Biden Doesn’t Believe Plumbing Business Could Make 250 Grand A Year


You know they are a bit worried when they make a silly charge like Biden does here. Actually questioning the existence of Joe the Plumber:

He basically says he knows of no plumbing companies that would make 250 grand a year.


Check out the numbers in the Survey of Small Business Finances put out by the Federal Reserve Mr. Biden and you will find that there are indeed many small business who make in excess of 250 grand.

But that’s there argument in a nutshell. Your gonna be a-ok as a business owner as long as your not too successful. If you are then you must obey and redistribute that extra cash.

But look out, the left is going to do whatever is needed to destroy Joe “The Plumber” Wurzelbacher because he represents the regular joe who is trying to make a business he started a success. They know that a large segment of our population. From farmers to grocery store owners to a mechanic shop… a Obama Presidency they will be penalized for being successful.

Sounds like Communism to me.

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All of the thoughts swirling around in my head I found here on your site and blog. I’m so glad I found it and I’m so glad not everyone is brainwashed. You’ve given me a new hope and new fire!

@Stephanie: Welcome aboard Stephanie
There are many of us out there.

Joe Biden = Open mouth insert foot.

FOR THE PROLETARIAT! (at least until they start contributing for society then tax them to shit)

Increased taxes for a business making $250,000 annually under Obama’s proposal is around $900. If Joe’s hypothetical business folds because of that, he isn’t running a very good company.

@Fit fit: If I recall, in an eaarlier thread you stated you make 100k anually (if I am mistaken, I apologize, but the point is still the same). If That is the case, you know, I can really use some money and you are making more than me. Why don’t you cough up $400 to me? If you can’t afford it, I’d say you’re not managing your finances very well.


Contact Mike about those swirling thoughts: he’ll send you specs on a nice tin foil hat that should help.

If a good plumbing shop, auto repair shop, or any other small business doesn’t make over $250,000 before all the fees and taxes they won’t survive long. I worked at a small family owned landscaping shop, two pardners and one part time employee, that took in over $300,000. After the county, state, and fed’s got done they were scraping out a living, the hard way. Slow Joe has lived his life on the taxpayer dole and knows nothing about a business, other than how to funnel over $2 million in campaign funds to his family. Isn’t that a felony?


I’d give it to you, but knowing you conservatives, you would just blow it on ammo, oxycontin and male postitutes…

Joe The Plumber: Obama’s Plan is socialist Slippery Slope

@Fit fit: Haha, Nah, we’d invest it then you liberals can steal money from us through capital gains taxes.

Welcome Stephanie!

Fit fit, proud Democrat that I am (and stay-at-home dad w effectively zero personal income) I look forward to the tax credits that your employer, small business employers, and others will be paying me to continue to stay home and be in my pajamas blogging all day. Thank you in advance. btw, I plan on spending my Obama tax credit cash on “Don’t Let Bush Bomb Iran” t-shirts in anticipation of Barack’s forthcoming solution to the Iranian nuclear/terrorist crisis. I figure they’ll be big sellers with the nostalgic Bush-hating-psuedo-anti-war crowds.

If it was so important to give a trillion bucks to investment banks lest their financial woes trickle down to Main Street, then how is increasing Capital Gains investment taxes as well as taxes on international corporations, taxes on corporate leaders, taxes on small and medium business leaders…how’s all that increased cost not gonna trickle down like the cost of bad loans was gonna trickle down? Kinda makes the Obama/Biden promises sound more like pandered pledges and lawyer/lawmaker rhetoric rather than substance; like sizzle without a steak.

@Scott Malensek: you rock, nail fit tot he wall. i think fit is getting angry because the trueth is coming out to the average person. if fit gave me $400.00, i would buy a new coach hand bag, not guns or drugs.

I think that Obama will rue the day that he met and talked to Joe the Plumber in such a frank fashion.


Howdy Stephanie and welcome.

Come on in and make yourself at home.

There’s coffee in the kitchen and the brownies are almost done.

Have a seat in the living room and get to know everyone.

every one seems hung up on the exact amount that the tax will increase, when the real point is that a person who works hard, manages his business well and makes too much profit is punished for excelling. I am not saying that if you make less than 250k you are a failure but those that have the talent and ability to do so (I don’t) should be allowed their profit, otherwise why try? is it a crime to excel? it seems that some think so. I worked in a refinery (blue coller job) and often heard some contractors make the comment that they had made enough so they were taking off two or three month before looking for another job, nothing wrong with that if that is the way they want to live, but why should they be rewarded for working less, and a person who works more be punished? by the way, I watched one film clip where Obama said that there werent that many making 250k anyway, so I guess that makes it okay? but if the 250 mark does not bring in enough taxes then where will the limit be reset

Thanks for all the warm welcomes! Random liberal babbling isn’t intimidating to me- it’s actually quite amusing how simple concepts cannot be grasped and therefore people talk in circles. They’re getting in people faces and arguing…….just like Hussein told them to do. Keep it coming!

