Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Here is what Obama really said to "Joe the Plumber":

'Spread the Wealth'?

Responded Wurzelbacher, "the reason I ask you about the American dream, I mean I've worked hard. I'm a plumber. I work 10-12 hours a day and I'm buying this company and I'm going to continue working that way. I'm getting taxed more and more while fulfilling the American dream."

"Well," said Obama, "here's a way of thinking about it. How long have been a plumber?"

Wurzelbacher said 15 years.

Obama says, “Over the last 15 years, when you weren’t making 250, you would have been given a tax cut from me, so you’d actually have more money, which means you would have saved more, which means you would have gotten to the point where you could build your small business quicker than under the current tax code. So there are two ways of looking at it – I mean one way of looking at it is, now that you’ve become more successful through hard work – you don’t want to be taxed as much.”

“Exactly," Wurzelbacher said.

Obama continued, “But another way of looking at it is 95% of folks who are making less than 250, they may be working hard too, but they’re being taxed at a higher rate than they would be under mine. So what I’m doing is, put yourself back 10 years ago when you were only making whatever, 60 or 70. Under my tax plan you would be keeping more of your paycheck, you’d be paying lower taxes, which means you would have saved…Now look, nobody likes high taxes."

"No," said Wurzelbacher.

"Of course not," said Obama. "But what’s happened is that we end up – we’ve cut taxes a lot for folks like me who make a lot more than 250. We haven’t given a break to folks who make less, and as a consequence, the average wage and income for ordinary folks, the vast majority of Americans, has actually gone down over the last eight years. So all I want to do is – I’ve got a tax cut. The only thing that changes, is I’m gonna cut taxes a little bit more for the folks who are most in need and for the 5% of the folks who are doing very well - even though they’ve been working hard and I appreciate that – I just want to make sure they’re paying a little bit more in order to pay for those other tax cuts. Now, I respect the disagreement. I just want you to be clear – it’s not that I want to punish your success – I just want to make sure that everybody who is behind you – that they’ve got a chance at success too.”

3 comments:

nerdgarden said...

The mere fact that so much time was spent worrying about this plumber who makes a quarter of a million dollars a year drove me crazy. The logic blows me away. You can go back to making $30, $40, $50,000 like the rest of us and get a tax break, or you can take your $250,000 for being a plumber and pay a little more in taxes and quit bitching about it.

Don't even get me started on how or why all these building and trades people in their unions make so much more money than all of the rest of us who spent years and years in college.

We weren't going to watch the debate last night, since our minds are obviously made up, but we figured McCain might act like a jerk so we watched it for the entertainment value. Let's just say we weren't disappointed in that regard.

Anonymous said...

nerdgarden: I'm a PhD student and have no income right now, and I'm all for collecting more taxes from rich people. But I hate your elitist talk. Frankly, I'd rather earn $40,000 and be a professor than earn 250,000 and be a plummer, and work 10 hours a day doing this. I chose my education because I ENJOY it much better than doing a boring job all day the rest of my life. So I think plummers deserve as much or more money as I do.

jennifer said...

One word that really needs to stay out of comments: hate.

And another that bugs me: elitist.

If you asked most plumbers, I'll bet they'd say they would rather be plumbers than professors. To each his own...