Friday, October 17, 2008

Plumbers are rich

Okay, so tax policy may not be my strong suit. For one, I don't mind paying taxes - I consider it a relatively fair trade for the highways, national parks and libraries I talk so much about. Also, since I pay without complaint, I don't pay much attention to the complicated ins and outs of corporate taxes and so on.

So Joe The Plumber's situation may not be fully understood by me. Correct me if I'm wrong. Obama's tax plan clearly, clearly states that taxes will not change if you make less than $250,000 a year, the general idea being that government needs money to operate and it is better for those who are wealthier to supply a larger portion than those who are less able to afford it. Seems fair, especially when you don't think about taxes as penalties. Anyhow, Joe The Plumber has clearly benefited from his life in America. I am not saying that he hasn't worked hard or that he hasn't earned his money, but if he owns a business that is about to become worth more than $250,000 a year, then it seems perfectly fair for his taxes to go up. "Plumber" is just such a folksey everyman job that it sounds like he must be barely scraping by. But clearly he isn't. If Joe The Pluber were actually Joe The Lawyer or Joe The Accountant, no one would care. Besides, it isn't as though Joe will bear the extra tax burden himself, unless he also makes in excess of $250,000 a year. Which is a quarter of a million dollars. That's actually kind of a lot of money.

And to be clear, I am not saying that Joe should want to pay the extra taxes or that he should feel any kind of civic duty to pay the taxes. He clearly has a specific interest in voting for McCain, and it's a reason that anyone can understand. I doubt that, even in the face of a slight tax increase on my quarter of a million dollar annual income, I could ever bring myself to vote Republican, but you never know:

Show me a young Conservative and I'll show you someone with no heart. Show me an old Liberal and I'll show you someone with no brains. - Winston Churchill

Anyway, the point is that Joe can vote for McCain and I won't hold that against him. But McCain is not allowed to use poor ol' $250K businessman up as a model of American poverty under an Obama administration.

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