October 16, 2008

"John McCain threw the kitchen sink - and 'Joe the Plumber,' too - at Barack Obama during Wednesday night's final, in-your-face presidential debate."

Writes The Daily News.

"It was Mr. McCain’s last chance to cast doubt on his opponent’s character and credentials, and he threw the kitchen sink at him — along with the plumber," writes Alessandra Stanley at the NYT.

Seems like everybody saw that joke and went for it. Except maybe Newsweek's Andrew Romano, who kind of just tripped over it in the dark:
The Kitchen Sink Debate

That loud clanging you heard coming from Hofstra University tonight? It was the sound of a kitchen sink soaring from stage right, where Republican nominee Sen. John McCain was seated, and landing stage left. Depending on where you sit and who you support, the unwieldy washbasin either knocked Sen. Barack Obama off his perch or shattered in pieces on the floor....

The answer was immediately apparent to anyone with a pulse. Over the course of 90 minutes--and I apologize if my count is not complete; my fingers can only type so fast--McCain accused Obama of being a) a craven wealth-spreader (at least eight times), b) an abject tax-raiser, especially on folks unfortunate enough to make $42,000 a year, c) a lily-livered coward who's never once stood up to Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, d) a town-hall avoider, e) a public-financing flip-flopper, f) the most avid negative advertiser in American history, g) a befriender of "washed-up terrorist(s)," h) an enabler of "one of the greatest frauds in voter history" (which just so happens to be "destroying the fabric of American democracy"), i) an "eloquent" dissembler, j) a support of infanticide and, finally, k) a guy who wants to do all kinds of unspeakable things to someone named Joe the Plumber, up to and including raising his taxes, redistributing his money and fining him for choosing the wrong kind of health care. (No word yet on whether Obama plans to spit in Joe's beer when he's looking in the other direction.) After all that, McCain's claim that his "campaign is about getting this economy back on track, about creating jobs, about a brighter future for America" seemed like a punchline.
Hey, Newsweek, make the punchline. Get Joe the Plumber working on that kitchen sink!
... And I kind of liked the Joe the Plumber concept--even if the senator spoiled it by saying "Joe the Plumber" 21 times and unleashing lines like this one: "You were going to put him in a higher tax bracket which was going to increase his taxes, which was going to cause him not to be able to employ people, which Joe was trying to realize the American dream." Who knew McCain's talking points were written in Swedish then fed through Google Translator.
D'oh. Wrong punchline.

102 comments:

Paul Zrimsek said...

I found myself humming that old A-ha song about the pipe wrench fight.

MadisonMan said...

Is it the right punchline if everyone else is using it? I think originality should be commended.

Sometime last night someone asked: What are you doing election night? Like Beth, I'm teaching a class. Maybe when it lets out -- around 8 -- things will have been decided.

Pogo said...

The dreams of Joe the Plumber just got flushed. Obama is going to spread his wealth around.

When Joe's tax increase comes, we will head into some very mean times. I advise him to hunker down and

* spend even less than he already does; buy absolutely nothing beyond necessities

* cease giving to charities, having already tithed times 6 at the office

* cease volunteering; tell them to get it from Obama, and the wealth he has taken to spread around

* travel less or not at all

* purchase no newspapers or magazines, excpet those that show you how to shelter assets from the grasping hand

* fire employees when your business nears $250K; do not grow

* in national healthcare, use your plan as often as possible, do not forego any possible benefit; you can get at least some of your funds back this way

* enjoy the return on leisure since you can no longer enjoy the return on your labor

Original George said...

We'll soon see McCain visiting with Joe in person, cameras rolling.

Will Obama have the courage to follow-up.

I want to hear Joe give Sen. Obama an earful.

Give 'em Hell, Joe.

Publius said...

Joe the Plumber was amusing, maybe even interesting, the first time McCain used it, but by the 15th repitition it sounded both sarcastic and condescending.

McCain's meaner demeanor didn't work at all. He relied on sarcasm, and sarcasm is either lost on the voters or turns them off. I watched the debate on CNN, which tracked the instant reactions of a group of undecided voters in Ohio. Every time McCain launched a sarcastic volley, the graph of voter reactions plummeted quicker than the Dow Jones.

Marcia said...

Apparently, Joe told Katie Couric that Obama (rhetorically) tap-dances as well as Sammy Davis, Jr. If not outright racist, that's politically insensitive in the extreme.

I think Joe jumped the great white shark.

Expat(ish) said...

It was sad - sad that we have the worst (IMHO) possible RINO running against a corrupt Chicago poseur. (Boy, hope I spelled that right!)

I keep reminding myself that it only took 10 years to get over Carter's first two years and it was a pretty good exit.

Maybe by the time my oldest is out of college the Democrat led government perma-recession will have ended and he'll have a better chance than I did under Jimmah/I.

-XC

jdeeripper said...