Why is it $250k and not $500k or $100k? Why not raise everyone’s taxes if they’re paying taxes, and just leave the poor alone? We’re all hurtin’; middle class, wealthy, small business, med business, large business, uber business…they’re all wide-eyed with financial woe right now-just look at the DOW, and if you don’t care about investors or corporate types, then look at your 401k. Everyone hurts-why not tax everyone the same?

I really am betting Biden doesn’t know of any plumbing businesses that make more than 250K in his neighborhood. It’s probably because he only lives around millionaires!

I also doubt he knows anyone that has a real job either.

BTW, if Fit fit makes more than 100k a year it’s only proof that you don’t have to be intelligent to make a good salary in this country that he hates.


Why should you have any say in where the money confiscated from you goes? Though, honestly, your bile in the generalization is showing. But hey, I could also use your “logic” and say: I’m from the government and I think you have no idea what you should do with your money. Since you are a leftist, I bet you will spend it funding ACORN or ANSWER, or the WWP and buying things I do not approve of so therefore I think you make too much and I have to “spread the wealth” to people who pay no taxes anyways. From “each by his means” and such.

Accurrate statement about what you would do with your money? I would say not. But it is almost as insulting as your statement (except that you might actually believe what you wrote about conservatives).

It does not matter that the $400 (or whatever) they take from “rich” Fit Fit is moeny you wanted to buy a new furnace with, or pay bills, or do something with. Since you are “rich”, I am sure you and afford it… and more (since that too would be coming under Obama).

If I would be living in the US and had a business that made more than 250k, I would move out of the country. And I hope they will all leave if Stupid is elected. When they will all be gone, who will he tax?

Oprah certainly makes far more than 250,000 bucks a year, so does Matt Damon. I am curious to know their thoughts on the redistribution of their wealth to a person more deserving of it then themselves.

Imagine if that person being, say, a conservative Democrat who voted for McCain/Palin.

Oh, the sweet irony!

@Skye: Imagine that??? I wonder who that could be????

Oh, better yet…Alan Colmes donating his earned wealth to a blogger that goes by the screen name of Stix1972!

@Skye: I like that one the best. Then I can blog in my pjs and stay at home and be a hermit.

Hi Steph;

Biden show’s he’s clueless, again. You don’t thing a plumbing business can pull in $250K a year in profits? Say it ain’t so Joe, a blue collar plumber does a hell of a lot more than just come out to pull the trap when your wife drops a ring or your fumbling a$$ drops your solid gold cuff-link down the bathroom drain. Like contract work on new coustruction. Depending upon the contract they can make $10-20K or more per house. How about Mom & Pop stores, restaurants, and bars Joe? Before I enlisted, I worked for several Mom and Pop businesses. After all is said and done, many can bring in around $500-900 per weekday and for restaurants and taverns as much as $3k on a weekend days. Do the research on restaurant franchises Joe and you’ll find that depending on location, market, and competition, they can rake in $500k-$1mn per year. But you like that false 95% number you and Obie like to spout don’t you? You use the same figure on who would get taxes back with the Obama-Biden tax plan by robbing it from Joe the plumber and other small businesses. Yet economists are clear that in truth only 81% of the mid and lower classes would qualify and of those, half of them already get all their taxes back.

