I have been waiting to write about Joe the plumber because I wanted to see his reaction to his new found fame. Was Joe really just your average, every-day working man? Well I am very happy to say that he certainly is. He has handled the onslaught of the democratic search and destroy party with class. He has even campaigned for John McCain in what I believe is a brilliant move by the repubs. His story IS the American dream. His story is my story, my Dad's story, and the guy next door's story. Joe's question to Obama on that fateful day was whether or not the Obama tax plan will raise his taxes in the event that he decides to buy the plumbing business where he has been working. And the answer that Obama gave was an example of one of the major differences between the two candidates. Obama said that while he doesn't wish to punish Joe for his success, he does want to make sure that the guy BEHIND Joe also has the same opportunity for success that Joe does. Obama also said he thinks it is better if we spread the wealth around. With those few words Obama drove home to every American just what his vision is for America. And here is my rebuttal to Mr. Obama:
Sir, Joe the plumber did not get to be where he is by any government program, stipend, tax rebate, or any other free handout. Joe, like millions of other Americans, got up in the morning, went to work, did his best to learn his trade, and gained experience working in the his industry. Now Joe's boss is considering selling his business and Joe, through hard work, is in a position to better himself and his family. That is how Joe the plumber, Mike the roofer, Bob the electrician, Mary the construction worker, etc all got to their respective places in their jobs/careers. Nobody came along and HANDED it to them for free. It doesn't work that way in America.
Mr. Obama, you said you wanted to make sure the guy behind Joe has the same chance as Joe to succeed. My advice (which I have passed down to my own kids and which I had received from my Dad) to the guy behind Joe is this: If you have experience, find a plumbing company that is hiring (perhaps Joe's if he doesn't get taxed too high and can't afford to hire new people) and go to work every day. Do your best in your work. Work hard and learn your craft to the best of your ability. If you do not have experience, stay in school and train in your field. For IF you work hard and IF you do your best, you will be rewarded. And down the line when Joe is ready to retire or sell his business YOU will be the guy behind Joe ready to take over and be the next American success story.
You see, Mr Obama, this nation was built with the sweat and determination of serious people. My Grandfather was an immigrant who came to this country with nothing. He told my father to study hard in school, speak english (even if my Grandfather struggled with it himself), work hard at your job, and NEVER, EVER accept hand-outs from anyone. And always, always be proud of your country. This is my Italian Grandfather's vision of America. And these are his values, the same values I have instilled in my own kids. This, Mr. Obama, is the United States of America that I am proud of. Not a society that expects the government to guarantee a place at the wealth table. The United States is the land of opportunity, Mr. Obama. The only caveat is you need to get off your butt and work hard to take advantage of that opportunity. Not feed off the government teet. God bless this greatest nation on earth.