UPDATE: Joe Wurzelbacher held a news conference this morning at his Holland, Ohio home. Holland is about 8 miles from Toledo.
In a prior post, I referenced a conversation between a plumber and Obama on a campaign stop in Toledo Ohio. The questioner’s name was Joe Wurzelbacher and he has gotten a bit of attention surrounding the YouTube video. An advocacy group Family Security Matters secured an interview with Mr. Wurzelbacher and I think it is worth the read. Mr. Wurzelbacher seems thoughtful and expresses many concerns many conservatives and small business owners have about the Obama tax plan. Here are some excerpts:
At a recent campaign appearance in Ohio, Sen. Obama was approached by plumber Joe Wurzelbacher, who has concerns about Obama’s proposed tax policies. FamilySecurityMatters.org’s Pam Meister had a candid conversation with him about his experience.
PAM MEISTER: You recently met Sen. Obama on the campaign trail in Ohio, and you asked him a question about his tax policies. What exactly was your question for him?
JOE WURZELBACHER: Initially, I started off asking him if he believed in the American Dream and he said yes, he does – and then I proceeded to ask him then why he’s penalizing me for trying to fulfill it. He asked, “what do you mean,” and I explained to him that I’m planning on purchasing this company – it’s not something I’m gonna purchase outright, it’s something I’m going to have to make payments on for years – but essentially I’m going to buy this company, and the profits generated by that could possibly put me in that tax bracket he’s talking about and that bothers me. It’s not like I would be rich; I would still just be a working plumber. I work hard for my money, and the fact that he thinks I make a little too much that he just wants to redistribute it to other people. Some of them might need it, but at the same time, it’s not their discretion to do it – it’s mine.
Regarding Obama’s statement that he didn’t want to punish success:
PM: …taxing small businesses making $250,000 and above is going to help the people “behind you.” And yes, “spreading the wealth around.” How did you feel about that?
JW: As soon as he said it, he contradicted himself. He doesn’t want to “punish” me, but – when you use the word “but,” you pretty much negate everything you just said prior to that. So he does want to punish me, he does want to punish me for working harder to – you know, my big thing is the American Dream. I work hard. You know, I was poor; my mom raised me and my brother by herself for a very long time until my dad came along. So I know what it’s like to suffer. It’s not like I was born with a silver spoon. Usually it was a wooden spoon and it was on my butt. It was just a contradiction of terms, what he said: he doesn’t want to punish me but he wants to redistribute my wealth. And what I mean when I say my wealth, I mean the collective. Eventually – I mean, just to sound a little silly here, but you need rich people. I mean, who are you going to work for?
PM: Do you fear this is the possibility of America turning more down the socialist road if Obama does become elected and if he is able to implement these policies?
JW: Very much so. You start giving people stuff, and then they start expecting it – and that scares me. A lot of people expect it now. They get upset when their check’s late, they get upset when they don’t get as many benefits as they used to, or when different government agencies are cut or spending is cut here and there for whatever reason – people get upset at that. And that’s because they’re used to getting it and they want more. I mean, everyone’s always gonna want more. People work the system left and right to get more out of welfare, to get more out of state assistance, federal assistance. And if government’s there for them, they’re gonna keep on trying to manipulate it to get more out of it. You got people that come along and say, “Hey, I wanna help you people,” I mean, they’re all ears! They’re like, “Hey, you can help me more, I don’t have to work as hard, I don’t have to do as much, and you’re gonna give me this? Man, that’s great, you’re a good guy.”
I hope McCain or Bob Schieffer raises again Mr. Wurzelbacher’s questions. Like central planning and wealth re-distribution or not, we need to hear more from Mr. Obama about his economic philosophy.