So Joe the Plumber, McCain, & Palin are correct. It’s not a tax refund if they get money they didn’t pay in, it’s welfare. Me? I’m retired from the military on a fixed income, So I only pull it $21k a year before taxes. I’m struggling too, but you know what? I don’t want you stealing Joe’s hard-earned goddamn money and handing it over to me. Do you know why? Because I was raised to have scruples, if I needed more money that bad I’ld get my butt out on the street and get a job, regardless of my health conditions, I could find work if I needed to. Times today are not like the 1970’s and 1980’s when we had double digit unemployement, but even then it wasn’t that hard to find a job if you acually wanted one. You just swallowed your pride and you took what you could get like I did and like my grandparents did during the Depression. So I washed a few dishes and cleaned a few washrooms in my day. Nowaday’s people are too “Proud” to take such menial jobs. They’ve convinced themselves they are “special” and think they are “too good” for those kinds of jobs. They would rather deal drugs, prey on others by stealing or conning them, make badies with people they shack up with and never wed so they can get free welfare, food stamps, and other entitlements. They get jobs, but do horrible at them so they can get fired and collect unemployment. Those Joe are most of the people you, Robin BHOod, and the rest of your gang want to give Joe’s money too. Now I’m not beating up on all poor. There are many families that do deserve it. I will admit that I know what the government cheese tastes like. That is only because we had 5 kids in our family before our mother got fed up with my “Me Generation” father’s physical abuse of her and her children and divorced his butt. But she worked and wouldn’t have had to accept welfare if our “sperm donor” had paid his child support like he was supposed to. Instead he fled to Florida. As 12 years-old and the oldest children, my twin brother and I also did odd jobs for anyone who would take us on to help pay the rent, utilities, and buy food.

My point is; rest assured, if the Obama-Biden tax plan goes into effect, it will be the Carter years all over, but worse and it will take the Republican president who eventually replaces them 6-8 years to get it back on track. Meanwhile, unemployement will skyrocket to 20%+, businesses will raise prices on their goods and services to pass the cost on to the consumer, which will also skyrocket inflation. Our old folks will have to resort to eating dog food again. But hey, you idiot Dems who can’t comprehend history repesating itself will have that messiah of yours you wanted to smile up to while you are sitting in soup kitchens and trying to get housing and baths at the YWCA/YMCA. How do you like the homeless and destitute now? How will you like them when their numbers increase to 25% of our population? But hey, you know all the anwsers don’t you? That will never happen to you will it? Because you were smart. You voted to put socialists in charge. I sure am glad I had the intelligence and foresight to be frugal and pay for one of my houses before I got out of the military. I know I’ll survive, but will you and your loved ones if you vote for Obama?

Obama’s tax plan will up the taxes of a proprietor making more than 250 in personal AGI. That is NOT the same thing as 250 gross business income, in a well-run company you’d need to gross about 2.5 million to get 250k personal.

Joe the Plumber’s prospective biz does not clear $250,000 now and probably will never make that much. Most small businesses do not see that much. There may be an issue with capital gains way down the line, but that’s almost a separate issue. Do you understand anything about small businesses? McCain clearly does not.

You clearly do NOT understand the chart you linked to, which is a rough way to measure *receipts* or total revenue. After expenses Joe is very unlikely to have 250k and he’s stated the current biz does not clear that. There are two plumbers billing out at about 100 per hour if they are lucky. Parts markups might add something but then take out payroll, office help, expenses, etc. Joe will be lucky to clear 100k in this biz.

Joe probably should vote for McCain because he shares his views on many things, but if he thinks McCain’s tax plan will benefit him he’s … wrong.

Joe and the Contractor

Do you have any clue what you are talking about. I think not. The business eh worksat makes around $250,000 – $2808,000 NOW. You definietly do not know what incorporating your business is. You get taxes before expenses. Ask anyone that incorporated themselves as a corporation. They pay taxes before they pay out expenses. It is their gross income that they pay off others and themselves, and other expenses. The Taxes are not taken out like they do with regular workers. This is what accounts for most small businesses. Ask any lawyer that incorporates people’s small businesses.

Drink some more of the cool aid.

And here is another point. It is not about waht Joe said in the first place. It is what Obama said. he wants to “Spread the Wealth”. How is he going to do this, by taxing anyone that gets ahead in life. Really good motivator to better oneself isn’t it. You get a good job and want to grown you business, but what is the incentive when you get taxed more from making yor busiiness grow. No Cool aid will get around that little nugget. He want to distribute the wealth, which in turn sends more businesses overseas and puts many more out of business.


I find this funny, so… after Obama knocks middle class down, and the poor become the new middle class (Risen by NObamacorn)… do you think at this point, when the new middle class realize they got some cash, and start making their own businesses that Obama will knock them back down?

It’s almost as if he wants to say NO MORE MIDDLE CLASS! Either jump from rags to riches or get lost in translation…

Stix –

Unlike you and Joe the Plumber I actually do run a small business and I assure you that you get taxed AFTER expenses and not on total revenues! Most small businesses use a “Schedule C” and if you pull that up you’ll see how it works. LLCs and C corps have similar accounting issues, which simply put are that you pay tax on your “profits” which are revenues minus expenses.

