There’s been a lot of talk in the news lately about Joe the plumber.
His name is Joe Wurzelbacher, and last week he stopped Senator Obama to complain about taxes. Apparently, he doesn’t seem to care much for Mr. Obama’s tax plan. Needless to say, this worked in favor of Senator McCain. In fact, both candidates mentioned Joe the plumber some 26 times during the final debate!
Since that time, the media has descended on this “Average” Joe to hear some of his other thoughts on the candidates and the issues.
So, in the interest of ethical journalism, I thought, what the heck, I’ve got my own plumber I can consult. His name is Dave and he’s not only a great plumber, but he’s a direct, no-nonsense, no excuses kind of guy. He’s graciously given me his cell number to call whenever I have a plumbing crisis. The conversation with my “Average Joe” went like this:
Me: Dave, it’s Jim. How are you?
Dave: What’s the problem, Jim?
Me: No plumbing problems, but I did want to ask you a few questions regarding the economy and the upcoming election. Can you spare the time?
Dave: It’s your $65 an hour. Go ahead.
Me: Has the economy affected your business?
Dave: Yeah, it’s, down probably 40% over the last two or three months.
Me: Have you chosen a presidential candidate yet?
Dave: Yeah, the old guy from Arizona.
Me: Does your choice have anything to do with your business?
Dave: Well, I’ve heard a lot from the people that I deal with – contractors and sub-contractors – and they’re afraid of Obama. They don’t understand his tax plan for those making $250,000 and above and a lot of these guys are in that realm of income.
Me: Why are they afraid?
Dave: Well, they’re not sure what’s covered. How is it going to work? Is his plan gross or net? We’re just not sure.
From talking with friends and people that I know, Obama doesn’t have much experience. How long has he been a Senator?
Me: Just under 4 years. McCain’s been in the Senate just under 22 years with 4 years in the House.
Dave: It’s a real tough decision, but McCain’s been around.
But how do you know that they’re telling the truth, anyway? They could be blowing smoke up your… nose. Who knows?
It’s like, if you call me and say, Dave I want you there. And I say, yeah I’ll be there on Tuesday, but don’t show up, then give you some lame excuse; you’re not going to like it, right?
Dave: Well, how do I know if what these guys are saying is actually true? How many times have we been let down before?
Me: Is it fair to say that you’ve lost a lot of trust and confidence in government?
Dave: Not exactly. The cops on the street, the mayor, they’re government. I trust them. But the higher up the ladder you go the more I worry because there’s much more risk of repercussions. McCain can send us to war. Obama can send us to war.
The lower form of government have people that I can talk to. If you were a Congressman, I could talk to you and you’d talk back and I’d believe what you say because I know you. These guys, I don’t know.
Me: Do you have any advice for the next president?
Dave: Don’t lie. I like straight shooters. If you say something, do it! If you say you’re going to be there Tuesday, be there Tuesday!
Me: Anything else?
Dave: Pray a lot.