Campaigns/Elections

Meet Joe the Plumber

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Via the Cincinnati Enquirer and the AP, everything you wanted to know about last night's breakout star, Joe the Plumber.

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  1. So…

    What do *I* have in common with Joe the Plumber?

  2. So I guess Joe Sixpack decided to vote for Obama, and McCain had to find somebody with a six figure income to be the face of his campaign.

  3. What about Rob the SAS programmer?

  4. So I guess Joe Sixpack decided to vote for Obama, and McCain had to find somebody with a six figure income to be the face of his campaign.

    Haven’t you heard? Small business owners are like God’s own children!

  5. I always thought it kinda crazy that a State like Ohio could have so much influence on the selection of a President of all fifty States. Now, that influence is being focused even further one one plumber within Ohio.

    Isn’t progress wonderful?

  6. Do I get to ask the candidates what they’re going to give me? Because I really want to know.

  7. Isn’t progress wonderful?

    I’m sure there’s a whole cafe’s worth of old French philosophers who, had they not already died, would be orgasming to death over the collective realization of all their theories.

  8. The media of course is snarky to the guy. Being a plumer is a really crappy job. That is why it pays so much. My guess is that 99% of journalists wouldn’t last 10 minutes as one.

  9. At a later point in the discussion, Obama said: “I think when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody. But listen, I respect what you do and I respect your question, and even if I don’t get your vote, I’m still gonna be working hard on your behalf because small businesses are what creates jobs in this country and I want to encourage it.”

    And don’t try to keep the unions out, or I’ll come down on you like a ton of hot bricks.

    “spread the wealth around”
    Fuck You, Senator.

  10. i’m watching this guy on msnbc right now…who the hell IS this guy?? don’t call me alex jones conspiracy theorist or something but there’s something bullshit-ish about this guy? he feels like an actor playing a working class guy. he looks the part but is too articulate and comfortable in front of the camera to be the real deal.

  11. I do my own plumbing, John. Does that count?

  12. Has anybody talked to the present owner of the pluming contractor, to see what he thinks about the tax consequences of the sale under la Regime Obamanomical?

    He doesn’t need all that money, anyway.

  13. “Do my own plumbing” could also be a great new euphemism.

  14. The funny thing is, according to Politico, he’s not even registered to vote.

  15. “pluming”

    Jesus- I must have read John’s comment by accident.

  16. The media of course is snarky to the guy. Being a plumer is a really crappy job. That is why it pays so much. My guess is that 99% of journalists wouldn’t last 10 minutes as one.

    For someone who gets really mad when people project about you, you sure do project what you think others will or won’t be able to do quite a bit.

  17. I do my own welding.

    So there.

  18. The funny thing is, according to Politico, he’s not even registered to vote.

    Never mind, looks like Ben Smith found that it’s not the case and his name must be misspelled. He’s a registered Republican.

  19. joe went on this tired rant about ”i’m tired of being saying this a bad country” stuff. ugh i’m so sick of that kind of debate in this country. why can’t people love this country and acknowledge flaws in a healthy balance. i feel like i and a handful of my friends are alone on that one and everyone else is to the extreme opposites. my response to the plumber and his ilk is that i hate smug liberal douchbags who call americans stupid and evil as much as the next sensible person but grow the fuck up and stop disregarding legitimate problems and criticism with childish idealised patriotism.

  20. I do my own welding.

    If you are going to do online drag then at least use a stripper name handle!

  21. “The media of course is snarky to the guy. Being a plum[b]er is a really crappy job. That is why it pays so much. My guess is that 99% of journalists wouldn’t last 10 minutes as one.”

    Let us be fair – journalists and politicians not only have to wade through more crap than plumbers, they have to pretend that it smells like roses.

    “‘It’s not that I want to punish your success,’ Obama said. ‘I just want to make sure that everybody who is behind you that they’ve got a chance at success, too.'”

  22. Being a plumber is considered a really good job where I come from. And it should be noted that to work as a plumber, you have to be licensed by a state. Therefore, it could be inferred that plumbers have SOME built in competition protection, BECAUSE of government regulation. It seems today that most people want to have their cake and eat it too.