Taxes cannot work as you and the many other non-business people here seem to think. Who are you guys anyway – clearly not business people!? Grocery stores, for example, pull in millions in receipts but their food and payroll expenses mean their margin is only a few percent. So the grocery store owner might have 3.65 million in receipts (10k per day) but expenses of 3.5 million after food costs, payroll, leases, etc. He’s thus taxed on 150,000 profit. You say that he’s taxed on 3.65 million? Nope, that won’t work out – he’d always owe far more in taxes than he took in.

Ask your employer and they’ll explain this to you OR, if you are right and they have been paying taxes on their receipts tell them to file amended returns and send me a check for the huge refund they’ll get from Uncle Sam.

For the record I’m very conservative fiscally and for massive cuts in entitlements, military, and lower taxes. I considered supporting McCain but Sarah Palin – an honorable but ill informed woman – scares the heck out of me.

@Joe: I guess we are talking about different things and I was mistaken. My mom was a “Sub Chapter S’ corporation and did pay taxes after expenses. And they pay taxes differently than “Shedule C” It is for small businesses that are smaller than a certain size of people working in it. And that would be the same as a plumbing business, or at least they can incorporate themselves as a Sub Class S corporation.

But still it does not get past the fact that Obama want to tax success. Even a small business can make over $250,000, and there are many that say they will lay off people or close down if Obama gets elected.

And if you think Palin scares you and you are a Conservative, Does Obama scare you???? He is much more uniformed and will bring the economy down with many of his policies. The Global Poverty Tax, Taxing Success, raising capital gains taxes, raising corporate taxes and many other spe\nding bulls that will bankrupt the government.

If not than you are no conservative fiscally.

In know McCain is not the best conservative, but he is more fiscally conservative than Bush is and is the best to keep the government from spending like drunken sailors

Hi Stix –

To answer your question I am worried about Obama too, but on balance think he’ll do a better job. For most of us the tax issues are similar with either guy, but I think we need a strong motivational force in the office and a flexible, creative intellect. I don’t see much of that in McCain anymore and none of that in Palin. Also I should note I’m a fiscal conservative but on some social issues the folks here would call me liberal.

You’ve raised a good point that Obama’s tax policies could be trouble for the economy. Certainly Pelosi and the gang have bizarre views about fiscal restraint though it’s hard to get any more reckless with spending than GW has been over the past years. The huge 10 trillion national debt is a smoking gun that could make the current problems seem like a party. Unfunded liabilities are even greater – about 43 trillion. Neither party is tackling this intelligently if at all. I’d prefer to see somebody like Ross Perot take the stage again and might support him.

The talking points about Ayers, Wright, Socialism, etc are mostly nonsense – folks simply not following up on the facts. From anti-Obama comments at my blog I’ve spent many hours following up on them, and I’ve seen nothing to suggest Obama poses any risks – on the contrary he’s a guy who thinks broadly about these issues and challenges people like Wright often in his writings. Folks are so busy worrying about Ayers they don’t bother to read Obama’s clear statements that make it clear he’s a decent, loyal, capitalistic guy.

I think our place as the shining beacon of freedom and prosperity will be best forwarded by Obama – both on the global stage and here at home. Nope, I’m not sure about that but until we have a strong independent third party I’m voting for the young smart guy.

The young smart guy? You got to be kidding us. Or you are an idot… whatever.

Get some brains and vote for the smart young Alaskan woman. She is the best of all the other 3 candidates (Obama, Biden, McCain).

Just catching up on this thread, and “a contractor” and Joe have valid points, but are missing disclosure on some specifics.

i.e. consider a plumbing/contractor business that uses 1099s and subcontractors instead – thus doesn’t have the payroll taxes and matching requirements. This can affect deductions you are calculating in as deductables, which can include anything from E&O to health insurance, or licensing to payroll taxes.

There’s many taxes involved pre-write offs that may not be included (affecting the needed gross to make $250K for an individual proprietor) with a subcontractor business structure. And many small businesses do not go the “employee” route to guarantee salaries, but merely hire on demand… most especially in the building/contracting industry.

Considering that to hire an employee for, say $50K a year costs an employer at least that plus annually, why not run the numbers for the small business with subtractors instead.

In which case, I do believe your figures are off. But interested in your recalculations for a different business structure. The “one size fits all” stuff doesn’t fly in the real world, IMHO.

Mataharley you are certainly correct that there are several ways to skin the small biz cat, but I don’t think subs are going to change the story much for Joe the Plumber because I understand there are only two plumbers working at that biz.

