The star of the final Presidential debate Wednesday night was not Barack Obama or John McCain. It was Joe “the Plumber” Wurzelbacher from Ohio. Joe the Plumber came to the attention of the candidates when a video of him questioning Obama about his tax policy made news. Video of Obama’s response that when you “spread the wealth around” it’s good for everybody, spread like wildfire across the internet, to some cable news shows, and to John McCain’s attention. Since Joe was a big focus of the debate, and a big hit with Republicans, the Obama thugocracy (as tagged by Michael Barone) wasted no time targeting him.
Some liberal bloggers went after Joe the Plumber saying he didn’t even make $250,000 and that he would receive a tax cut under Barack Obama’s plan, supposedly proving “Joe the Plumber” was a Republican lie. Here is what Joe said in the exchange with Obama: “I’m getting ready to buy a company that makes about 250, 270-80 thousand dollars a year. Your new tax plan is going to tax me more isn’t it?” So much for the Republican lie. Joe told Obama that he was planning on buying a company, which he hoped would put him in that $250,000 or more income range in the future, which prompted Obama’s response about spreading the wealth around. By choosing that line of attack, those on the left proved what many of us on the right already believed – that they don’t “get” the basic concept of the American dream.
The American “dream” is about aspiring to improve your lot – to take advantage of the freedoms this country affords those who are willing to work hard, invest time and energy and often to take risks, to achieve success. In the response of liberals trying to blunt the effect of Obama’s spread the wealth comment they revealed their inability to understand that basic concept. Obama did the same in the full response he gave to Joe’s question. Obama stressed over and over again not what his tax plan would do to those who have begun to experience the success of the American dream, but only what it would do for those behind them. The idea that increasing taxes on the rich could negatively impact the not yet rich is a completely foreign notion.