Warning: This is not going to be a very charitable or happy clappy post. It's about Joe the Plumber, and you may have gotten enough of that during the campaign.
I don't think Joe the Plumber (JTP) was a real campaign issue. Even he said that nobody should care who he was voting for... just before he went on a campaign tour for McCain / Palin. So I actually think it's more appropriate now to talk about this hypocritical bonehead as a celebrity rather than as a campaign symbol.
But I have to slam this moron.
His gig for the last month or so has been to call Obama's tax plan "socialist." He attacked the plan (which returns us to an earlier tax structure we had when the country was pretty prosperous and people still seemed to think we were living in America and not some Marxist dystopia) with scare words and bullshit. A specific attack has been to decry "spread the wealth" as unamerican.
All tax plans spread the wealth, and indeed all economies do. JTP says he doesn't have a problem with taxes, per se. He just doesn't want bigger taxes. And it's against his principles to spread the wealth -- to take money from one person and put it in another person's pocket. The longer you listen to JTP, the longer he sounds not like an everyman, but a politician stuck on his talking points and increasingly good at dodging questions.
Except that he's run into a little problem about welfare. His family accepted it. Twice. It was when he was a child, and this allowed them to eventually become part of the middle class and enjoy a middle class lifestyle.
Social programs are in place for a reason. Aside from the compassionate reason, they are practical because they strengthen the country. This is why they should neither be abused, nor denigrated. Like drugs that you take when you're sick, programs target a need and we're better for it in the end. As with drugs, then can be abused. But we'd never think of letting the abuse convince us to shun the benefit of drug treatments and medicine.
Joe is full of shit. Not just because there's a lien on him for nonpayment of his taxes, nor just because he embellished more than a bit when he said he was buying a plumbing business. Not just because he isn't even a licensed plumber. Not just because whining about the tax structure in the midst of delinquency is bizarre. He's full of shit because he's living in a dream world. Unable to accept the benefit he experienced from a "socialist" program when he was a child, his rationalization is that he "paid into the system." Presumably he means later, when he grew up (again, ignoring his tax delinquency).
News flash: "welfare" isn't a system you pay into. It's a social program. Some would even call it a socialist program in which tax money is used to provide temporary support to people who are not able to manage because they are unemployed or underemployed. It's not a bank, despite what Joe tells himself when his mind cannot wrap itself around the cognitive dissonance of having benefited from (gasp!) a socialist program.
Joe Wurzelbacher's reflection goes only as deep as his rhetoric. His wisdom is nothing more than you can distill from a few minutes listening to right wing radio. He's a perfect regurgitator. It's like some mad scientist reached into a misleading campaign ad for the brain of his Frankenstein monster. A wingnut Young Frankenstein story.
The campaign is over, but Frankenstein's Monster lives. I keep saying that this is the type of stuff we're going to have to get used to hearing, from hypocrites just like this, but I hope I'm wrong.Posted by James at November 8, 2008 3:00 PM