Thursday, October 16, 2008

Joe The Plumber: Obama Tax Plan 'Infuriates Me'; 'We are The Greatest Country in the World'

Quick post with this exclusive interview by ABC News to the star of last night's debate: Joe the Plumber,

"To be honest with you, that infuriates me," plumber Joe Wurzelbacher told
Nightline's Terry Moran. "It's not right for someone to decide you made too
much---that you've done too good and now we're going to take some of it back."
"That's just completely wrong," he added.

And of all places, I found this enlightening interview at the MSNBC website,


Anonymous said...

Poor plumber! he will have to dry his tears with his $250.000 dollars per year.

Pablo said...


Pablo said...

In a more serious comment, I think McCain did a decent job with "Joe the plumber". The reason is that people inmediately connect "Joe the plumber" with "Joe Sixpack" and mentally equate to the average american.

The truth is though that Joe will earn over $250.000 a year and will be on the top 5% of the population. But truth is irrelevant in this case because the point was correctly delivered.

The problem with the debate for McCain is that he was destroyed when talking about health care. It is not only because the Obama plan has been praised by many independent institutions and McCain's has been criticized, but especially when he went on and said that the average cost is $5.800 dollars. Not only it is not truth (National Healthcare coalition says it is $12.000 for a family vs the $5000 McCain gives) but it does not make him look good because they are still at loss.

He also did a poor job in the negative campaigning part, because he fell again in the attacks that had cost him a couple of points in the polls last week.

The final problem was his innability to control his own temper. You are in front of a camera for God sake, try to control your face!

I guess it was this three problems the one that made him loss in the post-debate polls. But he certainly did a better job than last time.

He has now 3 weeks to win every single toss-up state and at least two of the states that are leaning torwards Obama.

Actually if he does not win every single toss up state, it will be the biggest defeat since 1996. And if he wins none of the toss up states it will be the biggest defeat in the last 20 years (since California is a democrat state!).

My prediction though is that he will win at least half of them, and that the % difference will be around 4%. Let's see if my predictions are right or not.

Pablo said...

Just two more humour points about the debate:


Zombie (it's not photoshopped!)

Pablo said...

Jow the plumber is not a plumber, he lied whe he said he was independent, he is a registered republican, and he would actually get a tax cut with Obama!

Interesting article from The New York Times:

One week ago, Joe Wurzelbacher was just another working man living in a modest ranch house near Toledo thinking about how to expand his plumbing business. But when he stopped Senator Barack Obama during a visit to his block this weekend to ask about his taxes, he set himself on a path to being the newest media celebrity — and, like other celebrities, found himself under scrutiny.

Turns out that “Joe the Plumber,” as he became nationally known when Senator John McCain made him a theme at Wednesday night’s third and final presidential debate, may run a plumbing business but he is not a licensed plumber. His full name is Samuel J. Wurzelbacher. And he owes a bit in back taxes.

The premise of his question to Mr. Obama about taxes may also be flawed, according to tax analysts.

An official at Local 50 of the plumber’s union, based in Toledo, said Mr. Wurzelbacher does not hold a license. He also has never served an apprenticeship and does not belong to the union. (The national plumber’s union, the United Association of Plumbers, Steamfitters, and Service Mechanics, endorsed Mr. Obama, it should be noted.)

“He’s basically playing games with the world,” Thomas Joseph, the local’s business manager, said in a telephone interview Thursday morning.

Just five days ago, Mr. Wurzelbacher, 34, lived in anonymity, a single father who worked all day at his plumbing business and came home to fix dinner and help his son with his homework, as he said on national television.

But he became the hero of conservatives and Republicans when he stopped Mr. Obama, who was campaigning on Shrewsbury Street on Sunday, and asked whether he believed in the American dream. Mr. Wurzelbacher said he was concerned about having to pay taxes as he reached a point where he could afford to buy his own plumbing business, one he said would draw income of $250,000 a year.

“I’m getting ready to buy a company that makes $250,000 to $280,000 a year,” he told Mr. Obama during an exchange that was filmed and later showed up on YouTube. “Your new tax plan is going to tax me more, isn’t it?”

That encounter led to New York Post headlines, appearances on the Fox News Channel and interviews with conservative groups, who seized on part of Mr. Obama’s reply.

“I think that when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody,” Mr. Obama had said.

When Mr. McCain invoked Mr. Wurzelbacher in Wednesday’s debate — some version of “Joe the Plumber” was mentioned two dozen times during the 90 minutes — as a way to criticize Mr. Obama’s tax plan and wealth-sharing argument, Mr. Wurzelbacher suddenly found camera crews outside his home, Katie Couric on the phone, and himself in the full glare of the media spotlight.

