I did read the Wikiarticle on him. Can there anyone in the vast bloggy ocean give me an idea why this guy is famous, and maybe alleviate my hunch that he’s some sort of a really not-too-sophisticated Republican shill?
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You’re probably on top of all this information, having read the wikkipedia article on him… But here’s what I know:
This Joe character approached Obama. He was unaware he was being recorded. Joe runs some business. It takes in more than a quarter million dollars a year. This means, on Obama’s plan, that’ll it’ll be taxed at a higher rate than it is right now.
Joe asked Obama why he’d want to do this.
Obama said something about spreading the wealth around.
This lead to this outcry that Obama is a socialist.
Since that time, there’s been allegations that Joe is a bit of a shady character, apparently issues with paying his income tax as it is, apparently unlicensed to actually be a plumber.
The botom line is that he’s a face to put on the abstraction. Obama claims regular folks will benefit under his plan. In Joe, Mccain and company have this little narrative about how regular people will be hurt by Obama’s plan. After all, what’s more ordinary than a guy named Joe? (At least in America) What could be more salt-of-the-earth than being a plummber?
People seem to miss the fact that it’s niether his name nor his (dubiously credentialed) job that lead him to paying more taxes. It’s the fact that his company makes a quarter million dollars a year.
Uh-duh, I read as much, the allegation is really that Obama is a socialist because he… wants to spread the wealth around? *Blink*. Is that a bad thing?
Anyhow, I thought this whole 250K tax cut was supposed to be a way of helping the poor, while everyone who makes 250k+ is actually not going to suffer a great deal less. It’s supposed to screw the rich over to help the multitudes of the poor. Totally understand that, since the rich could bloody well take it and the poor might actually do better as poor (or even have a better chance of not being poor anymore) with all that money that’s taxed off the rich. 250,000$ a year is more than a million NIS, if I made that kinda money, I’d still be rich even if I gave half of it away.
I am curious as to how he got into that “250” number. It seems kind of arbitrary, but I’m really clueless, either on Obama’s agenda or generally about economics.
Yeah, I’m with you. Part of my deal is that every economic redistributes wealth. There’s no way around redistributing wealth if you’re going to involve yourself in fiscal policy.
I’m a big Obama fan, however, it occurs to me that $250,000 is the smallest number that can be expressed as a fraction of a million dollars without sounding silly. For example saying one-eigth of a million dollars sounds dumb. Saying a quarter million doesn’t sound dumb. It establishes these folks in the same leauge as the very rich.
The prevalent justification for not taxing the wealthy in America is trickle-down economics. The theory states that if we don’t tax the wealthy heavily then they are left with larger sums of money to hire people, donate to charity, etc.
There was an amazing commercial a few election cycles ago that cuts to the heart of the problem. It showed these gloved, manicured hands reaching out with goblets as this stream poured down. The goblets filled up and trickled down into fancy glassware. The glassware filled up and partially trickled down to the next level, arms that were clearly middle class.
Unwashed hands with battered mugs reached up… but got nothing.
My biggest problem with trickle down economics is that it doesn’t trickle down all the way. Employers have lots to gain by having a large pool of the unemployed. It lowers wages. (A supply-demand thing.)
On a more pragmatic level, there is something simply absurd in the idea that we might burden someone who does not have enough money to eat while sparing somebody who is buying yachts and extra houses. I used to have a t-shirt that said “excess is evil.” I’d slightly modify that and say “wherever some are with out enough, the idea that others might have more than enough is evil.”
What deflates me the most is that I see McCain fans saying that socialism is wrong because they don’t feel like giving money to the poor. Those wretched hypocrites. Would they fight for their own security? Would they drill their own oil? Grow their own food? It’s disgusting – everyone benefits from the organization of the state, that we have to pitch in is the price to pay for having the biggest chance a human individual ever had to surviving a full life. Before we had this “burden of tendering the poor”, we were rolling in the mud, whimpering in fear every day.
This is more than just giving mercy to the weak or the poor (even though personally, I’m practically programmed to sympathize with the weak and poor, since I’m the lower-middle-class son of two deaf (and weak) parents)
This is about civilian responsibility. If people don’t pitch in, this whole thing is a farce.
Israel was founded on socialist values, so we have a rather robust social security here, but I still see poverty everywhere, poverty way beyond what I ever had to endure. That a country like America has citizens who are reluctant to throw in money they don’t need on people who do is simply disgusting, and ultimately, self-destructing.