Thursday, October 16, 2008

'Swing Vote' comes to life in presidential debate

Tonight's debate was probably as close as you would get to the movie, 'Swing Vote' as both candidates tried to appeal to Joe "the plumber" Wurzelbacher. The reason why he appeals to Sens. Barack Obama and John McCain is that he is a small business owner that has done very well and is now going to buy the plumming business.

The dilemma is that he makes $250,000 per year. Under Obama's plan, his taxes are going to go up, which will make it more difficult for him to hire new employees. In addition, McCain is trying to convince Joe Plumber that if Obama is president, he will be expected to provide health care to all of his employees even though he would actually be exempt from that mandate.

However, he does have an interesting dilemma that will probably make him vote for McCain, although he isn't going to announce that publicly. He is symbolic of the economic debate between Republicans and Democrats. Should our system be survival of the fittest or are we our brother's keeper? 

In other words, do the rich need to pay more taxes so that the government can fund more programs for the poor and middle class that will allow them to spend more or should taxes be lowered for the rich so that they can spend money, which will trickle down to the other two classes? Joe is somewhere in-between the middle class and rich because he makes a large salary, but he had to work very hard to get there and he is an example of what it means to live the American dream.

His biggest problem with Obama is that the higher taxes might discourage him from buying the company because he wants to save that money to hire workers and help the company grow. Obama's argument is that he should pay the higher taxes because it will allow people like him to get to where he is five years down the road. Here is an interview with Joe. I've never heard of this organization before but I'm guessing they are Republican. The AP also has a story about him. 

Over the next few weeks, it will be interesting to see how the Joe Plumbers of the country decide to vote. There's been a lot on the middle-class, but Joe is an unusual breed of voters who also deserve to have their voices heard. 


Stella said...

My only question is this- is this Joe related in any way to Six Pack Joe?

Adam said...

definitely not. Joe six-pack is the "typical American" who works a job or two and barely gets by on the middle-class income. This Joe is between the upper-middle class and the upper class, however he represents the American dream because he went from a struggling worker to someone who is part of the top 5% in wealth in the nation.