  23. Spreading the wealth around is the new watchword for todays youth. It sounds so much less sinister than wealth redistribution. The libertarian message lost this argument the moment the GOP went with compasionate conservatism.

    Obamas comment that he wants to help “those that come after you” misses the point entirely that the people won’t come after Joe in creating prosperity, because they won’t need to bother once they get their hands on Joe’s hard earned money.

  24. “‘It’s not that I want to punish your success,’ Obama said. ‘I just want to make sure that everybody who is behind you that they’ve got a chance at success, too.'”

    It’s a good thing Obama has the election sewn up (as far as human affairs can be predicted) – if Mondale had said it, that comment would be cited as one of the reasons for his defeat.

    disclaimer: The Repubs believe this stuff, too – they try not to blurt it out that explicitly when talking to the targets of their policies.

  25. Jeez Terry – where do you come from?

  26. Anybody know how much it would cost to buy an established plumbing business generating enough to pay the owner $250,000+?

  27. “‘It’s not that I want to punish your success,’ Obama said. ‘I just want to make sure that everybody who is behind you that they’ve got a chance at success, too.'”

    By, of course, punishing your success. But it makes my Hollywood friends feel better about themselves!

  28. Obama quotes: (emphasis mine)

    “Not only do 98 percent of small businesses make less than $250,000, but I also want to give them additional tax breaks, because they are the drivers of the economy,” Obama said. “They produce the most jobs.”

    Obama said…”the reason why we’re doing that is because 95 percent of small businesses make less than 250 (thousand). So what I want to do is give them a tax cut.”

    98 percent, 95 percent…I think I’ll just make up some number that makes it sound like I’ll only be hurting a few, successful–er, I mean greedy–business owners.

    I know, surprise, surprise: a politician would never just make stuff up in attempt to justify a policy.

  29. What happens if Joe the Plumber is a libertarian? I bet we’d stop hearing about him if that came out.

  30. I just want to make sure that everybody who is behind you that they’ve got a chance at success

    Successfully getting a handout from the government, maybe.

  31. TO P Brooks: Why is getting a tax cut a handout from the government?

  32. PB,

    Perhaps Sen. Obama had a whole different “everybody who is behind you” meaning?

  33. What happens if Joe the Plumber is a libertarian? I bet we’d stop hearing about him if that came out.

    he isn’t. i just watched him talk extensively on msnbc and he’s for the war in iraq. i’m sure he voted for bush and will probably vote mccain.

  34. What about Rob the SAS programmer?

    Statistically, he was a non-factor.

    Which Rob, of course, already knew.

  35. Successfully getting a handout from the government, maybe.

    I make considerably less than 250K, could anyone explain how giving me a halfway decent break on my taxes is a handout?

    Also, why would anyone in their right mind with a business making over 250K claim that as personal income?

  36. $250k is a lot of money simply for knowing that water flows downhill.

    My guess is that it not being only water is the reason why it is lucrative.

  37. “Also, why would anyone in their right mind with a business making over 250K claim that as personal income?”

    A subchapter S corporation. There are tax advantages.

  38. Spreading the wealth around is the new watchword for today’s youth.

    It’s hardly new. Huey Long’s “Share Our Wealth” program was in 1934.

  39. Dave the Video Guy,

    Some of the Socialists here might get back to you on that, or the folks on Ezra Klein’s ‘blog might have a spew for you.

    However, no, giving you and everybody else in your income level a tax break is not a handout. If it were a tax break for only Video Guys named Dave (or just Video Guys), then that could be percieved by a lot of people as a handout.

  40. So is Barr going to show up for the third party debate or is he a scumbag?

    http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/10/15/still-to-come-the-third-party-debate/

  41. By the way, Obama keeps talking about families making over $250,000. What about single folks?

  42. Video Guy Dave – If your tax “cut” is a series of credits you can claim even if you currently pay no taxes, that it makes it a bit like a handout.

  43. By the way, Obama keeps talking about families making over $250,000. What about single folks?

    I assume you would cut it in half and if you make more than 125K, you better be ready to write some checks to the chosen one.