Marcia said...Apparently, Joe told Katie Couric that Obama (rhetorically) tap-dances as well as Sammy Davis, Jr. If not outright racist, that's politically insensitive in the extreme.

You have a problem with a Barack Obama/Sammy Davis Jr comparison from a White plumber but not a John McCain/George Wallace comparison from a black congressman?

Astroturf in the house.

McCain threw the kitchen sink but not the toilet. No mention of Barry's spiritual father of 20 years Rev. Wright.

Kirby Olson said...

Obama seemed to basically say that he would pick Joe the Plumber's pocket and redistribute the wealth to his cronies. I can't see how that's going to please Joe the Plumber much, but it will probably please Obama's cronies.

Christy said...

Mr. Rove, Sir, Save Us!

mccullough said...

Obama's pretty out of touch. He keeps talking about Warren Buffet, the second-richest guy in the U.S., when he talks about raising taxes. But most of Buffet's taxes are the much lower capital-gains rate, while the S-corp business owners pay taxes at the ordinary income rate.

Also, McCain was right as a matter of sound economic policy. You don't raise anyone's taxes during a recession.

Maybe Joe the Plumber should become one of Obama's economic advisers.

jdeeripper said...

White women, especially younger ones, will determine this election.

They are running to Obama.

Joe the Plumber is a tough looking, bald White man. He will not help McCain pull the White women back from this generation's Harry Belafonte.

The guys who identify with Joe the Plumber weren't going to vote for Obama anyway.

I do think McCain needs to play up Joe the Plumber more than William Ayers but it probably wont matter.

AJ Lynch said...

Isn't it ironic?

Joe The Plumber understands the economy better than Obama, McCain, the NYT writers, Andrew Romano and Althouse of course.

Original George said...

Why is it racist to compare Sen. Obama's verbal skills with Sammy Davis Jr.'s dancing skills?

Davis was a great, great, great tap dancer. The guy was in the movies from the time he was about 7 years old. Mad skilz. (I think he's playing a tap dancing President of the US in this scene.) He played a lot of cool guys in westerns, too. Davis took no bullshit from anyone.

Also, Davis was very active supporting Democratic candidates, along with Sinatra. Though he did have a brief weird thing for Nixon. Check out how he defends himself in this clip from 1973.

Should he have compared Obama to John Travolta?

I guess McCain's new ad that shows an empty chair in the Oval Office is racist, too, because the leather of the chair is brown.

Expat(ish) said...

So someone things Joe The Plumber (JTP) is politically insensitive in the extreme? Good.

I'm going to a Cuboree this weekend (2000+ cubs plus parents plus 150 or so service scouts) and it'll be filled with black, white, and brown JTP's. I'd take any 500 of them over the entire US Congress. Not only are they more fun to be around, they can actually do stuff.

Plus they one and all understand the economy at the level that, say, Sarah Palin does.

-XC

PS - I wish McCain had said that Biden was more qualified to be president that Obama was.

john said...

If a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it, did it happen? Of course!

If noone actually yelled "kill him" it's not because the murderous repubs at the rally didn't feel it in their hearts. Just ask the troll squad (michael, trumpet, et al).

Salamandyr said...

I get an entire Aliens v. Predator vibe from this whole election. Obama is the alien, quick, vicious, and sharklike in his tenacity, McCain is the Predator, experienced, tested, but likely to be overwhelmed by the Alien's superior speed.

And like Aliens v. Predator, no matter who wins, we're all boned.

Pogo said...

Mr. Joe T. Plumber,
And plus also, be sure to line for gummint cheese, early and often.

How much of Buffet's money am I getting, I wonder?

Trooper York said...

Hey all the Joe the Plumber has to do is insist on cash. No deposits, no income. That's what my plumber does. When you have a gushing drain you pay up. Barack Obama's tax redistribution plan will just double and triple the size of the underground economy.

garage mahal said...

Pogo
You sound almost like you've given up. Nothing is over until we decide it is! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no! What the fuck happened to the Pogo I used to know? Where's the spirit? Where's the guts, huh?

Titusbackintownok? said...

I was bored by the entire event.

Make it stop. I have had enough. This election has gone on way too long and it is fucks up my chakras.

Now how is everyone today?

Are you appreciating the fall foliage? I love fall. Pumpkins, gords, leaves, and all that shit.

Also, love the fall clothing options. Cute little sweaters, nice long tshirts, hats. It's all so festive.

Titusbackintownok? said...

If I heard Joe the plumber one more time I was going to puke.

peter hoh said...

Joe better hope there are no skeletons in his closet. The domain, joetheplumber.com has already been taken by a guy in Texas.

C'mon, people have got to get over looking for racism in everything. No excuses for the guy carrying the monkey, mind you, or the guy with the noose next to a photo of Obama, but comparing Obama's verbal skills with Sammy Davis, Jr's dancing skills -- seriously? You want to waste your powder on that? Now, if you compared Obama's verbal maneuvers with OJ weaving through the defense, that wouldn't pass my smell test.