Hard to clear 250k no matter how you slice that one in terms of employees or subs. If you subbed the two plumbers I don’t see how it would change the math much. In fact my guess is that the biz in question clears about 100k. But note that the issue here is whether Obama’s tax plans hurt small biz. Even when McCain’s plan helps them more the issues are minor until we start talking about folks pulling in millions. You can make a case that we don’t want to kill the gooses laying the golden eggs, but you can’t make a good case that Joe is hurting with taxation under Obama.

Also tricky to compare the plans because there are many factors in the plans and in taxes. Here is a great summary of a nonpartisan study:

From this it appears that most family run small biz will pay *less than now* under both plans and that McCain will actually be better after about 150k or so. But for the reasons you note tax mileage is going to vary a lot. depending on biz, family, and tax factors.

Curt and Craig it’s hard to discuss things in the way you want to do it – basically just tossing insults and talking point buzzwords around. Are you adults? Don’t try to put me in a box. I think for myself and have enormous contempt for traditional thinking by Democrats and Republicans – both parties fall back on ideology rather than common sense. The issues facing the country are complex and global. We need a new party based on the principles of the founders of the country which were *small government*, low taxes, a small military, personal accountability, and entrepreneurial capitalism. Neither McCain nor Obama stand for enough of that to make me happy. Both are honorable, flawed guys. If you read their histories and statements rather than just parrot BS Limbaugh talking points it might help you to understand both of them better.

My husband does all the taxes and finances in our house, I usually avoid anything related to this like the plague. My question is, does the expiration of the Bush tax cuts, plus the Obama tax increase change the picture as it’s being discussed here? has the tax cut expiraton already been figured into the increase?

I’m just curious, and now maybe you might understand why it is agreed in our home that I don’t do finances?

Hey Joe

The problem with the WaPo simple graphs is it doesn’t take into account Obama’s refund credits. I suggest you check out this article from CNS, encapsulating the Obama tax plan – in conjunction with these refunds. This is why McCain is out there saying Obama’s plan will end up cutting checks to those who pay no taxes. This info was derived from an analysis by the Tax Policy Center. (I’m still trying to find the original study by the TPC… I’m a “source” kinda girl…)

The heart of Obama’s tax cut proposal is in his use of refundable tax credits, which the Center describes as “credits available to eligible households even if they have no income tax liability” — in short, refunds available even to those who don’t pay taxes. These refunds are claimed on tax returns and are paid to all taxpayers who qualify for them, regardless of whether they owe taxes or not. These refunds have the ability of reducing a taxpayer’s liability below zero, meaning they can get a refund without actually paying taxes.

In real numbers, 60.7 million people who have no tax burden at all will receive refunds from Obama, while only 33.8 million people, who pay approximately 40 percent of income taxes, will get any kind of refund. Twenty percent of taxpayers, who pay 87.5 percent of total income taxes, will actually see after-tax income decline under Obama by nearly two percent, according to the Center.

By using these refunds, Obama is able to claim that he is giving a tax cut to 95 percent of households, although only 62 percent of households pay any income taxes at all. This means that Obama’s tax plan calls for giving money to some households that do not pay taxes, including a plan to make community college “essentially free” and pay 10 percent of the interest on all mortgages.

Now, that said, this is only talking Obama’s income tax plans. Shall we discuss his suggested increase in corporate taxes and it’s effect?

An important note about seniors: Some seniors will be affected indirectly by Obama’s plan to raise corporate taxes. Corporate taxes are expected to depress profits from stocks and dividends, which seniors tend to rely on for retirement income. An analysis from the Tax Policy Center concluded that about a third of seniors would see higher taxes, either because they have high incomes or because of slight increases due to the indirect effect of the corporate tax rate. Overall, seniors would see their federal tax rate go up about 2.5 percent, and that includes steep increases to the top brackets.

How about the individual’s payroll taxes?

The payroll tax claim is a little different. Obama proposes a $1,000 tax credit on income for working families ($500 for singles), to offset payroll taxes. So for most people, Obama is actually lowering payroll taxes.

But he has said he would raise payroll taxes on people making higher incomes of about $250,000 in order to keep Social Security solvent. Currently, only the first $97,500 of a person’s income is taxable. So for higher incomes, Obama would raise payroll taxes.

Also see Newsbusters take on the payroll taxes here.

It turns out that even the claim that “only” 3% are “affected” may also be a bogus.