  44. Of course the President doesn’t write tax policy, Congress does. Does anyone here actually think Nancy Pelosi will only tax those making over $250k? If she does, I am sure Obama will step in to protect everyone else.

  45. “spread the wealth around”

    If Obama wants to send me a cut of the proceeds from his books, I can live with that.

    If he wants some of my paycheck to give to some drug-addled miscreant in the middle of a collapsing city, he can go fuck himself.

  46. God, I hope Joe the plumber is leaving a squeaky clean life. The press just put on the rubber gloves and got the flashlights out. All that’s left is the coin toss to determine if lubricant will be used.

    Oh, and if the economy is so damnned bad and credit is so impossible to get, how is Joe the plumber gonna buy such an expensive business?

  47. Video Dave and Terry,

    If you evever filled in the EITC section of a Tax form…..

    You might have received a handout.

    Otherwise, sot so much.

  48. Obama said that under his proposal taxes on any revenue from $250,000 on down would stay the same, but that amounts above that level would be subject to a 39 percent tax, instead of the current 36 percent rate.

    “And the reason why we’re doing that is because 95 percent of small businesses make less than 250 (thousand). So what I want to do is give them a tax cut. I want to give all these folks who are bus drivers, teachers, auto workers who make less, I want to give them a tax cut,” he said.

    WTF?

    I want to give them a tax cut. But I need to spread the wealth around.

  49. A targeted tax cut without an accompanying spending cut of equal value is effectively a redistribution of the tax burden.

    If someone else is paying what used to be your responsibility, it’s not a stretch to call that a handout.

  50. What happens if Joe the Plumber is a libertarian? … he isn’t. i just watched him … on msnbc …

    Damn! I thought we had our 2012 presidential nominee.

  51. Small business owners and income.
    http://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Owner,_Small_Business/Salary

    Anyone got better numbers>

  52. “I assume you would cut it in half and if you make more than 125K, you better be ready to write some checks to the chosen one.”

    As convoluted as it sounds, I moved from NYC to Florida recently. Given the tax burden in NYC vs. FL, and there’s not much Obama can do to make me feel a tax pinch. Though I’m probably in the bracket to pay an extra 3%. ($4,000 or so. That’s a used Alembic right there).

  53. Serious question: is the tax thing gonna start on the business after 250k revenues or is Obama talking about what Joe the plumber shows on his 1040 as his income?

  54. If your tax “cut” is a series of credits you can claim even if you currently pay no taxes, that it makes it a bit like a handout.

    I see. So if I paid 5K in taxes last year, but this year I’m able to take some credits and whittle that down to 4K, then I’m a welfare queen.

    Makes perfect sense to me.

  55. Let me know when Senator Hopey McChangeling comes out in favor of simplifying the tax code.

  56. Lamar namedrops Alembic and confirms that he is a man of wealth and taste.

  57. I’m sure that will come at the same time he disbands the TSA and cuts the DHS budget by seventy-five per cent, and the day after he issues an executive order to the NSA to suspend domestic warrantless wiretapping operations. And prohibits the DoD from giving military equipment to local police departments.

  58. Joe the Plumber sure is bringing out a lot of cosmopolitan Nancy-boy office workers that seem to really be in a hurry to discredit him. Some people just can’t handle it that there are blue collars out there that keep the office workers over mortgaged houses and asses running and are making more money by doing that than Nancy-boy is as an over blown account executive.

  59. Who is Joe the Plumber?

    Who is John Galt?

    Shrug, Joe, shrug.

  60. I see. So if I paid 5K in taxes last year, but this year I’m able to take some credits and whittle that down to 4K, then I’m a welfare queen.

    No one said “welfare queen,” but the fact is that in your hypothetical, a central planner decided that a redistribution of the tax burden was necessary, and others are now paying that $1k.

    The distribution may be more “fair”, or it may not – the point is that the tax code is the aggregate of thousands of similar (distortionary) decisions by Congress. Targeted tax cuts are akin to regulatory distortions, rent-seeking and all.

  61. “Lamar namedrops Alembic and confirms that he is a man of wealth and taste.”