Christy said...

I've been listnening a lot since last night to Cash's
God's Gonna Cut You Down and wishing I believed.

Titusbackintownok? said...

Spiced apple cider with cut cinnamin sticks. Apple picking.

Wearing the colors red, brown etc.

Scaring scarecrows-said real gay.

Straw, corn stalks, crows.

Although, I do get a little down putting away my summer whites. I love my summer whites.

Trevor Jackson said...

Joe's not registered to vote.

Titusbackintownok? said...

Please Lord, no ad with Joe the plumber in it. I beg of you.

No Joe the plumber on Jay Leno.

No more Joe the plumber interviews.

Titusbackintownok? said...

I get the feeling that Joe the plumber can lay some pretty mean pipe.

Trooper York said...

Hey I saw them selling Joe the Plumber action figures on a blanket outside Penn Station this morning.

With the Kung Fu grip.

Titusbackintownok? said...

I heard Joe the plumber is posing for Playgirl. Full frontal.

Titusbackintownok? said...

In the Playgirl picture he is holding a pipe next to his pipe.

Chip Ahoy said...

"See that goose over there?"
"That one?"
"No, that one."
"That one?"
"No, that one."
"Oooooh, that one. Gold eggs."
"Yeah, that one. Go over there and strangle the living shit out of it."

Marcia said...

jdeeripper said "You have a problem with a Barack Obama/Sammy Davis Jr comparison from a White plumber but not a John McCain/George Wallace comparison from a black congressman?

Astroturf in the house."

No, no astroturf here. In fact, I'm a registered Dem. voting for McCain. Pure PUMA.

I absolutely disapprove of Lewis's statement about the McCain campaign. But that example helps make my point.

In an atmosphere where it's considered bigoted to say practically anything about Obama short of abject devotion, it's not a good idea to invoke an actual racial stereotype.

I'm sure you can imagine what the Dems would do if Sarah Palin said such a thing. It may slip under the radar with Joe, but would probably be unwise for McCain to raise his profile any further and find out.

kimsch said...

Expat(ish) @9:08:

Hope you have good weather for your Cuboree!

We had a pack campout the last weekend in September and the weather cooperated, but the outhouses were toxic I tell ya.

Pogo said...

"Hell no! What the fuck happened to the Pogo I used to know?"

Survival mode.
Screw socialism by embracing it fully.
Right now I am working 12 hours a day. Sometimes I get a bathroom break. Not every day, though. So, I can't wait for my first strike or work slow down ("work to rule").
I want my share of Kennedy's and Madonna's and Tim Robbin's and Michael Moore's money, and I want it goddamn now.

Garage, I'm going to do what I can to make sure you get socialism good and hard.
Yee fucking hah.

jdeeripper said...

Original George said...Why is it racist to compare Sen. Obama's verbal skills with Sammy Davis Jr.'s dancing skills?

What this country needs is a man who can act, do stand up, write plays and essays , play the banjo, sing and dance like Steve Martin!!

But is America ready for a Renaissance Man who is..well you know a little "funny"?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Hey all the Joe the Plumber has to do is insist on cash. No deposits, no income. That's what my plumber does. When you have a gushing drain you pay up. Barack Obama's tax redistribution plan will just double and triple the size of the underground economy.

BINGO!!

Pogo: We are "Going Galt" in our little corner of the world.

Pogo said...

DBQ
I did see that article by Dr. Helen.
Ab-so-lutely.

Jim Hu said...

SPOILER ALERT (as if you care about Alien v Predator)

Didn't the predators win in Alien v. Predator? With help from the last surviving human.

It's amazing the crap I'll watch on late night TV sometimes...

Darcy said...

Hey, DBQ. Interesting thoughts. I'm in! :)

From Inwood said...

And now the bad news. After the election the 2012 campaign begins. Immediately.

McCain came to fight last night, was confident & strong & hit many of the right points, but Obama, seemed to know what was coming & seemed on the surface to be taking the punches. Even when he was not doing well substantively & was lying through his smarmy smile, Obama remained calm (he was basically on auto-pilot) & McCain seemed unwilling or unable to press these points in a way meaningful to people who are not part of the Republican base, who don’t see articulate, urbane, grand Obama as far out & who seem willing to go for “change” without quite understanding the details. McCain just did not explain in pithy, packed points why all but the Extreme Left will indeed get some change which they may not have expected.

So maybe like in 1960 where those who watched on TV thought Kennedy had won & those who listened on the radio thought Nixon had won, Obama won for those who go for demeanor. (To demeanor born; I’m not a President but I play one well in the debates.)

