On the slim chance that John McCain wins this election – let me rephrase that – on the slim chance that John McCain doesn’t defeat himself in this election, he will need to invite Joe Wurzelbacher to sit with him on the platform at the inauguration. God knows Joe will have earned it. If John McCain wins, it will be Joe Wurzelbacher that drags him across the finish line.
Joe Wurzelbacher is, of course, Joe the Plumber. He’s the guy who confronted Barack Obama on a rope line in Ohio about the real world impact of Obama’s tax proposals. It was Joe the Plumber who did what volumes of uninspiring and boring Senatespeak from McCain could not – force Obama to reveal himself as the redistributionist that he is.
Barack Obama told Joe the Plumber that he wants to raise taxes on those who earn more than $250,000 a year in order to “spread the wealth around.”
Thirty seconds of a completely random exchange between a campaigning politician and a bald guy on a rope line and BOOM! – instant clarity on the real differences in this campaign.
Bet money that Obama wishes he could call this one back. Because Joe the Plumber did in a few seconds what McCain has not been able to do in three debates and months of campaigning. He shone a bright light on the real substance behind Obama’s lofty rhetoric.
Joe the Plumber is, of course, more than just a particular individual who works for a plumbing contractor in Ohio and one day hopes to own the business. Joe the Plumber is a metaphor, the embodiment of millions of small businesses in America. You know, the ones that create most of the jobs. Joe is the local Yellow Pages – the electricians, printers, dry cleaners, wedding photographers, hearing aid stores, auto garages, restaurants and the countless other businesses owned by people that get out of bed every morning and make the American miracle happen. Joe the Plumber is the millions of limited liability companies and sub-chapter S corporations who pass the tax consequences of the small business directly to the tax returns of the owners.
When the comment blew up in his face, Obama defended it by saying at a rally, “How many plumbers do you know that make more than $250,000 a year?” Well, Senator, I’ll bet you way more than you think and I’ll further bet you that there are more than a few of them right here in East Texas.
Senator, your ill-advised answer to Joe made it personal. Joe the Plumber is Paul Gleiser the radio broadcaster.
KTBB is a small business. I own it. I make money selling commercials in the same way that Joe makes money fixing people’s pipes. Joe and I both have operating expenses that we pay out of the revenue that we generate. The difference between what we sell in goods and services and what it costs us to deliver those goods or services is the profit. And it’s those profits that keep Joe and me in business.
Here’s an example. If you’re listening to this broadcast on the air, it is being sent to your radio by a transmitter that I bought from Broadcast Electronics in Quincy, Illinois (Barack Obama’s home state). I paid about $50,000 for it three years ago. I got the money to pay for it from the after-tax profits of running this business.
Now, along comes Barack Obama who thinks it’s necessary to raise the taxes on my business’s net income in order to be fair and to “spread the wealth around.”
Senator, I am spreading the wealth around. Someone in Illinois had to go to work and be paid to build my transmitter. Someone in Illinois had to buy parts in order to for the workers in Illinois to have the components necessary to do their jobs. Someone had to make, sell and deliver those parts. Someone got paid a commission for convincing me to buy a Broadcast Electronics transmitter instead of one from Harris or Continental or Nautel. Someone got paid to bring the finished transmitter from Quincy, Illinois to Tyler, Texas.
My fifty grand passed through a lot of hands and helped create a lot of wealth. And those hands paid taxes at nearly every turn.
It is perfectly legitimate, Senator, for the government to levy taxes on me and every producing American in order to fund the good and necessary functions of government. But every dollar you take is a dollar I can’t spend buying transmitters so please get it through your head that we don’t need you to spread the wealth around.
Those of us who are creating wealth can be counted on to spread it much better than you ever will.