saul Bellow - Mister Sammler's Planet
Phil Stanford - White House Call Girl
John Kaplan & Jon R. Waltz - The Trial of Jack Ruby
Kent Haruf - Eventide
David Halberstam - Summer of '49
Norman Mailer - The Naked and the Dead
Maria Dermoȗt - The Ten Thousand Things
William Faulkner - As I Lay Dying
Markus Zusak - The Book Thief
Christopher Buckley - Thank You for Smoking
William Shakespeare - Othello
Joseph Conrad - Heart of Darkness
Bill Bryson - A Short History of Nearly Everything
Cheryl Strayed - Tiny Beautiful Things
Sara Varon - Bake Sale
Stephen King - 11/22/63
Paul Goldstein - Errors and Omissions
Mark Twain - A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
Steve Martin - Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life
Beverly Cleary - A Girl from Yamhill, a Memoir
Kent Haruf - Plainsong
Hope Larson - A Wrinkle in Time, the Graphic Novel
Rudyard Kipling - Kim
Peter Ames Carlin - Bruce
Fran Cannon Slayton - When the Whistle Blows
Neil Young - Waging Heavy Peace
Mark Bego - Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul (2012 ed.)
Jenny Lawson - Let's Pretend This Never Happened
J.D. Salinger - Franny and Zooey
Charles Dickens - A Christmas Carol
Timothy Egan - The Big Burn
Deborah Eisenberg - Transactions in a Foreign Currency
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. - Slaughterhouse Five
Kathryn Lance - Pandora's Genes
Cheryl Strayed - Wild
Fyodor Dostoyevsky - The Brothers Karamazov
Jack London - The House of Pride, and Other Tales of Hawaii
Jack Walker - The Extraordinary Rendition of Vincent Dellamaria
Colum McCann - Let the Great World Spin
Niccolò Machiavelli - The Prince
Harper Lee - To Kill a Mockingbird
Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus - The Nanny Diaries
Brian Selznick - The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Sharon Creech - Walk Two Moons
Keith Richards - Life
F. Sionil Jose - Dusk
Natalie Babbitt - Tuck Everlasting
Justin Halpern - S#*t My Dad Says
Mark Herrmann - The Curmudgeon's Guide to Practicing Law
Barry Glassner - The Gospel of Food
Phil Stanford - The Peyton-Allan Files
Jesse Katz - The Opposite Field
Evelyn Waugh - Brideshead Revisited
J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
David Sedaris - Holidays on Ice
Donald Miller - A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
Mitch Albom - Have a Little Faith
C.S. Lewis - The Magician's Nephew
F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby
William Shakespeare - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Ivan Doig - Bucking the Sun
Penda Diakité - I Lost My Tooth in Africa
Grace Lin - The Year of the Rat
Oscar Hijuelos - Mr. Ives' Christmas
Madeline L'Engle - A Wrinkle in Time
Steven Hart - The Last Three Miles
David Sedaris - Me Talk Pretty One Day
Karen Armstrong - The Spiral Staircase
Charles Larson - The Portland Murders
Adrian Wojnarowski - The Miracle of St. Anthony
William H. Colby - Long Goodbye
Steven D. Stark - Meet the Beatles
Phil Stanford - Portland Confidential
Rick Moody - Garden State
Jonathan Schwartz - All in Good Time
David Sedaris - Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Anthony Holden - Big Deal
Robert J. Spitzer - The Spirit of Leadership
James McManus - Positively Fifth Street
Jeff Noon - Vurt

Road Work

Miles run year to date: 5
At this date last year: 3
Total run in 2017: 113
In 2016: 155
In 2015: 271
In 2014: 401
In 2013: 257
In 2012: 129
In 2011: 113
In 2010: 125
In 2009: 67
In 2008: 28
In 2007: 113
In 2006: 100
In 2005: 149
In 2004: 204
In 2003: 269

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