But, again, I don’t think the debates mattered that much. McCain seemed to be the more substantive of the two, but the economy, as someone has described it: “The Perfect Storm”, has probably killed McCain/Palin. And the Dems don’t seem to be getting any of the blame. And McCain does not seem to have any grand plan to save us all.

So if Obama can continue to not scare the electorate as he hasn’t in the three debates & keep babbling about mindless “change”, he’ll win, especially the Electoral vote.

It ain’t over ‘til it’s over, but….

And Congress has something like a 12% approval rating yet the Dems will probably pick up seats.

Finally, I think that Pastor Warren had the best debate format.

hdhouse said...

if you have nothing good to say about yourself, just spit on the nearest person I always say...

ya'betcha'

chickenlittle said...

Dust Bunny Queen wrote:

Barack Obama's tax redistribution plan will just double and triple the size of the underground economy.

And don't you dare call it a black market

Dust Bunny Queen said...

And don't you dare call it a black market

Nah.. It's more like the underground railroad to economic freedom.

MadisonMan said...

You could just join downtownlad at his undisclosed foreign location.

My experience is that "Democrats" threaten to leave the country when things go not their way; "Republicans" threaten to stop paying taxes.

Quotes because maybe they're not really Democrats or Republicans.

garage mahal said...

Oh Pogo. We already have socialism. I suspect it's not the money you're bothered about, just who it's going to.

chickenlittle said...

Madison Man: Out here in SoCal the underground economy is very real. It is growing too.

There is an enormous disused drive-in theater in Oceanside which serves as a trade bazaar every weekend. I go there myself on occasion. I've often wondered how much tax is not being paid there.

Freder Frederson said...

I did see that article by Dr. Helen.
Ab-so-lutely.


Dr. Helen and her husband going on strike?

My prayers are answered.

I just love libertarian law professors safely ensconced at public universities. The hypocrisy and irony is amazing.

Verso said...

I have to admit, it was incredibly fun watching McCain self-destruct last night. I haven't had so much fun since my team won the World Series in the 1980s. And the skip in my step remains a day later.

Someone made the excellent point a whlie back that the Republican Party, at some point, stopped talking to the American people, and now only talk among themselves. If you're not a wingnut or a lunatic, half the stuff they say doesn't even make any sense. All this talk about Americans being angry was just off. Americans are worried, and fearful of the Bush economic collapse, but angry only describes the base of the Republican Party.

Even after ample evidence that the dumb ACORN/Ayers/Terrorist attacks were backfiring, McCain continued because it's what the Ringmasters of Lunatics like Rush and Hannity demand.

It really must suck to be in a party controlled by some of the most poisonous monsters on the American landscape.

But it's wonderful for the rest of us, and the world delights at your self-destruction.

From Inwood said...

TY

When I was young & foolish & had just bought a house in NYC, I hired a guy, an ESL immigrant to do my garden.

He quoted a price & did the work & when I went to give him a check he went into an almost comical Pidgin English routine about not knowing how to deal with checks & how he'd have to charge me more to get it all straightened out. Apparently even the socialists in the neighborhood paid in cash, um, make that especially the socialists.

I'm a quick study; I got the message.

Altho I learned to cut trees in the Army (really; want me to build you a log crib?) & had taken down a diseased 40 Ft tree in my present yard some years ago all by myself, recently another 40+ footer very close to the house died & my wife said that she'd divorce me if I tried to do it myself at my advanced age.

Called a tree service & they gave me a price. Coincidentally, my next door neighbor was using a couple of low-life guys with a pickup & a chain saw to remove a dead tree on his property & they volunteered that they'd do mine for about 1/2 of the established tree service's bid, cash only. I said that I didn't have that much cash on hand & suggested a check. Guy said he'd wait while I went to my ATM! Duh. I made sure that they didn't drop anything on my roof & everyone profited from the underground economy.

Pogo: You're not worthy enough to share in the wealth of Obama's rich supporters. No one is. That's the secret.

DBQ: Didn't know that you have a Blog. went there & will be there in the future. Go Galt.

reader_iam said...

Rightly or wrongly, I make a distinction between barter and black market. If I want to trade homemade soup for sewing skills, or data entry for grass-cutting, or childcare for a paint job, or my consulting time for someone else's consulting time, or whatever, I think that's A-OK, and even healthy.

reader_iam said...

How weird is that--at least I think--it'd be A-OK for me to give the guy who's nice enough to weed my garden the gift of a case of beer, but not the cash equivalent.

(Mind you, we weed our own garden. Well, that is, one of us does, but it ain't me, truth be told. That's not the point.)

reader_iam said...

It takes a village!

reader_iam said...

I love individualistic, free-market socialism. It builds responsibility and accountability.

It's the top-down variety that corrupts.

MadisonMan said...

I just appreciate the unwanted plants. Presto, they're not weeds and I don't have to weed!

MadisonMan said...

