Common Sense from the Common Man

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As the politicians
continue to pontificate, and the baby-kissing and ribbon-cutting
continues in the run-up to the forthcoming election, any breath
of fresh air is particularly welcome. One such arrived this week
in the person of Joe Wurzelbacher, more familiarly known as Joe
the Plumber.

What happened
was this. Joe was outside tossing a football with his son when Barack
Obama showed up in the neighborhood. Joe later told Katy Couric:
“And, you know, neighbors were outside asking him questions, and
I didn’t think they were asking him tough enough questions, so I
thought, you know, I’ll go over there. You know, I’ve always wanted
to ask one of these guys a question and really corner them and get
them to answer a question of — for once instead of tap dancing around
it. And unfortunately I asked the question but I still got a tap

Joe asked Obama
why, if and when he made over $250,000, he should have his taxes
increased. The answer he got was that Obama apparently believes
in a progressive income tax which “shares the wealth”. Joe explained
his own position in an interview with Diane Sawyer, who apparently
also supports Obama’s tax policies. She seemed to be very familiar
with the percentage details of the plan at any rate.

Sawyer: “Well
if people making $250,000 should not be taxed additionally — by
the way, it’s 3% from 36% to 39% under Senator Obama’s plan. If
those people should not be taxed additionally, even though they’re
in the top 5% of America, what about people who make $1 million?
Or $5 million?”

“Well, I mean, quite honestly, why should they be penalized for
being successful. I mean, that’s what you’re telling me. That’s
what it sounds like you’re saying. That’s wrong. Because you’re
successful, you have to pay more than everybody else? We all live
in this country. It’s a basic right. And Obama wants to take that
basic right and penalize me for it, is what it comes down to.
That’s a very socialist view and it’s incredibly wrong. I mean,
$250,000 now. What if he decides, well you know $150,000, you’re
pretty rich too. Let’s go ahead and lower it again. You know it’s
a slippery slope. When’s it going to stop?”

For his pains
Joe is now being pilloried by the mainstream media. They claim he’s
not a "licensed" plumber, Joe is only his middle name,
he owes back taxes, etc. etc. as if any of this detracts from Obama’s
answer to his question. Whether Joe is his real name, or
he’s a plumber, or a Republican plant or even a Martian rutabaga
is irrelevant. The point is that a candidate for President of the
U.S.A openly supports socialism. Someone ought to explain to Obama
that the “wealth” in question is neither his, nor the government’s,
but Joe’s, and that he, Obama, has no right to spend it in any way.

Now remember
Joe is a plumber but he sees things more clearly than most University
professors. He’s not a Washington elitist. He works with his hands.
He looks at things in a practical way. He’s of the group who built
the country while the elite crowd were building their success in
Washington and academia on other people’s money, contrary to the

Joe, like the
vast majority of people, has an innate understanding of what is
right and what is wrong. And he knows that taking money from people
who have earned it without their consent is wrong. It is theft,
or perhaps robbery. But it is not right.

People generally
know what’s right and wrong. They do, however, convince themselves,
or allow others to convince them, that common sense must be ignored
in favor of persuasive political language such as “sharing the wealth”,
“compassion” or “fairness”.

Prior to the
first election to be held in South Africa after the end of the Apartheid
era, journalists descended on that country to cover the affair.
One TV news crew found an old black man living in a thatched hut
in the countryside, tending his small patch of corn. In all probability
he couldn’t even read or write but he had the wisdom of the common

The interviewer
questioned him: “Aren’t you happy that you’re going to be able to
vote now? You will be able to have a black government!”

The old man
spoke with the wisdom of ages. “Black government, white government,
what’s the difference? They all take your money.”

18, 2008

Trench [send him mail]
is a writer and cogitator who enjoys watching and commenting on
the passing show.

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