So, The Election is now about Joe the Plumber

I had a tough time sleeping last night. I was too worried about Joe the Plumber. Joe must make over $250,000 per year or he would not be receiving a tax increase under Obama's plan. I just wonder how he will ever make ends meet, buy that second home, or afford to send his kids to college if he has to give another percent or ten in taxes. Joe's life gets confusing beyond the basic point of his tax bracket. McCain would like me to think that Joe's plumbing business, which he does not own, will receive a penalty for not insuring his workers. If he is making over $250,000 and not insuring his workers, he is a selfish pig. But McCain's story does not completely gel. We actually do not know how much Joe's business profits, nor could I find it online.

Obama was willing to tell Joe the Plumber that we as a society need to "spread the wealth around." He did not hide the idea. (We can insert the "scary" words here to scare everyone: socialism or communism.) Joe the Plumber was quoted later last night as saying, "It's not right for someone to decide you made too much---that you've done too good and now we're going to take some of it back." The problem is society already takes some of the money back. That is what taxes are. They are nothing new. We also have a responsibility as a society to take care of those less fortunate than us. That almost seems like it is new. Many would like to shirk that responsibility as a society, hand it off to the church (which has failed to do this job - maybe it is too big of a job for them or the church is focused on the wrong things) or local charities.

Obama's plan proposes not to just give the money away to the poor but to spend the money on things that should be economically beneficially to society. Insuring everyone and having a healthy workforce would be beneficial. Reforming education and providing more college education for those who cannot afford it is also economically beneficial. Investing in alternative energy provides more economic benefit. With great income, comes great responsibility. Prosperity is not earned so that the prosperous can just indulge in their second, third, or fourth home. It is not earned so that the prosperous can take extended vacations. Prosperity is a responsibility to take care of those less prosperous. If you don't want to care for others, don't become prosperous. Maybe I am transferring my ethical view of prosperity onto others, but law is always the transfer of one's ethical or purely selfish views onto others. Society would be better if we provided health care, better education, and developed alternative energies, and I think government should do what is best for society.

The debate centers on whether we believe in trickle-down economics. Trickle-down says that if the rich keep their money, they will create jobs for those less prosperous. In trickle-down, we have to depend on the goodwill of the wealthy to spend that money in America or to create more jobs, which are never guaranteed to be profitable. In Obama's plan, we depend on the person who can barely make ends meet to have services provided for them, which will be guaranteed to create needed jobs for those providing the services. The government's role would be to make sure that money is used in a way that the economy benefits. When the government invests in health, energy, and education, society benefits. If everyone was provided medical care like our Senators and Representatives receive, health care staff would grow creating new jobs by creating a healthier workforce. Investing in energy would create jobs in research, manufacturing, and repair while freeing us from sending money overseas. Investing in education, creates scientists who will create new technologies and administrators who will run businesses more efficiently; this will cause us to continue to prosper way into the future

To summarize the debate a vote for McCain is a vote to give Joe the Plumber, who makes over $250,000, a tax cut. This will cause us to wait for the economy to grow to pay for the massive spending in Washington. This is the same old Republican economic strategy that has got us into this mess. A vote for Obama is a vote to give Joe a tax increase in order to actually begin to pay for the spending in Washington and responsibly provide needed services to Americans who need them, improve our energy system, and to educate the workforce of tomorrow.

So if McCain turned the question into whether we should tax Joe the Plumber or give him a cut, I am voting to tax Joe the Plumber. Sorry Joe, but please understand that people out there need medical treatments to live, children need a better education, and we have to invest in alternative energy to have a better future. A few percentage points off your income could help pay for those improvements. You don't have to like this, but it would be better for you if you would change your heart and have a better attitude about the good you could do for society. Many other wealthy people want to help, why don't you?

I think I am decided now, but I would still be open to change my mind if something persuasive came along.