Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher makes $40,000 a year working as an unlicensed plumber contractor guy around the Toledo, Ohio area. Mr. Wurzelbacher approached Barack Obama and asked him a question while Obama was working a ropeline after a campaign event in the Toledo area. The question "Joe the Plumber" asked concerned itself with Obama's clearly stated policy proposal to increase taxes on Americans making over a quarter million dollars per year. Cameras rolled, video was edited, and the entire ordeal became an overnight sensation. Strangest damn thing.
Joe told Obama he was thinking about buying the company that he worked for....a clearly hypothetical question, because Joe, we have learned since, was in no position to buy much of anything. Be that as it may, Joe told Obama that the company he was thinking about buying made $250-280K per year and that Obama's plan to tax people more who made over $250K per year was discouraging him from purchasing the company. Joe wanted to know why he should be "punished" for wanting to improve his situation. In Joe's "thinking", it was all unfair.
Obama took Joe's question seriously and spent time calmly explaining that if he was in such a position, he was already successful and would only have to pay an increased tax rate on income over the $250K mark. Obama went on to say that his intent was not to punish the wealthy but to offer a tax break for those plumbers out there who were just getting started...so that those plumbers would be able to become successful, like Joe had allegedly become. That is when Obama threw out the now famous "spread the wealth" phrase. The very obvious context was consistent with what Obama has been campaiging on for 20 months, i.e., tax cuts for the middle class....rebuilding our collapsed economy from the grassroots up...instead of from the top down.
Odd, at least to me, is the fact that the $40,000-per-year-Joe-the-Plumber, an American worker who would receive an estimated $500 tax cut under Obama's proposals, would be the spokesman, the lobbyist so to speak, for the top 5% of America's income producers. Does anyone else find this odd?
A guy who makes an average yearly income, currently has liens on his property, and is obviously not in any position financially to purchase the company he says he works for is oh-so-concerned about the small percentage of America's wealthy who will be asked to pay the same rate of taxes as they did during the prosperous days under Bill Clinton's presidency. It's a complete disconnect.
In actual, you know, reality, as opposed to "created reality", Joe the Plumber's actual situation, as opposed to his make-believe-I-gotcha-Obama reality....it would seem like Joe would be a better fit as a spokesman for Obama's campaign rather than McCain's. Obama's tax proposals have been designed to lend a helping hand to Americans just like Joe. Not hypothetical, make believe Joe, mind you...but reality Joe.
Now comes the bizarre part.
Joe the Plumber has now become an icon for the McCain-Palin ticket. Demonstrating his true wingnuttiness the other day alongside of Ohio's own (sadly) Rob Portman, Joe, I suppose playing a make-believe foreign policy expert this time, said that Obama's policies would mean "death to Israel." First it was make-believe-rich-guy-about-to-purchase-company, Joe the $40K per year Plumber, then it was foreign-policy-expert-Obama-wants-to-destroy-Israel, Joe the Plumber.
Astoundingly, yesterday I saw a clip of Joe working the rope line at a McCain event, shaking hands and waving to his new admirers. Joe now appears on stage with McCain and Palin. Think about that.
A $40K per year plumber, an American who would benefit more from Obama's tax policies rather than McCain's, has now become a celebrity to McCain supporters by advocating for the 5% of Americans who make over $250K per year. I don't mind saying.....that is some twisted-up sh*t.
Yesterday we learned that Joe-the-$40K-per-year-plumber now has a public relations person working for him. Possible country music album in the works, maybe a book deal.....more teevee appearances, maybe even a run for congressional office.
Now I'm starting to "get it." The McCain-Palin ticket doesn't care that Joe the Plumber's claim to fame is based on bogus and twisted thinking. The McCain-Palin ticket will never admit that an Obama presidency would actually be better, tax wise, for Joe the Plumber....or that Joe, in the real world, would be a more appropriate spokesperson for the Democratic candidate on tax policy issues. That's simply way too much reality for the McCain-Palin ticket, a ticket which has based it's entire campaign on deception, lies, smears and stunts....not on any intelligent messaging. And so the McCain-Palin ticket, desperate for virtually anything to use in their losing cause, exploits Joe the Plumber.
Joe is now returning the favor.
Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher is, in reality, Joe the Opportunist.
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