When we watch our neighbor's chickens when they're (neighbors, not chickens) on vacation, we get eggs. I don't consider that reportable income. We dog-sit also for other neighbors, and they usually give us wine for our trouble. Also not reportable income.

Everytime I've done a big free-lance gig, it's been payment by check. Sometimes, back a couple years, from Canada. That was reportable income. I don't know if I've ever been paid in cash for something big. I don't recall ever paying cash for some big service.

Synova said...

In an atmosphere where it's considered bigoted to say practically anything about Obama short of abject devotion, it's not a good idea to invoke an actual racial stereotype.

Marcia, you're almost there.

You see the problem... charges of racism are used as a weapon to shut people up. The racism doesn't have to be real or even plausible for the slander to stand.

Now... what is the proper response?

To validate it by acting as if this is reasonable and trying to please those who are not acting in good faith?

You're almost there. Keep going...

AJ Lynch said...

I wonder if Joe The Plumber has an agent yet. We are always looking for new clients.

Titusbackintownok? said...

Turns out that Joe Wurzelbacher from the Toledo event is a close relative of Robert Wurzelbacher of Milford, Ohio. Who’s Robert Wurzelbacher? Only Charles Keating’s son-in-law.

Joe will definitely be in an ad. He also wants to do away with social security. A republican's wet dream.

AJ Lynch said...

I had an old oil tank removed from a house and the guy said cash only.

That was just this past April.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

All of my income is reportable. No way to get around that. I just work less when it gets to the point where I'm making more than I can deduct on the business side from my fixed overhead and expenses. Being self employed has its drawbacks but the advantage is that you can control your income. Seriously. When you make less, you end up with more.

My husband, the plumber :-) can do the same thing.

Reader- bartering and exchanging services is a great way to go. Yea yea yea. The IRS wants us to report this as income but seriously.....who in their right mind would do such a thing?

Exchange computer tech services for a well pump replacement job. Transmission installation for a sprinkler system installation. Everyone is happy :-)

kimsch said...

DBQ - I'm an office and administrative services consulting company. I don't have a lot of business right now, but I'd like more. But, as you say, not too much more. I'm a sole proprietor who files married, jointly. If I make too much, it could bring us up to that $250k level.

On the other hand, I may get more business than I can handle if Joe the Plumber has to fire his office worker, but still needs some office work done.

Methadras said...

I wonder how Senator Government is going to unplumb his way out of this one. He looked like a total fool last night.

Pogo said...

"My experience is that "Democrats" threaten to leave the country when things go not their way; "Republicans" threaten to stop paying taxes."
Unlike folks who threaten to leave the country, however, paying fewer taxes is in fact done.

"High marginal tax rates discourage work effort, saving, and investment, and promote tax avoidance and tax evasion."
Joint Economic Committee, Congress, 1996

"Numerous studies, ably surveyed by Karabegovic et. al. (2004), have found that high marginal tax rates reduce people’s willingness to work up to their potential, to take entrepreneurial risks, and to create and expand a new business: “The evidence from economic research indicates that ... high and increasing marginal taxes have serious negative consequences on economic growth, labor supply, and capital formation”.
Marginal Tax Rates

Tax avoidance has a long and storied history, one that keeps growing, now that there are no free lands to move to, and the US is about to become enslaved.

"We already have socialism. I suspect it's not the money you're bothered about, just who it's going to."
Well garage, as usual you are entirely wrong.
No one seriously denies we have socialism. I object to increasing its sway.

Pogo said...

I am already paying fewer taxes, because I am no longer buying anything discretionary at all. Not for over a month.

Screw the State.

Expat(ish) said...

@ kimsch We had a pack campout the last weekend in September and the weather cooperated, but the outhouses were toxic I tell ya.

Maybe I'll spray some hopey-changey on the smells and they'll negotiate away?

Worst case I'll remember the "town hall" debate and take a deep cleaning breath.

-XC

kimsch said...

Expat(ish):

Oust, bleach, rid-ex.

If that fails, bring an NBC suit or just a gas mask.

Oh, and always close the lid. That enables the odors to escape through the vent pipe instead of into the stall (room, shed, whatever)...

AJ Lynch said...

Can you leave the USA, renounce your citizenship but still collect your social security benefits?

If yes, that would be one way to avoid "sharing your wealth" with Obamabots.

former law student said...

Has anyone called a plumber lately? Did you pay them more than $100 an hour?

Because I have a hard time believing that a two-man plumbing firm grosses enough so that the owner can take home over $250K a year. I don't think it's possible even in Bel Air, much less Toledo, Ohio.

I absolutely disapprove of Lewis's statement about the McCain campaign.

Race and/or racism is not the issue here. John Lewis suggests that the McCain-Palin campaign rallies encourage anti-Obama hatred among its supporters to the point that some may be inspired to carry out physical attacks. And neither McCain nor Palin are acting to tamp down the flames.

