If McCain wins, thank Joe the plumber

Joe Wurzelbacher was made famous this week. He is the plumber who challenged Barack Obama’s tax plan on the streets of Toledo, Ohio and thereby incited the now famous “spread the wealth around” gaffe. According to the New York Times his name was mentioned an astounding two dozen times during the final presidential debate.

He has become a focal point, a symbol if you will, for all those who are skeptical of Barack Obama and his wealth redistributing tax policies. Joe the plumber pulled of a great feet. He managed to do something that John McCain and the entire republican party couldn’t manage.

Joe the plumber managed to catch Barack Obama off his guard and away from his Teleprompters. He managed to ask a poignant, unscripted, unexpected question to him. And most importantly he managed to get an unscripted, truthful, and revealing answer, an answer that has already changed the focus of the race. One that is negative for Obama, positive for McCain and easily sound-bite-able.

But perhaps his greatest feet was getting the media to pay attention to the negatives associated with Barack Obama’s tax plan. And that is something that John McCain could not do no matter how hard he tried. It took someone who is not rich and powerful. It required an “everyman” that would be hurt by that plan.

In other words, in order to poke holes in Obama’s tax plan the Republicans needed to show Americans who Obama wants to take money from. They needed someone that the middle class can relate to. They needed someone we could all connect with.

They got all of that in Joe the plumber. According to broadcasts on MSNBC, FOX NEWS, CNN, and several other media outlets Joe Wurzelbacher is someone who is representative of the middle class. He is a plumber. He has a child. He lives modestly in a small house in Toledo, Ohio. And, most importantly, he is working hard to achieve his dream of owning the plumbing company he now works for. He wants to do what he loves, earn what he’s worked for, and keep what he’s earned.

Joe is reaching for the American dream. That’s something that I think everyone can relate to. Certainly that is my hope and the entire reason I am giving four years of my life and more than a hundred thousand dollars of my money for additional schooling. Honestly, what other reason for attending a college is there?

And this really applies to everyone. I mean, Is your vision of your future all that different from Joe’s? Don’t you want to be successful? Don’t you want to determine what to do with your earnings, be it investing to build jobs or giving to charity or buying a home for your family and loved ones? I want what Joe the plumber wants and I think most of you do too.

So, while I may have a strong affinity for many of the principles John McCain espouses I can actually relate to the dreams, desires, and concerns that Joe the plumber has. I’m sure I’m not the only one either. If McCain wins he will owe a debt to Joe. A fruit basket is in order.

(Others blogging on Joe: Hotair, Malkin, STACLU (via Malkin), McCain-Palin MMVIII, Matt Lewis, Glenn Beck, NARN, and NewsBusters)

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Stephen Gutowski

Stephen Gutowski is an award-winning political reporter who got his start in 2009 when he founded this blog.

3 thoughts on “If McCain wins, thank Joe the plumber”

  1. Forget the character attacks, however deserved or not. Let’s deal with the actual issue that was raised. Here’s a relevant excerpt from the conservative Wall Street Journal’s article of OCTOBER 17, 2008, ‘As Joe the Plumber Grows Famous, the Politics Get Murkier’:

    “To reach a level that would be affected by Sen. Obama’s proposed tax increase, Mr. Smither said, a mom-and-pop plumbing company like Newell would have to clear $5 million in annual sales. [Joe’s company actually reports only $100,000 in sales.]

    Even if Mr. Wurzelbacher reaped taxable income from his business of $280,000 a
    year, he’d pay only about $900 more a year in taxes under Sen. Obama’s plan, which
    would raise the tax rate on the income between $250,000 and $280,000 to 36%
    from 33%.


    If Mr. Wurzelbacher earns the wages of a typical Ohio plumber, $40,600, and holds a $90,000 mortgage, he would see a TAX CUT (emphasis added) under Sen. Obama’s plan of more than $1,000, compared with no tax reduction under Sen. McCain’s.

    If he succeeds in buying the plumbing business where he works, he could see even more tax benefits, including Sen. Obama’s proposed elimination of capital-gains taxes for small-business investment, a 50% tax credit to purchase health insurance for employees and a $3,000 tax credit for every new hire over the next two years.”

    Other issues and ‘things we wish were true’ aside, better to acknowledge facts and deal with them objectively.

  2. UnaffiliatedIndie,

    First, I somehow doubt you’re unaffiliated or and independent since you’re just regurgitating Obama’s talking points. Talking points that are pure fantasy by the way… you really think Obama is gonna institute massive tax cuts at the same time that he massively expands spending? And if so, how record setting will his deficits be?

    Second, if all of that is true then why didn’t Obama point that out at all?

    And last, whats important is not the question but rather the answer. When the question was posed Obama’s answer was that all he really wanted to do with all of this is redistribute wealth… How dangerous and insane.

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