I estimate, based on reviewing 2005 IRS data (Table 1.4, downloadable at this link) and 2006 Census Bureau information (Table AVG1, downloadable at this link), that the percentage of those “affected” (i.e., socked with a ginormous tax increase) is more correctly seen as about 2%.

There appear to be just about 3.0 million taxpayers who would be have to pay additional payroll taxes under Obama’s proposal (some interpolation and inflation estimating was necessary to come up with this number). That 3 million would be:
– 3.3% of all taxable tax returns (90.6 million).
– 2.2% of all tax returns filed (134.4 million).
– 2.0% of all tax returns filed, plus an estimated 15 million (midpoint of the 10-20 million estimate here) legal nonfilers (149.4 million).
– 2.6% of all households, per the Census Bureau (114.4 million).

Then there’s the CNN article that pretty much states neither candidate’s plans look wonderful… but is slightly worse under Obama.

Which gets to the heart of the debate between Obama and McCain. Both say they want to help small-business owners succeed because they generate most of the new jobs in this country. Yet neither tax platform addresses the immediate needs of most small employers.

Cutting corporate tax rates not only doesn’t help most entrepreneurs, few of whom pay such taxes, but also puts them at a disadvantage – especially under Obama’s plan, which would cut rates on big corporations while raising the top marginal income tax rates that many elite entrepreneurs do pay. McCain vows to cut more taxes than Obama would. But what would be the cost in new federal borrowing and higher interest rates – a major concern of business owners?

All that said. what happens when you add Obama’s grandiose plans for $150bil in energy, his education plans that are also big bucks, and sundry other plans? These are not factored in, and they will result in tax increases for funding.

Then, of course, all of these are based on numbers *after* Obama increases taxes by sunsetting the Bush tax cuts.

Gonna be a heckuva ride the next four years under either POTUS. But I suspect the lows will be even “lower” under Obama. He’s one expensive guy. And as both the CAC and his own campaign proves, he surely can spend other people’s money with mediocre results.

For the CAC, his educational experiment showed no difference for the $50K he put into the schools… but his political friends benefited from the $100K they received to get into office.

For his campaign? He’s outspent McCain 3 or 4 to one… yet the spread is still within margin. For that much bucks, the guy should be double digits ahead. McCain’s kept this a close race on a pittance of Obama’s budget.

Forgot to mention, Joe… INRE your comment:

Mataharley you are certainly correct that there are several ways to skin the small biz cat, but I don’t think subs are going to change the story much for Joe the Plumber because I understand there are only two plumbers working at that biz.

The whole idea of any “Joe” is to take a business and grow it. And without going into specifics on that “Joe”, the size of his town and the potential for his plumbing business to expand with additional contracts and employees, we come into the major flaw of Obama’s “spread the wealth” tax plan.

And that is few will have ambition to get large enough to pass that tax threshhold. In other words, you have now quashed the drive for excellence. Why get so big you end up paying thru the nose? Much easier to stay moderate, stay mediocre.

Hang… under a President Obama, I’m looking forward to semi-retiring for my annual income, reducing my income tax threshhold, not paying anything, and just collecting a tax credit refund check annually on everyone else’s nickel. Why work my butt off if I can live with less and get paid for doing nothing but exising in Obama’nation?

See the problem? The drive for becoming one of America’s wealthy will go down the tubes. The wealthy will become less wealthy to support low and middle income classes. The low and middle income classes will be content with homogenous mediocrity. And class warfare in American will have succeeded… until, of course, the money to support the nation runs out… just as it’s done in other socialized countries.

Last one (I think) in the “other, not mentioned” tax repercussions under a President Obama. Social Security taxes… from the USNews biz division back in June

Barack Obama just found an extra $600 billion or so (over 10 years). He said today in Columbus, Ohio, that he wants to lift the income cap on Social Security taxes for folks making $250,000 a year or more.


Social Security guru Andrew Biggs over at the American Enterprise Institute has a run on a computer model a plan similar to Obama’s. (Biggs extended the “donut hole” only to earners making up to $200,000.) Here is what he found (bold is mine):

Given the scale of the tax rate increases—a 12.4 percentage point increase in tax rates for the highest earners—it is striking how little Obama’s plan would accomplish. The GEMINI model estimates that Obama’s plan eliminates only around 43 percent of Social Security’s 75-year shortfall. Even after the plan’s implementation, Social Security would face a 75-year shortfall of around 1.12 percent of payroll. . . .

