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Joe the Plumber & Class Warfare October 16, 2008

Posted by Kate Ryan in Economy, National Politics.
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I am amazed that whenever any progressive candidate starts talking about doing something to help poor and working-class folks, the Republicans start throwing “class warfare” around.  These people have been conducting class warfare on the working stiffs of this country for years.  Since Ronald Reagan began dismantling the protections and regulations that kept the middle class healthy in the 1980’s, fewer people have moved UP from the middle class than have slid DOWN. 

So was the case in last night’s debate.   John McCain accused Barack Obama  of conducting class warfare because Mr. Obama apparently told a plumber (Joe) in Ohio that his tax plan would cost him more as a small business owner, but that the purpose was to ensure that everyone – not just Joe – had a chance at success.  “Congratulations, Joe, you’re rich”, McCain mocked.  But guess what, John?  If Joe is making $250,000 a year or more, he is rich.  Eighty percent of all Americans make less than Joe – 80% !! 

The further Republican line (and lie) is that Joe is a small business, and small businesses are the engine of job creation in this country, and that most small business owners do their taxes on their individual 1040s.  All this is true – but……

I have owned a small business and I currently own rental real estate.  Whatever I earn is offset by deductible expenses, depreciation, deductible taxes, and a host of other deductions.  Every year, totally legally, I lose money on my businesses.  That’s the way it really works.  Joe will NEVER have to pay as much taxes on his business earnings of over $250K than he would if he worked for someone else to earn it.

 Since most Americans don’t own their own businesses, or don’t make hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, they don’t know the avenues available to such people to AVOID taxes.  Therefore, they will never know the absolute farce that is Republican economic policy.  They will just sit at home night after night wondering how to pay the bills when everything is going up except their paychecks, or stressing over how to send their children to college, or worrying when their jobs will be outsourced to China or India. 

During the Hurrican Katrina debacle, Kanye West was roundly criticized for saying that George Bush hated black people.  He was wrong.  George Bush – and current Republicans – hate working people.  And it shows.

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