Thursday, October 16, 2008

Hey, Joes

Here's Joe the plumber:

I'm officially sick of Joe six pack and Joe the plumber.
Here's Joe after the debate.

Joe the plumber thinks it's "scary" that people making more than $250,000 per year will have to pay 39% tax on every dollar over that threshold instead of the 36% he'd be paying for every dollar under? If you're literally scared of having to pay 3% more on each dollar you make over $250,000 each year, you are a coward. If you're going to call anyone who doesn't support the flat tax a 'socialist', you're an idiot. But, if you want to call McCain a socialist with a scary tax plan, you'd at least be consistent. You'll note Joe wouldn't do that.

Who is Joe the plumber?


Anonymous said...

Goddamn Clayton.

In what possible worlds can you kick any more ass?

Anonymous said...

I'm not so sure about the "Socialist" bit, or the "literally scared" bit, but I think it does truly suck that just because someone makes a lot of money that somehow they are obligated to pay more taxes (assuming they made the money morally, of course). Why is it so obvious that rich people somehow owe anything to poorer people?
I'm quite poor, btw.

Clayton said...

Hey Anon(2),

Even if you thought that it sucked that for every dollar after your 250,000th dollar you'd pay an additional $.03 in taxes more than you did on every dollar before that, if that's something you are 'scared' of, then you are just too easily scared.

If you disagree, tell me the X such that X is an occurrence worth being afraid of such that you could prevent X if, but only if, you had the $.03/dollar for each dollar over $250,000 you'd lose if we were to use Obama's tax plan.

If you don't believe there's any such X, it's irrational fear.

Joe's a coward because Joe knows full well there's no such X.

Now, you asked 'Why is it so obvious that rich people somehow owe anything to poorer people?', and I'd say that it's not obvious that the rich owe something "to the poorer people". Everyone has a duty to pitch in. Fire departments, police departments, highways, public education, and defense departments aren't free. If you're rich, pitching in isn't the same hardship that it is for the poor. I guess if I was being rhetorical I'd also add that as someone who's poor and probably won't ever be able afford to have kids, I want to know why the better off think I owe it to them that I'm paying police to protect their private property and teachers to teach their kids.

grad student said...

In reference to Joe's comments in the interview:
See, this is what happens when one doesn't get a good college education. (I'm only partially joking)

I'm trying to figure out why some people think that those who make over $250,000 annually would be "punished" by the 3% tax increase. In what sense would they be punished? We live in a country in which there is a huge disparity in wealth between the people in the worst and best off positions. Not everyone who makes $250 grand a year "worked hard" for it. Moreover, it's not like the money is being taken away just so the wealthy can't have it. It's not like Obama's going to pocket it.

lt.milo said...

"I'd say that it's not obvious that the rich owe something "to the poorer people"."

In the video you posted, Obama said, "spread the wealth around".

Clayton said...

Lt. Milo,

He did say that. I don't see any connection between his saying that and his adopting a policy which is justified by demonstrating that the rich owe something to the poor. But, if you see some connection, you can explain it.

When I watch the clip, here's what I see. I see Obama explaining to Joe the faux plumber that had Obama's tax policies been in place, it would have been easier for someone to work their way into Joe's enviable position (i.e., someone who is about to buy a business that will take in over $250,000/year) and that when people other than Joe are getting taxed less, that will be good for everyone (Joe included) because otherwise they can't really afford to support small businesses like Joe. If Joe's customers have no money, no wealth is being spread around. You'll note that in Obama's example, the wealth is accruing to the small business owner.

Take the remark out of context and I can see how you'd connect spreading the wealth around to making the rich pay what they owe the poor. Put it into context, and you'll see there's no connection.

lt.milo said...

McCain presented it like I did at the debate and Obama did not correct the view. Your explanation does seem to go directly with the rest of the context, but I don't see how that applies to his last sentence.
In fact, I think that his last sentence was out of context and he probably just said what he was really thinking before stopping himself; a rare mistake for Obama.

(just for the record I think this whole joe the plumber thing is despicable if he really is a fake)

Clayton said...

Lt. Milo,

You do realize that both candidates are trying to "spread the wealth" in their own ways. McCain's trying to "spread the wealth" by taxing employers and effectively punishing them for providing health care and handing out cash to individuals and families. Obama is trying to "spread the wealth" by allowing Bush's tax cuts for people at the top to expire. The ways these plans will spread the wealth differ and the benefits of these plans will be felt by different parties in different ways. If you're running a small business that depends on the lower and middle classes to pay for your goods and services, giving them tax cuts will help spread the wealth from them to the people they employ and buy from.

None of this has anything to do with the rich owing something to the poor, by the way. Obama is basically trying to change the tax code back to what it was before Bush came into office. McCain is trying to maintain the current system while adding new taxes on health care. If you don't see this as a choice between two ways of trying to spread the wealth, I think you're missing something big.

lt.milo said...

I agree; I dislike both of them for it. Bob Barr 2008!

-(not really voting for Bob Bar, but still)