[The] Obama plan’s modest improvements to Social Security’s financing come at a steep cost: top marginal federal tax rates inclusive of federal income, Social Security, and Medicare taxes would increase from 37.9 percent to 50.3 percent… . Put another way, the Obama proposal is equivalent to repealing the Bush administration’s reductions in top income tax rates from 39.6 percent to 35 percent almost three times over.

Also in the article, the top 10 states affected by Obama’s income cap proposal…

Missy for most taxpayers both McCain and Obama’s plans will result in tax decreases and both plans will push our national deficit much higher. In typical fashion neither party is addressing the elephant in the room – our 10 trillion national debt and approx 500 billion national deficits.

Where McCain’s plan give a decrease to everybody it focuses mostly on very high income for the bigger tax cuts. Obama will cream folks who make millions and increase taxes on most who make over 250k (that is taxable income, NOT total revenues).

Most families will see a higher tax break under Obama’s plan,though in my opinion it is not enough of a difference to base your vote on. As MataHarley notes in her excellent post above you also would look at how these plans / leadership / ideology will affect the overall US economy during the coming recession.

MataHarley I need to review your post again, but I think I agree with much of what you have written, esp. the idea that neither plan is solving our key fiscal challenges which are national debt and national deficit. To do that we’ll need cuts more massive than either party would ever support (simply put a balanced budget after massive entitlement and military cuts because those items are the huge items in the national budget. Cutting pork is great but trivial compared to the big items).

Am I right that McCain’s plan will add more to the deficit in the short term? His total tax cut is greater but weighted almost entirely to the high bracket folks, which is the reason I started to research the Joe the Plumber stuff – it didn’t smell right to me to say regular folks would be better off under McCain’s plan in the short term – even successful small businesses. I think you believe that McCain’s plans will bring the economy back faster. I see that as a different issue and too complex to know because the Govt bailout issues are so massive.

I don’t get the “sharing the wealth” talking point. McCain and Obama plans both redistribute wealth using progressive taxation (ie wealthier pay higher percent and MUCH higher taxes), so both are basically “socialist” by that definition. You could say McCain is ‘less of a socialist” than Obama, but you can’t call one a socialist and the other not – that’s nonsensical since both say they want to keep progressive taxation

This is why I want a strong, independent party run by fiscally sharp folks with business backgrounds and global sensibilities.

Joe, I am concerned about both Obama and McCain’s economic plans. Truth be told, neither one hits me as correct. But Obama’s resonates as far more dangerous a tact, with significantly more dependence upon the government for implementation… and for doing little to create wealth. His plans seem to rely upon existing wealth (which will be decreasing), and leveling out the population’s income for a liveable wage quest.

I’m quite disappointed you don’t see the “spread the wealth” talking point. Obama has, to me, been the overt socialist since day one. Hang, the guy makes Hillary look downright conservative. If you don’t see it in his educational plan (founded on the social and economic justice theology of Rosa Luxemberg and Bill Ayers), or in his tax plans, then I’m surprised you don’t see it in his life compadres of affirmative action socialists.

Even if you refuse to recognize his alliances with those of socialist designs, just how do you ignore his New Party/DSA alliances? His work with ACORN in not only instigating lawsuits against banks for “redlining”, but also for defending ACORN in the voter registration fraudulent practices? What you don’t know about Obama because he refuses to supply historic records, you can see quite plainly in his associates and associations. And you can most certainly apply those beliefs of his associates to his policy talking points.

You strike me as a thinking man, savvy to business. Yet you also seem willing to give the benefit of the doubt, and wear blinders to what is… if not a smoking gun… a still warm one when it comes to what we *do* know of his visions for a improved US.

I’m with you on the “strong, independent party run by fiscally sharp folks with business backgrounds and global sensibilities”. Then again, where did Bernanke, Paulson, Raines, and others come from that helped create this perfect storm of a mess that led to this economic debacle?

I watched a truly fascinating panel on Charlie Rose last night. It had Meg Whitman (eBay) as well as other global economic specialists. Many were conservative, many were pushing the “green” bit as the solution. (ie John Doerr) And altho I agree incorporating “green” energy solutions plays a large part of our economic future, I also have to say that such a future is expensive for the consumer. And again, this “feel good cure” will benefit the top tier, and not the end user. Al Gore is just beside himself that his personal ventures may suffer for the overall economy… and is in overtime mode.