The McCain campaign inspires his supporters to shout "Terrorist!" and "Kill him!" Rep. Lewis observes that "Sen. McCain and Gov. Palin are sowing the seeds of hatred and division, and there is no need for this hostility in our political discourse." Lewis further observes that George Wallace "he created the climate and the conditions that encouraged vicious attacks against innocent Americans who were simply trying to exercise their constitutional rights."

McCain just did not explain in pithy, packed points why all but the Extreme Left will indeed get some change which they may not have expected.

But McCain clearly explained that if he's elected, your Constitutional rights will depend on the kindness of your neighbors. Bible Belters will have to travel to Blue states for their illegal operations.

AJ Lynch said...

FLS:

It is too much nuance for you. JTP (Joe The Plumber) has a vision of working hard on his own to achieve the American Dream to secure his family's future. Obama told JTP he should share his success with others who did not work as heard ad JTP.

This issue is not wonky enough for Dems like you.

Trevor Jackson said...

"others who did not work as heard (sic)"

Because everyone starts from the same position and has the same circumstances and fortunes as everyone else, right, AJ?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Because I have a hard time believing that a two-man plumbing firm grosses enough so that the owner can take home over $250K a year. I don't think it's possible even in Bel Air, much less Toledo, Ohio.

It isn't the take home or salary that the business pays the owner or partner. It is the gross of the business that we are talking about taxing. Depending on how the business is structured. S Corp, LLC, Partnership, C Corp or just plain Sole Proprietor all are taxed in different ways.

I am a S Corp in order to avoid paying excess social security taxes. I pay myself a salary, but the profits of the business are taxed as pass through income whether I pay myself or not.

So for instance if Joe the Plumber and his Partner have a S Corp and the company makes 300K a year gross after expenses, (which is not that diffucult for a plubming business depending on what type of plumbing he does) they can pay themselves a salary of $50,000 each on which they pay FICA and unemployement taxes. The remainder of the profits are still taxed according to their proportional share in the business. 50/50 or 60/40. They are taxed on those profits whether they are distributed or retained.

One of the points of a S Corp is to avoid paying FICA and other taxes on the whole amount that the person earns.

Obama is an idiot. If more people became self employed and used the S Corp structure they would be able to avoid the $250K tax hike and the unlimited taxes for social security on higher income. It's all smoke and mirrors and pandering for class warfare.

kimsch said...

Thank you DBQ!

They just don't understand that many small businesses - including family farms - pay taxes on it all. Plus small business owners don't have someone else to pay the other half of the payroll taxes. They guy who works at corporation D in the b2b sales department, or the warehouse, or the retail outlet, has half of his FICA paid for by the company. Self employed pay both parts.

Pogo said...

"Because everyone starts from the same position and has the same circumstances and fortunes as everyone else, right, AJ?"

Gosh, Trevor, do you mean that life isn't fair?

Well that must mean the State should pound down the nail that dares rise above the rest.

Institute the Harrison Bergeron laws now!

No matter that the rise of capitalism has been the only successful mechanism by which poverty in the wold has been relieved.

Screw that.
We need levelling; the equality of the mediocre.

Synova said...

Because everyone starts from the same position and has the same circumstances and fortunes as everyone else, right, AJ?

No.

But surly you are not so deluded as to think that our starting circumstances accurately map to our economic situations 5, 10, 20 or 40 years down the line?

People who work harder, do better. Almost always. I have an idea of what I would have to do to really get ahead... I just don't *want* to. It's not that worth it to me. The people I know who are self-employed generally have earned every single thing they've got through hard labor. Of my relatives, the farmer who was "well off" is the farmer who skipped his daughter's graduation to get the fields in. The neighbor who could usually be found in town having coffee at the cafe... his farm wasn't so prosperous... but he missed no graduations.

No matter where you *start*, the people who work harder do better and they get *ahead* of the other people who started the same place they did.

Trevor Jackson said...

That's ridiculous slippery slope logic, Pogo, and you know it. But tell me: Which social programs do you disapprove of? All of them? Which bridges do we let collapse next? Which banks should we have let collapse, taking down how many businesses with them? Which veterans don't deserve to go to college? Which undernourished kid should continue to starve? Which bright kid with poor parents doesn't deserve a shot at a college education?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

They guy who works at corporation D in the b2b sales department, or the warehouse, or the retail outlet, has half of his FICA paid for by the company. Self employed pay both parts.

Right. 15.3% for Social Security and Medicare in addition to regular income (state and federal) taxes. Employees pay 7.65 and the employer picks up the other half. Currently the wage cap for SS is $102,000 for 2008. Meaning that above $102K you don't pay SS taxes but Medicare is forever. :-)

Obama is talking about raising the SS wage cap to unlimited. Meaning that you would pay on all income no matter how much you make. So if you are making 250K all of it is taxed (6.2% or 12.4% for self employed). The reality is that people who make high incomes will never ever EVER get that money back because the benefit has a maxiumum cap (about 2200 a month I think).

