Oh ... Really?

A Tale of Two Plumbers

America is, and always has been, a country where anyone can try to become anything they want to. It is the land of opportunity, where we are limited only by our own abilities and drive to succeed. Those times may be changing though, and one day we may find ourselves facing a government that will penalize us for being successful, that we will be forced to pay for realizing the American Dream. That just sends a chill down my spine.

The recent presidential debate was marked not so much by the contenders' policy positions and campaign promises, but by a new American icon ... Joe the Plumber. See, one day, Joe was out playing catch with his son in his yard when he saw Obama campaigning nearby. It sure looked like a neat photo op, with Mr. Middle America, the meat of what makes the Democrat party tick. It must have brought a tear to the eye of The One, who claims to be the champion of the middle class. What he got from Joe was not exactly what he expected, or really wanted. He got a tough question, of the sort that his fawning media never asks. Joe simply wanted to know if Obama believes in the American Dream.

"I'm getting ready to buy a company that makes $250,000 to $280,000 a year," he told Mr. Obama. "Your new tax plan is going to tax me more, isn't it?"

Obama danced around the question, giving vague reasons why Joe, having paid less taxes for 15 years, should not be upset to pay more taxes as he became more successful. The key part of his response, "I think that when you spread the wealth around, it's good for everybody" shows his true socialist colors. Finally, he waved Joe off saying he had to go get ready for the debate. Joe the plumber entered into his 15 minutes of fame when the story was picked up by one media outlet after another, and finally, he became a luminary of the debate two nights later.

The despicable manner in which the Obama campaign and the media have savaged poor Joe since then is bad enough. It has bared for the world to see the dark underbelly of the liberal movement that, on the one hand rallies behind the banners of free speech, tolerance and civil rights for all, yet would stifle any dissent and crush anyone that dares to oppose them or their Chosen One. How dare a lowly little plumber dare to question The One!

Beyond that, the discussion has barely taken off. Conservatives have latched onto the "I think that when you spread the wealth around, it's good for everybody" statement as an indication that Obama has socialist tendencies and his tax plans are going to be a starting point for those goals. Liberals, on the other hand, shrug it off. "So what?" say they, who cares if some rich person has to pay a higher percentage of their income in taxes, it's only fair!

Well, let's look at fair. Let's take a look, in real world analogy at two plumbers, of what conservative and liberals consider to be "fair."

(Disclaimer: I know very little about the plumbing trade itself, so terms may be used incorrectly. However, I have been around an awful lot of people that brought themselves up from entry level positions to being very successful in their chosen trade, both blue and white collar, including my own journey.)

First, we have Larry the Plumber. He's a regular guy that does plumbing for a living. He started in the business at age 19, instead of going to college. Starting out as a plumber's helper, making minimum wage, he worked his tail off to learn the trade. Eventually he became an apprentice, then a journeyman, working for a master plumber that ran his own company, having come up through the ranks in a similar manner. Finally, he was able to go out on service and installation calls himself, with his own helper. He was also making a decent wage at this point. So, he decided to ask his girl to marry him, now that he could provide her a home and a secure living. They lived happily like this, not "having it all" with expensive cars and big houses, but nice and comfortable and secure. They had a couple of kids along the way, and provided for them as well. Life was good, so good that Larry started to dream about owning his own plumbing company.

Larry began looking into doing just that. He researched business law, tax code, licensing requirements. He determined that his community was plenty large enough to set up shop alongside his current boss, with business enough for both of them. He asked the bank about business loans, and inquired about business insurance policies. There were several locations in town where he could set up shop. Things came together nicely. The first few years in business were a bit tight, every bit of profit had to be turned back into the company to pay off loans and keep up with other expenses. But Larry had been smart and had saved money for his personal use during these lean years. Eventually, it became a profit-making company. He had employees of his own, maintenance contracts with area businesses, he partnered with some construction companies to do their plumbing installations and the phone rang off the hook from individuals with plumbing calls.

By his own hard work, tenacity and business savvy, he had become a success. His company was profitable, and his personal income was very comfortable. So comfortable he decided to take his family on a fabulous vacation to Disney World.

On the day they planned to leave, however, Larry was told that he could not go. You see, there was this other plumber ... Mike. Mike was not quite as driven as Larry. Ten years in the business and Mike was still a plumbers helper. He wasn't very good at the job either, when he even bothers to show up for work at all. So Larry, because he was successful and brought in a lucrative income for himself, he had to share.

It was only fair!

Larry not only has to give Mike a job, but he has to pay him a healthy wage ... about half of what Larry was making as the owner of the business. In order to do so, Larry would have to take a cut in his pay, and cut into the profits of his plumbing company.

It's only fair, you know!

See, Mike also has a wife ... he married her right after they dropped out of high school in their senior year. They also have 4 kids, and another on the way. It's hard to feed that many mouths! Between that, the payments on Mike's truck and his wife's car, and the house they bought with an interest only, zero-down payment mortgage, and their yearly trip to Florida to visit his sister, why there's just barely enough to buy groceries with what's left! Now with the bank foreclosing on the house, Mike and his family have to move in to Larry's house too. It's only fair! Larry has a really big house, and he's almost got it paid off.

It's only fair, you know! Why should Mike and his family have to do without when Larry and his family have so much?!

In an Obama-nation, Mike the Plumber won't have to do without! Because he can make Larry provide for him by paying higher taxes on the profits his small business makes, and Mike can continue to be lazy and unmotivated while his wife shops with food stamps and they live in subsidized housing all paid for by Larry's taxes. At the same time, Larry will have to give up on things like Disney vacations and paying off his mortgage in only 20 years, because those higher taxes cut into his company profits and his personal income, even though he has worked hard to earn that.

Isn't that nice and fair because when "you spread the wealth around, it's good for everybody?"



(If you have a comment to make, please make it here. Twitter is not the medium for discussions that belong on blogs. Thank you.)
Posted by LissaKay on 10/18/08 at 04:19 PM in
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