Joe the Plumber?

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For those of you who were wondering during the debate last night, who the heck is Joe the Plumber?, here is a video of his encounter with Senator Obama.

Here is Joe’s reaction to the encounter:

I have run a small business, my law firm, since 1985.  It provides the entire livelihood for my family.  The first decade of the business we scraped by.  Now it provides a pretty good living, and, God willing, will allow me to pay for college for my kids.

In my opinion any small business owner who believes that Obama and a Democrat controlled Congress will view him or her as anything other than as a cash cow for the government is delusional.  What is your opinion?

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  1. Of course Obama is going to view any successful business as a cash cow. His very words implied as much when he says, “When you spread the wealth around, it helps everyone.”

    What Obama does not realize, fundamentally, is that having successful businesses that create jobs IS spreading the wealth around. Everyone who has ever attempted the experiment of heavily taxing the rich to “spread the wealth around” has discovered that there is far less wealth to spread around in the end. I don’t know what they think people do with profits. I guess they think rich people hide all their money under the bed, because:

    1) Spending profits on necessities and peripherals helps support jobs that are existing

    2) Reinvesting profits in the business helps the business grow, offering more jobs

    3) Lending the money to banks for long term investments allows banks to then in turn lend money to other people to start up new businesses.

    When you place huge taxes on the wealthy, what is the result? Less money going to existing jobs, which means people laid off. Businesses stagnating, which means no new jobs. Less money for loans to start up businesses, which means fewer jobs created.

    Where do new jobs come from, then? Well, maybe a bunch of private citizens come together to start up a new business, or someone starts a business really small, already within his financial means, and that is a hard climb up. We certainly cannot expect the government to provide new jobs (except for those jobs created to feed the ever-expanding bureaucracy) with the money it receives in taxes. Maybe the fact that we’re running a $400 billion/yr deficit escaped Obama’s attention, and that all those taxes he raises are going to have to go to cover that deficit if he’s at all serious about balancing the budget.

  2. This is where Obama’s complete lack of understanding of the private sector shows through.

    Obama’s take is simply, “Joe used to be middle class, but now he’s saved up a lot of money and can afford to buy a business, and so we need to tax him and give the money to those ‘behind him’ who haven’t yet got as far.” What he doesn’t seem to understand is that if he taxes Joe sufficiently heavily, Joe won’t be able to buy and run that business, which means other people won’t have jobs. Getting a $500 tax credit at the end of the year is no substitute for having a job all year round.

  3. The guy lacks a professional license…

    He was probably a plant; the McCain campaign needs all the help it can get.

    Also, it turns out–as the major networks have ably reported–that Samuel (His real name) would not be affected by Obama’s plan.


  4. A plant! Give me a break! Yeah, the Republicans must have used mind control to cause Obama to have a conversation with him.

    Plenty of unlicensed plumbers work for plumbers who have licenses.

    The Obama plan will hurt him if he buys his bosses’ business.

    The Senator made a potentially fatal mistake with his “spread the wealth” meme.

  5. Mark’s comment perfectly encapsulates what is wrong with this electorate. He takes at completely face value a media report, and completely apes it because, well, it confirms his preconceived notions of who Joe must be. He sits there watching CNN, and decides that he doesn’t actually have to do any research, but instead will just parrot the media talking points. And of course Mark will turn around and say that I am the one who is narrow-mindedly ideological. No, I am just intellectually curious enough not to snookered by the MSM.

  6. Mark, speaking of tools and potted plants. It sounds like you are one for the Socialist Utopia. Obviously, if the state says you aren’t a plumber you aren’t one. I am sure Marx would be proud of you. Not far from me, Amish men build homes and women set up to sell their crafts and food stuffs. Perhaps, I will remind them that according to you they don’t know what they are doing, because the “state” doesn’t sanction them.