So Joe the Plumber if he takes home 250K in income is going to pay 31,000 for social security under Obama's plan instead of$12,648 as it is now. Plus Obama wants to increase his income tax bracket. Yea..... lots of incentive to earn more and do well when you start out paying 15.3% of your income before being in the 40% or higher marginal tax brackets proposed by Obama.

If Joe is smart. He sets up a S corp or other type of business organization, and pays himself a small wage on which he pays FICA and just pays income taxes on the rest. He also finds as many write offs and deductions as he possibly can.

Pogo said...

"Which social programs ...?
Which veterans ...?
Which bright kid ...?"


The bridges aren't part of the debate, and never were. Like the police and firemen, it's a basic part of infrastructure that few but the most rabid libertarians dispute.

The reminder are social programs. Our obesity epidemic affects the "ppor" far more than the rich, so the "starving" comment is alarmist bullshit.

The issue is charity, and who deserves it. the ends are debatable. You portray them as either-or issues, when there are gradations to consider that you ignore. You prefer the government makes this decision, I say the state is the worst possible authority in this regard.

Which banks ...?
Good question. We are where we are. Regulation and congressional graft got us into this, and colluded with the bubblemakers. Now the gummint must help, havng helped create the problem. The key is to intervene and then get the hell out. But they won't.

Susan said...

Who do you suppose will be playing Joe the plumber on SNL this Saturday?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Who do you suppose will be playing Joe the plumber on SNL this Saturday?

Who ever wants to be sued. Joe the Plumber is not a public personality like Palin, McCain or Obama. If I were Joe, I'd have my lawyer on standby

chuckR said...

FLS - maybe you didn't make it through the part of law skool where the different types of corporations and the tax implications of each are discussed.
It would be foolhardy for even a single proprietor to not have a corporate liability shield. For small businesses, that's either a Sub S or the newer LLC. I have had a Sub S since the early 80's and have been a member partner in two LLCs. As DBQ said, what The One is proposing is a 12.4% tax surcharge for which there will be no benefit promised let alone delivered. He'll then suggest an income tax surcharge on those earnings too - so 1/8th of that income is lost to payroll taxes but is still taxed at last dollar rates plus whatever surcharge he can get through.
As for actually being able to use those earnings - don't make me laugh. When my business partners and I had a lot of employees and needed a big credit line for acquisitions, R&D development and so forth, our bank wanted us to keep retained earnings in the company - skin in the game if you will. The IRS wanted us to impute an interest payment from our company to us individually and pay taxes on that income. So picture this - 12.4% straight tax, a Clinton-like upper bracket surcharge and taxes on imputed interest you can't take out....

Is it any wonder J.T. Plumber is P.O.'ed?

From Inwood said...

Fls

You say

"But McCain clearly explained that if he's elected, [my] Constitutional rights will depend on the kindness of[my]neighbors."

Um, as McCain made it clear, now they depend on the kindness of strangers, the nine or perhaps, one, Kennedy, on SCOTUS.
As Bill Buckley famously said: I'd rather be governed by the first 2,000 people in the Boston 'phone book.

You also say that:

"Bible Belters will have to travel to Blue states for their illegal operations."

Well, that will be interesting since Blue Staters have been moving to Bible-Belt States to avoid paying confiscatory taxes.

AJ Lynch said...

Sue:

The guy from the Shield has the look. Michale Chiklis?

SNL should put a Superman costume on JTP but I suspect SNL will try hard to dumb him down.

Trevor:
My brother-in-law is a doctor, grew up in a rowhouse in S. Philly. Smart guy who worked his balls off for his dream. His father was a tailor who worked his balls off and studied at night to become an accountant. Is that what you mean by unequal start?

kimsch said...

Joe also holds off on hiring because Joe has to pay the 7.65% of his employees' salaries along with any other benefits he chooses to provide (or is mandated to provide on pain of fines for not doing so...)

And other employers will be less likely to hire people that "the ladders" job site caters to as well. businesses may be slow to give raises if SocSec is unlimited as Medicare is now.

From Inwood said...

Pogo

Your 2:53 is correct of course, but the government, Fed, State, Local, never cuts the welfare stuff.

It's always: "if you won't let us raise your taxes as we deem necessary, we'll collect your garbage only once a week & your library will merge with the one in the next precinct & they'll be opened only on alternate days & we'll cut school programs...."

blake said...

Trevor Jackson wails Which social programs do you disapprove of? All of them? Which bridges do we let collapse next? Which banks should we have let collapse, taking down how many businesses with them? Which veterans don't deserve to go to college? Which undernourished kid should continue to starve? Which bright kid with poor parents doesn't deserve a shot at a college education?

Remember, if the state doesn't give it to you, there's no way you can get it. The state guarantees that.