Mr. Wurzelbacher did not respond to a message left on his home phone and there was no answer at his plumbing business.

On Thursday, he told the Associated Press that he felt like Britney Spears.

“I’m kind of like Britney Spears having a headache,” he said. “Everybody wants to know about it.”

Unlike some other states, Ohio does not have a formal statewide licensing system for plumbers. But the city of Toledo and other municipalities do, Mr. Joseph said, and Mr. Wurzelbacher has not met those requirements.

“All contractors are licensed, and he does not have a license, either as a contractor or a plumber,”
the union official said, citing a search of government records. “I can’t find that he’s ever even applied for any kind of apprenticeship, and he has never belonged to local 189 in Columbus, which is what he claims on his Facebook page.”

According to public records, Mr. Wurzelbacher has been subject to two liens, each over $1,000, one of which — a personal tax lien — is still outstanding.

And his question to Mr. Obama about paying taxes? According to some tax analysts, if Mr. Wurzelbacher’s gross receipts from his business is $250,000 — and not his taxable income — then he would not have to pay higher taxes under Mr. Obama’s plan, and probably would be eligible for a tax cut.

Mr. Wurzelbacher is registered to vote in Lucas County under the name Samuel Joseph Worzelbacher.

“We have his named spelled W-O, instead of W-U,” Linda Howe, executive director of the Lucas County Board of Elections, said in a telephone interview. “Handwriting is sometimes hard to read. He has never corrected it in his registration card.”

The records, she said, showed he voted Republican in the March primary.

Mr. Wurzelbacher told Ms. Couric that his encounter with Mr. Obama was a matter of impulse.
“Neighbors were outside asking him questions, and I didn’t think they were asking him tough enough questions,” he said.

He went on, “You know, I’ve always wanted to ask one of these guys a question and really corner them and get them to answer a question,” he said, “for once instead of tap dancing around it, and unfortunately I asked the question, but I still got a tap dance.”

He added, “Almost as good as Sammy Davis Jr.”

Five days later his decision to confront Mr. Obama has spawned a line of novelty T-shirts sold on the Internet.

“Vote Joe the Plumber ’08,” one shirt reads, with the tag: “No More Drips in the White House.”

Ferny for McCain at Stanford said...


Just finished watching PBS, too bad that Shields and Brooks were not there this time.

Anyhow, regarding your postings,

1- I appreciate your lowering your condesdending tone. See, you can be civil when you try :D.

2- Regarding Joe the Plumber, I agree with you that the point is that he put in the spot light the issue of "wealth redistribution" that somehow the media hadn't been willing to address (for "whatever" reason they find it more interesting to demonize Sarah Palin than addressing this important topic which is at the heart of the differences between Obama and McCain) . And Joe, Samuel or whatever his first name is, has been very articulate that what it's at stake is the Federal Government deciding when an individual has been "too succesful" for his/her own good. Those who will be more penalized under Obama's new plan are precisely those who rise through hard work. At the end of the day, the Warren Buffets of the world (who BTW trust more the private sector to "distribute their wealth around" than the Federal Government) will do well no matter what. It's the numerous people such as, I am sure many of whom you know, those in the Valley whose household income is greater than 250K. Families for instance with two income earners in high tech and two kids. Suddenly, they'll have 7.5 K less money a year that they could use to save for paying the future education of their kids (If Obama moves the top federal rate 3 points up as he has said he will). As I mentioned to you earlier, some of my friends who support Obama for social leftist reasons have serious second thoughts about Obama when they think honestly about it.

3- Regarding the healthcare issue, there is a major criticism with Obama's "zero" response in that he didn't say in detail what constitutes a "small business" (either by number of employees or revenues). Then you misrepresent McCain's plan. Giving 5K to the employee can only increase competition among insurance providers, and employers can continue to complement that amount. Even if the employer's contributions are taxed, the total out of the pocket amount for the individual will be less except for very few people (I think McCain mentioned 5%).

4- Regarding the final result, I will not make any predictions on margins because I don't have a magic ball. Yet, if the trend for the last few days continues, it might be well becoming a much narrower race than Obama anticipated. He senses that because he's gone from an arrogant attitude of his campaign last week to correctly point out today the lesson he learned hard in New Hampshire during the primaries. In addition, state polls are usually more innacurate in close races than national polls.

Finally, as I said, the facts about Joe the Plumber are less important than the issue he has raised. Yet, the Mainstream Media has lost no time in trying to demonize him, proving for the n-th time the double standard they apply to these issues. It will backfire because Joe the Plumber is not a politician, he is a citizen who represents the average swing voter in Ohio or other rural communities in swing states way better than anything the Obama campaign has been able to come up with (and that includes Joe Biden).