Dave, My Plumber

Published: October 20, 2008

By Jim Lichtman
Read More

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?

Me:  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.


  1. Author

    Why is it called redistribution of wealth and not confiscation of earnings? Why should people be penalized for achievement and productivity? Why shouldn’t there be consequences for not at least finishing high school, for doing drugs, for having sex with people that you wouldn’t want to have in your home, for not living within your means? Why should they be rewarded when they have not merited it? How does one person’s wealth affect another’s industriousness? Through their own choices, lack of productivity and diminished individual effort they have acquired less.

    We have “safety nets” for those who have come upon hard times; our high taxes reflect those entitlements and welfare benefits built into our tax system. Government did not create the most powerful economic engine the world has known…individuals have. It’s very hard to work and contribute to society when both hands are stretched out with the palms up.

Leave a Comment

Read More Articles
The Latest... And Sometimes Greatest
We Need the Strength of Heroes
The Date: September 28, 1955 The Place: Yankee Stadium The Event: Dodgers/Yankees, Game 1 of the 1955 World Series Every baseball fan has seen the...
April 19, 2024
A Time of Troubles, A Time of Opportunities
It’s getting harder and harder to see the light at the end of a dark, relentless tunnel of anger and war at home and abroad....
April 16, 2024
Conscience of the Senate
Continued from Tuesday’s commentary, I offer two Senate leaders from the past. Tuesday, I spoke of the integrity of Republican John Williams. Today, I offer...
April 12, 2024
A Long Time Ago in a Washington Far, Far Away. . .
. . . two U.S. Senators, one Republican, one Democrat, showed us the meaning of duty and character. Republican John Williams, a chicken farmer and...
April 9, 2024
This is The America I Know
We Americans have many grave problems to solve, many threatening evils to fight, and many deeds to do, if, as we hope and believe, we...
April 5, 2024
We Need Moments Like This
Embed from Getty Images Let’s face it, we’re a mess. We’re living moment to moment, crisis to crisis at home and abroad. Every time you...
April 2, 2024