Modern Otter said...

If JTP cannot figure out how to parlay this publicity into an unimaginably lucrative plumbing business, if he doesn't become the biggest plumbing celebrity in the world, it will only be due to a preference for complaining over succeding.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Joe also holds off on hiring because Joe has to pay the 7.65% of his employees' salaries along with any other benefits he chooses to provide (or is mandated to provide on pain of fines for not doing so...)

In addition, if Joe has employees not only does he pay 1/2 the FICA, there is unemployment insurance, workman's comp insurance (VERY expensive) for plumbers. Top this with mandatory health insurance premiums for his guys or be fined if you don't have the right coverage. Retirement plan? Maybe if there is any money left. Not to mention, business licenses and fees, business inventory taxes/fees, resale license, auto insurance and liability insurance with an umbrella liability policy to protect his home.

Yes. The small business man is really living high on the hog and needs to be punished for making money. How dare Joe try to be better than the guy down the street who sits in his underwear and watches reruns of Jeopardy while drinking beer!!! The nerve of Joe.....he must be taxed and punished so we can share the wealth.

AJ Lynch said...

DBQ said:

"the guy down the street who sits in his underwear and watches reruns of Jeopardy while drinking beer!!"

!! You placed a hidden camera in my living room!! Heh.

Freder Frederson said...

In addition, if Joe has employees not only does he pay 1/2 the FICA, there is unemployment insurance, workman's comp insurance (VERY expensive) for plumbers.

So are you suggesting that Joe shouldn't have to provide these things to his employees. That employees who are hurt on the job should pay for their injuries out of their own pocket (because God knows you don't believe in providing health insurance)?

Freder Frederson said...

It isn't the take home or salary that the business pays the owner or partner. It is the gross of the business that we are talking about taxing.

You are a financial adviser and you don't understand the difference between net and gross income and which is taxable?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

You are a financial adviser and you don't understand the difference between net and gross income and which is taxable?

Moron.

mccullough said...

Obama makes a lot of money on the two books he wrote about himself.

But, unlike the working stiffs, since his income is from royalties he doesn't have to pay social security and medicare taxes on this income.

Must be nice.

His friend Warren Buffet makes most of his dough from capital gains. No FICA on that either.

You get the feeling that Warren's one of Obama's economic advisers so the two of them can keep their taxes low and fuck everyone else.

blake said...

Joe may have bigger problems now that the Daily Kos has published his home address.

former law student said...

Obama is talking about raising the SS wage cap to unlimited. Meaning that you would pay on all income no matter how much you make.

No. Obama is talking about a slot limit. Once you start making $250K, you start paying FICA again. This is how he's able to say "no tax increases till $250K"

It would be foolhardy for even a single proprietor to not have a corporate liability shield.

How many two-man plumbing shops have one?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

How many two-man plumbing shops have one corporate liability shield.

Anyone who is self employed is a fool if they don't have a S-Corp set up (or LLC), no matter how many people they employ or partner with.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

No. Obama is talking about a slot limit. Once you start making $250K, you start paying FICA again. This is how he's able to say "no tax increases till $250K"

Ok that is interesting about the slot limit. So ....just stop making income or stop paying yourself an income at $245,000 Cool.

reader_iam said...

If those two-man (or even one-man) shops don't, they're taking a helluva risk in terms of liability. I also don't know how it would make sense financially, either, unless they really are mostly a (ahem) "cash business."

From Inwood said...

DBQ

Obama said $200,000 at one point in the debate. Freudian Slip? But hey, he's flexible, he's nuanced.

When elected he'll tax everything.

And you'll no longer have to worry about accounting things like gross or net income; Obama's Administration & a Dem Congress will make an imaginative use of a term known as "attributed income", whereby if you don't report as much income as the average of all firms in your industry, you will still be assumed to have earned such income for tax purposes. On the other hand, if someone in your industry makes too much income(obscene profit), he/she'll have to share it with you! (Just pay & stop whining; it’s your patriotic duty.)

Nancy said...

Wow, the potty mouths in here are amazing!!! So much for the conservatives trying to convince anyone they are intelligent, educated and wise enough to get us out of the mess they've created!!!! If I had any hope the Republicans could help, it's gone after reading the above-posts! God help our country and our grammar!

From Inwood said...

Nancy

Didn't your grammar teacher tell you about the need to use exclamation marks sparingly? And that one at the end of each sentence will certainly suffice?

Fowler, for one says:

“excessive use of the exclamation marks is…one of the things that betray the uneducated or unpractised writer….”

Examples follow, & he concludes:

“in all these [examples] the words themselves suffice to show the tone, and the exclamation mark shows only that the writer does not know his business.”

knowitall said...

All he had to do was stick to the facts, and he did. It was from the help of Joe the Plumber, who managed to get by the banning of mainstream media. The liberal illuminati never saw this one coming.