  7. Mark should read the relevant Ohio law instead of parroting Obama talking points. Amazing. This man asks a POLICY-RELATED question of a candidate, and the Mark Ds of the world feel the need to try to destroy him.

  8. Hey Mark, I’m a plumber. Guess what? Any decent Dad can who remember righty-tighty, lefty-loosy is a beginner plumber. I can cut and weld pipes without any government functionary sanctioning my actions. The real definition of a plumber to Obama is someone dumb enough to give money to a corrupt union that will funnel money to the Dem party coffers.

    Bottom line: I’ve gotten help from plumbers, carpenters, electricians, etc. I don’t get help from politicians.

    Also, Mark please tell us you are not so foolish as to think we plant people in their own front yard to trick Obama into saying ridiculous socialist BS.

  9. Mark DeFrancisis’ World: Ask an unloaded, straightforward question about Obama’s policies and get the politics of personal destruction visited upon you. We’ve had more media investigations into Joe in the past 36 hours than we have about Obama during the entire campaign.

    Moral of the Story: Only ask questions that lead to a scripted moment with Obama. Got it.

    That’s change you can believe in!

  10. Have any of you read the Obama tax plan?

    If there is a one-man or two-man plumbing business whose owner ( and worker) are each clearing a quarter million dollars in net profits per year (or taxable income for the employee), then I have to wonder how much that plumber is charging his customers per hour. That plumber also must not have many business expenses (business expenses are not taxed as income.)

    $250,000 / 2080 hours = $120/hr
    note: the nominal work week is 40 hours x 52 weeks per year = 2080 hours) So, this is 40 billable hours of work per week (i.e. no travel time to the job sites) with no vacations, no expenses, no sick days, no vehicle costs, no gasoline, no tools, no holidays at all (ie. can’t take a break for Christmas day unless it falls on Saturday or Sunday), no plumbing supplies, no phone bill, no advertising costs, no insurance premiums, no state taxes, no sales taxes, no office supplies, no utilities expenses, no FICA expenses, no half-days off to meet with the children’s teachers, no business expenses on any sort etc.

    In the real world, a plumber netting $250,000 per year, probably has to bill, at a minimum, somewhere between $250 – $300 per hour, and probably more likely $400 per hour. (I know that I won’t hire a plumber at that rate.)

    Then, only the income /profit above that level will be taxed at the higher marginal rate.

    I hope this clarifies the impact that the Obama tax plan will have on Joe the plumber in Toledo, OH

    (note: many small businesses don’t turn any profit for the first couple/few years of existence and only after time begin to show small profits. The tax code is set up to allow this in order to give small businesses a chance to grow and improve their bottom line as they become established.)

  11. Larry, a plumbing business often has several plumbers as employees. One of my plumbing clients has seven other plumbers working for him. Last year he netted over half a million.

  12. Donald, I think that is great. And, if he (or she) is truly clearing over a half a million a year, I don’t have a problem with that. I also think that the marginal increase on the second quarter million of their net is not going to cause them to lay off one of their employees. (But if they do, I guess that is on them.) If, the seven other plumbers all have taxable income over $250,000, then I also don’t have a problem with each of them paying an increased rate on the amount of taxable income above that quarter million. Let’s not conflate small business revenues with profits or with taxable income.

    I was writing about Joe the Plumber and the Obama tax plan effect on his hopes to own a one-man or two-man business.

    By the way, what was the gross for that 8-man business?

  13. The gross I don’t recall. I remember his net only because of a legal matter where that fact was rather important. I also don’t recall Joe the Plumber indicating to Senator Obama how many plumbers he ultimately hoped to have working for him. As for the 250,000 threshhold, I suspect that would vanish as quickly as did the middle class tax cut in the Clinton administration in 1993. Some members of Congress are now calling for a second New Deal, and even confiscatory tax rates on earners making over a quarter of a million dollars a year wouldn’t raise enough revenue for spending of that magnitude, assuming that a President Obama would agree with such an agenda.

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