Truth be told, the man I was most impressed with was India’s Anand G. Mahindra… Vice Chairman and Managing Director of Mahindra Group, graduated from Harvard College, Cambridge, Massachusetts, Magna cum Laude (High Honours). He said something that stayed with me… that for India, and much apart from the rest of the region, their heads were with John McCain, but their hearts were with Obama. His reasoning was functional/economic vs philosophical/perception. India greatly benefited from Dubya, the younger. They are quite happy with the Bush economic policies in India.

Obama, he said, offered the US an opportunity to show the world that even in the wake of 911, we could take such a bold move to show the world we had put prejudice and preconceived notions behind us and elect such a controversial figure. It had absolutely nothing to do with Obama and his policies, mind you. Just the “presentation” of Obama.

Point is, the visual of Obama is historic. The soaring rhetoric warms the cockles. Problem is the words and deeds do not match. And the proposals and policies are a severe abandon from the US capitalist structure. Even Mahindra said that if an Obama presidency led to a reversal of the Bush economic approach, it would be a presentation that would be a massive failure economically… and politically.

I am not willing to trade a feel good presentation to the global community for the “head” policies of an ol’ white guy who will actually be less damaging. And notice… I do say less damaging. At this point int his election, I am on “damage control” status.

INRE your deficit comment. I’d like to say that the deficit is a big thing with me as well. And you may think McCain is worse in the short term, but I don’t. Because I genuinely believe McCain will “freeze” spending.. which needs to be done while the spending is closely scrutinized and purged of waste. Congress also needs to learn to live on a budget, and be confined to what the feds are there for.

By contrast, Obama has yet to find a program he doesn’t find integral. He’s proposed halting, capping or slowing *nothing* in his spending. The man is very good at spending other people’s money, as we’ve seen in CAC and his own campaign. And all with mediocre results. Considering his 4:1 donations, the man should not be in a tight race for this election. McCain’s not far behind on a 1/3 of the cash.

With Obama, I believe his deficits for his side programs of energy and education (among others) will drive the dollar value down… thereby the price of oil up. He has no plans to truly replace oil. And his problem is he doesn’t recognize that the US commodities exports are founded in petroleum based products. It ain’t just fuel and heating oil. It’s production.

This country will never be independent of oil unless we want to produce nothing but a smile and tourists as an export.

Thanks for the very interesting and thoughtful comments MataHarley – you must be from…. Oregon?! I also caught that Charlie Rose and it was a very interesting group. If McCain had picked Meg Whitman I might have supported him as that ticket would have given me a level of economic confidence I don’t have with Obama or McCain and would have shown he was in this for the economy. I’m not convinced that is true at all – he’s not the same John McCain as he was in 2000, when he should have been … GW.

I wish I had more time to respond but in a nutshell:

Yes, very worried about economy and you make an excellent point that the “smartest biz guys in the room” have been in charge for years yet we have a potential catastrophe looming. I won’t even pretend to say I understand all the factors involved even though I used to think I was pretty savvy in economics and business. I do give Warren Buffett a lot of credit for being..right … and super rich…. and his endorsement of Obama meant a lot to me.

No, not worried about Obama or Biden. As a very strong believer in entrepreneurial capitalism who has had a LOT of arguments over the years with socialist folks, I can assure you Obama is no socialist by any reasonable definition of that term. As I pointed out above you can make a mild case that anybody who wants any taxes for any reason is a socialist, and more so for progressive taxation, but that is misleading in the same way we’ve come to associate the term “conservative” with things like big military and pro life. Labels are no longer of much use except as marketing devices. There are a fair number of people like me who are fiscally more conservative than McCain and would slash Govt budgets because Govt usually wastes our taxes, but support an Obama-style global vision. In this election and for me personally a Global perspective trumps the specifics of the economic plans. I would prefer to see Obama with more of McCain’s tax cutting sensibilities if McCain had not “rich loaded” his plan so much but as written I don’t understand how either plan will help the country much. Both seem to ignore the deficit in favor of giving away money.

I don’t like labels at all, and I’d encourage you to actually read Obama rather than read those who hate and despise him. You can’t go to Daily KOS or watch Olbermann and understand what McCain thinks and you can’t read critiques of Ayers or Corsi and hope to get any understanding about Obama. I really want to be emphatic on the point that the character attacks are very questionable. I’ve spent many hours tracking down a lot of stuff friends who hate Obama sent to me and I only became more convinced that Obama is very much what he says he is. I did find a lot of almost numbingly misleading stuff from people like Corsi, Martin, and Berg, who now has a press release stating Obama “admits he was born in Kenya”. This is garbage designed to mislead the very gullible.

If I’m not back for awhile don’t take it personally … nice to meet you!