Thursday, October 16, 2008

Dear Joe-The-Plumber

Dear Joe-The-Plumber,

I watched the debate tonight and heard John McCain talk about you. He says you can't afford to buy the plumbing business you work for, because your taxes will go up.

I think it's admirable that you have saved enough money to buy a business. I'm guessing your boss pays you pretty well and you have some good health insurance. It must be nice.

I'm Jane-The-Retail-Salesperson. Meet my husband Joe-The-Car-Salesman . Joe has health insurance. I don't. We can't afford a family premium and I have health issues that are considered "pre-existing conditions". Joe doesn't take his Cholesterol pills and I don't take my pain pills because we already pay over $200 a month for our other medications.

Have you got a decent car or truck, Joe-The-Plumber? Ours all have over 100,000 miles on them because we can only afford someone else's 8 and 10 year old hand-me-downs.

So, Joe-The-Plumber, how many jobs does your wife have? I have two, but that's kind of a joke, because my hours at Job #1 have gone from 27/week to ZERO/week. Darn good thing I have Job #2 and my boss gives me 20 hours a week, if she can.

Oh, and Joe-The-Plumber? My son, Joe-The-Landscape-Worker lost his job. He's only 23 and found another one, so I'm not too worried. But my brother, Joe-The-Appliance-Salesman lost his job and I am worried about him. He's 50 and has no health insurance and 2 little girls.

Well, Joe-The-Plumber, there you have it. John McCain is worried about you. He's worried that if Barack Obama is elected, you won't be able to buy a business and make more money.

I'm worried that if Barack Obama ISN'T elected, and the economy continues to tank,I will never have health insurance and Joe-The-Car-Salesman and I will never be able to retire.

So pardon me if I won't be feeling too sorry for you tonight, Joe-The-Plumber.
Thanks for listening,
Little Miss Sunshine State


Anonymous said...

You know, I planned my adulthood poorly. Didn't go to college, married someone still in college who had to drop out when I got pregnant. So, we were poor. But it wasn't Joe the Plumber's fault. It was OUR FAULT. I have taught my kids that if they want to have a good life for themselves and their families, use some intelligence. Go to college. Get a major in something they can make a living and support a family with. THEN get married. After a while, have kids. I have told them if they don't want to do things intelligently, not to expect everybody else to take care of them.

I don't feel sorry for YOU, my dear. You made your choices. Live with them. The welfare of you and your family is not my concern.

Anonymous said...

The Top 50 Swing Voters: #27 - Joe The Plumber

#50 - Hockey Moms - Demographic Power Play
#47 - People with STDs - Burning For Change
#35 - Pot Heads - The Forgotten Demo
#31 - Problem Drinkers - Joe Six Pack

My Name is Cat said...

Anonymous, there are a lot of people with college degrees in the same spot as LMSS. A college degree doesn't protect you from a pre-exsisting condition, nor does it protect you from unemployment. Yes wise choices are important, but so is compassion for our fellow man (or woman).

BOSSY said...

Oy. One of the points missed in last night's debate: Joe the Plumber's business, if he buys it, will profit more than 250,000 a year. But that doesn't mean Joe the Plumber will.

So the beauty part, is that this Joe the Plumber is still protected under Obama, because as a man making less than 250,000 a year, his taxes won't go up,

and as a small business with a 250,000 profit, his taxes won't change much because Obama gives half-off reductions to small businesses!

This point was totally lost -- who could concentrate over the smug look on McCain's face?

Kerry said...

First of all: That.was.awesome! Secondly, apparently Anonymous has not bothered to find out that you do indeed have a college education. And third, I didn't read anywhere in that post that you blamed Joe the Plumber for anything. Ah well. We can't reach them all. :0)

Monnik said...

There will be change, LMSS. It's coming. The good kind.

Laura said...

I read that Joe the Plumber isn't registed to vote. So, ha! What a knob!

dharmamama said...

I love your post, LMSS.

And, shoot, I've tried a million ways to Sunday to write how wrong anonymous is for thinking that a college degree and consistently wise choices will protect you from life, but the words aren't coming.

dharmamama said...

And, LMSS, the welfare of you and your family is MY concern, even though I don't know ya. The welfare of anonymous's kids is my concern. I don't feel sorry for you, (that's not helpful, generally) but I do believe we're here for each other - why else would there be so many of us?

Heidi said...

I just want to see a cage match between Joe the Plumber and Joe Six-Pack.

And for the record, the math is this: If Joe the Plumber personally makes the $270,000 a year, his taxes will actually be CUT on the first $250,000, and the taxes on the next $20,000 would go from 36% to 39.5% -- a total of $600. If that keeps him from buying a business, he's not smart enough to own a business.

foolery said...

Do I have a college degree? Yes.
Does my husband have a college degree? Yes.
Do we have good jobs? No.
Is that anyone's fault but our own? No.

I owned a small business for ten years and lost my shirt. Was that my fault? Halfway, and half was due to market changes I could not control. C'est la vie, I moved on. Poor as a churchmouse, but happy.

My point: it is almost impossible to assess 100% blame or credit in any direction. We do what we do, we try to make it better, we keep moving.

I feel ya, LMSS, and I also know how Joe might feel as a new business owner facing the possibility of a tidal wave of new or mounting taxes/fees/obligations.

That's why I'M voting for JOE! ha ha ha

Hang in there, from the owner of two cars with 200,000+ miles on them,

-- Laurie @ Foolery

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Excellent perspective. You should've been allowed to debate last night.

I listened to NPR this morning and it sounds like the plumber is doing a-okay no matter what. The ACTUAL working class is another story, as your post so eloquently describes.

Naomi said...

Now we find out that Joe the plumber is not only Joe (He's Sam), he does not have a plumbing license. Does anyone smell something fishy? I suppose it's better than the frat boys the Republicans hire to protest.
I think Sen. Obama has the best interest of the middle class at heart. The middle class has been shrinking the last eight years.Enough trickle down already!

Judy said...

I'm with bossy. McCain's smug face made me want to throw spitballs at the tv.

btw Nice little blog you got here.

Beth said...

Here from Bossy. Anonymous #1 is a [insert name of container for feminine hygiene solution here]. I thank her for straightening me out. I had NO IDEA that if I'd failed to or didn't bother to get a license for a trade requiring a high school education and some vocational training, instead of wasting my time pursuing a B.A., M.A., and Ph.D., writing 2 books, getting tenure, and continuing to serve my students and institution, I would earn 3x what I earn now. Had I made Joe's fabulous choices (and sorry, but he's also a tool for letting himself get used by such a slimy campaign), I'd be taxed harder, and you know what? If I earned the kind of money McCain claims Joe does--though I heard Joe's take-home is more like $40K before taxes--I would happily pay higher taxes. For the welfare of others. Whose illnesses, sucky health insurance, layoffs, special-needs kids, and so on, are definitely connected to my own well-being. Because someday it will be me who needs more than I need now, thanks to extraordinarily good luck, not savvy "choices.: As it will be Anonymous #1. Who, let me add, is high as a kite if she thinks a college degree ensures a job that pays a living these days.

You go, LMSS.