    Where “American made” actually means “better”.

  62. We shouldn’t worry. It’s obvious that Obama will only be spreading somebody else’s wealth around.

    See? We’re in the clear and now we’re rich! Rich! I tell you!

  63. I guess I’m just too dense to understand the validity of the premise and the notion that Joe has to “buy” a business in order to “own” one. He already has a customer base, I would assume. Why not start his own business, which–if he already owns his own tools (I bet he does)–is considerably less expensive? Why is it, when we even discuss business ownership, that we have to approach from a consumerist level? I think Joe needs to think about creating his own business instead of buying someone else’s.

  64. “Joe the Plumber sure is bringing out a lot of cosmopolitan Nancy-boy office workers that seem to really be in a hurry to discredit him.”

    Nobody’s discrediting him. I’m questioning the idea that he’s the same as Joe Sixpack. There’s a reason that McCain didn’t pick Amir the computer software developer for his synecdoche.

  65. “I think Joe needs to think about creating his own business instead of buying someone else’s.”

    He’s buying goodwill and he’s buying a customer base. There’s nothing consumerist about buying and selling businesses. After all, many who start businesses do so with the intent of selling the second they catch on.

  66. also, video guy, to restate – Obama wants to make those credits available not just to individuals who pay $5K a year in taxes, but also to those who pay none at all – apparently some 40% of the population. If you’re not paying taxes to begin with and tax credits are made available to you, that’s basically a transfer payment.

  67. It might be interesting to hear what Just Plumbin’ Joe has to say about dropping the licensing requirements for plumbers.

  68. Anybody know how much it would cost to buy an established plumbing business generating enough to pay the owner $250,000+?

    Let’s say the company’s net income is $250,000 (for simplicities sake). If we assume a P/E of 8x, since plumbing is a relatively mature industry, he’s in Ohio (so high growth is unlikely) and it’s a pretty competitive market. That company would go for about $2 million.

  69. Lamar, I think you just strengthened my point unintentionally.

  70. why is obama not spreading his millions around?

  71. Hogan, you beat me to the clear explanation. to expand on that, I’ll point out that it’s not terribly different than what already occurs – studies show that once you consider non-cash government benefits (which go to low income people disproportionately to their income) everyone in the lower 60% of taxpayers is already a net welfare queen – meaning they get more than they pay. This is obvious if you pay no taxes, as a lot of people do. It’s less obvious if you pay 8k in taxes – you are thinking “hey, I pay taxes, I need a break” Most people don’t realize they are already getting more than 8k in benefits once they send their kids to school, drive on the roads, flush their toilets etc.

    Obama’s plan drops the pretense of providing services and just writes a check. This is actually a decent idea – if we could eliminate the government spending. I would happily subscribe to a system of outright welfare to rid ourselves of an infinitely worse system that redistributes sneakily so that recipients of welfare think of themselves as payers. Of course Obama proposes no such thing, ust a tack on, but I can dream.

  72. If Joe the Plumber is afraid of a tax hike…he has NO BUSINESS openning up a new Businesses.

  73. “Lamar, I think you just strengthened my point unintentionally.”

    Yay! Everybody wins!!

  74. “I think when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.”

    News flash, Obama: not everybody. Not the people whose wealth is being stolen. They tend to be a bit ungrateful about the goodness being inflicted on them.

  75. He’s buying goodwill and he’s buying a customer base.

    And he’s buying a stream of income; it’s a lot easier to get your friendly neighborhood banker to partner up with you when you have real, historical revenue numbers to work with instead of pie-in-the-sky “projections”.

  76. News flash, Obama: not everybody. Not the people whose wealth is being stolen. They tend to be a bit ungrateful about the goodness being inflicted on them.

    Some of them tend to warm to it after they discover that more people can afford to buy their product.

    [/demand-side shill]

  77. El – prepare to be eliminated.

  78. why is obama not spreading his millions around?

    Well, millions > 250,000 so I guess he would be, wouldn’t he?

  79. El – prepare to be eliminated.

    LOL. I guess I’ve been typing aloud again.

  80. Remember, no amount of hourly wages, cell phones, wide screen TVs, cool shoes or cars pull people from the grips of poverty.

    Until you have a pony from the government you are one of the downtrodden masses.

  81. “Remember, no amount of hourly wages, cell phones, wide screen TVs, cool shoes or cars pull people from the grips of poverty.”

    There’s no poverty in the ‘hood. Have you seen some of those rims?

  82. Lamar,

    Unless those rims are on a pony then there is poverty.

  83. This needs to be repeated:

    Obama said that under his proposal taxes on any revenue from $250,000 on down would stay the same, but that amounts above that level would be subject to a 39 percent tax, instead of the current 36 percent rate.

    “And the reason why we’re doing that is because 95 percent of small businesses make less than 250 (thousand). So what I want to do is give them a tax cut. I want to give all these folks who are bus drivers, teachers, auto workers who make less, I want to give them a tax cut,” he said.

    If the taxation levels below $250k are staying the same, how is that a tax cut?

  84. If the taxation levels below $250k are staying the same, how is that a tax cut?

    That is Leftoid-math. Goes along with spending “cuts” when the rate stays the same or increases. See also subsidy, when a tax rate is lowered.

  85. We should just leave Joe Plumber and his money alone. Perhaps he’ll grow his business and REALLY help keep people out of “poverty” by giving them a REAL job that pays them REAL money for their REAL hard work.

    While we’re at it, let’s leave his employees alone and let them keep their money too.

    But then perhaps Joe will fail miserably, and if he does, we should still leave him alone. Unless, of course, we want to help him out voluntarily.

    “Hope for Change” is a hope for change to more socialism, so we can all be equally miserable together–that would, afterall be fair, wouldn’t it?

    Mr. Obama, please feel free to redistribute some of your personal wealth into my tin cup.

    But unlike you, I won’t force you to do it. I’ll just count on you putting your money where your mouth is with your overwhelming generosity. Let’s see how the compassion in your words translates into compassion in your deeds.

  86. I’m not going to read all these comments just to make this joke:

    I’m not a plumber, but I do like to lay some pipe.

  87. This is actually a decent idea – if we could eliminate the government spending. I would happily subscribe to a system of outright welfare to rid ourselves of an infinitely worse system that redistributes sneakily so that recipients of welfare think of themselves as payers.

    I have thought about this myself, too.

    I think that as a “transition point” that moves us closer to libertarianism, I would advocate turning a lot of non-cash benefits into cash benefits: get rid of the food stamp program, the Section 8 Housing voucher program, and similar benefits and just send checks to people directly via the SSI system. I’d also eliminate the qualification process for these benefits and merely work directly from the IRS database of declared income. I’d even be willing to increase the total benefit amount in dollar terms somewhat if this was done.

    This would probably allow for an increase in the amount paid out in fraudulent benefits, but it would accomplish a couple of good things:

    1. It would decimate the ranks of the bureaucracy. The Masters in Social Work would become basically just a ticket to employment in the fast food industry. If we lose a little money on fraud, we make some [or all] of that money back by gutting our bureaucratic expenses.

    2. It would stop infantilizing the poor, by trying to micromanage their lives by limiting what they can spend their transfer payments on. And some of the poor would, you know, take the extra cash and SAVE it, or use it to build towards some future goal.

    3. It would concentrate transfer payment spending in one place, which I think would make it easier to control over time.

    I think doing this, along with my other “transition point” of instituting means testing for Social Security and Medicare, is both politically feasible and hugely beneficial to libertarian policy interests in the long run.

  88. F*ck Joe the F*ucking PLUMBER…he is an a**hole and D*ck… what a joke, that is not even funny, a plumber that makes $250K a year …give me a break…JOKE, JOKE…not funny.

  89. Really.. Joe The Plumber is actually a “ringer” and now is in big trouble, he should have kept his mouth closed and now he is found to be a person who owes (alleg) a ton of money (alleg) to the IRS. Why would someone do that, Jon Stewart said that people will do anything to be on TV… (alleg) he is an h*m*s*exua*.

  90. Meet Joe the Plumber

    Thanks for sharing

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