I am Joe The Plumber

Well actually I was Mike the assistant plumber at one point in my sophomore year of high school. The neighbor two doors down was a plumbing contractor and I asked him if he needed a helper. For a few months the job dominated my weekends and some afternoons. It was a fun job for a kid. I was mainly a fetcher. I watched and he would tell me he needed a crescent wrench or metal strapping and I fetched it from the truck.

One after school job took us to East Palo Alto. The job was installing a water heater, a contract job for Sears to deliver and install the water heater. On this job I was told to stay outside and watch the truck. At the time East Palo Alto was the crime center of the Bay Area, Oakland had nothing on EPA in the early 70’s.

I quit the job when on the hottest day in the history of San Jose California my boss Frank dropped me off at a client’s home with only a shovel and told me to dig a trench from the house to the street. Thirty inches deep and one foot across. He was charging the customer $1,400 to replace a water main.

The ground was hard pan, it was 111 degrees and I was making just below minimum at $1.65 an hour. If I made $30 for my part I would have been lucky but I didn’t make it that far.
Within an hour I was physically exhausted. This was before the era of the cell phone. I knocked on the door, the lady of the house opened the door reluctantly and I asked her if I could use the phone. She made a call for me and my mom came and picked me up.

Frank Lynch the plumber never asked me to work for him again and that was alright with me. I had numerous jobs through high school, this one taught me what the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion were and to offer cold drinks to persons working around your yard. I also learned I did not want to clean drains and install water heaters for a living.

I learned that some plumbing contractors make a decent living but they work hard for the money. Frank Lynch quit plumbing and began building custom homes near Lake Anderson. Frank became a millionaire. Frank was a Stanford grad. He had a plan.

Joe ‘The Plumber’ Wurzelbacher had a plan too and he asked Senator Obama how his tax scheme might affect his plans to expand his business. The answer was a buzz kill to the effect he wants to take Joe’s profits and bring those behind him up as well, a redistribution of Joe’s wealth so to speak.

Obama gave Joe an honest answer. Joe knows now that under Obama if he decides to go forward with his plan to expand he faces a heavier tax burden. I suspect Joe will stick with his current job. He will likely firm up his own license and buy his own truck but I suspect he’ll skip the plan to buy 5 trucks and hire a half dozen guys to operate them.

My suggestion for Joe The Plumber is to become Joe The Firefighter. Joe would fit in fine in any fire house I’ve ever visited or lived in. Firefighters will be immune from budget considerations under an Obama regime, the unions will see to that and no one can argue they are needed.


  • Mike says:

    “The blog is first and foremost a recourse”The blog is a resource too ;-)I really do need a proofreader.

  • Mike says:

    Dow, others, I offer you this for consideration.

  • Mike says:

    Dow, we will agree to disagree. Thank you for your work this summer. It was a summer that may never be repeated. I am sorry your R & R was messed up.Thanks for the readership. The blog is first and foremost a recourse for my brothers in the field and affected communities.Be safe.

  • DOW says:

    Well, I can see that you clearly don’t understand Obama’s tax plan, or its implications for Joe or for the country or for all but the richest 5 percent in America (who are not small businessmen, almost none of them; and anyway, according to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, less than 2 percent of individual tax filers who report small business income fall into the top two marginal tax rates whose wealth Obama would “redistribute” — as if, under Republicans, the nation’s wealth hadn’t already been massively redistributed in the other direction; are you really fine with that?) — or for the doughty firefighters who would every man (and woman) jack of them be better off under an Obama Presidency than a McCain Administration, tax-wise and every other-wise.That said, your blog has been bookmarked as one of my first go-to resources during the past fire season in Northern California (during which, here in the hills of the Motherlode, I spent three weeks shrouded in smoke which, even when my wife and I decided to escape for a clear-lunged weekend visit to our son in Flagstaff, hung over western Nevada as far south as Las Vegas). So thanks. And really. Rethink Obama. Every other thoughtful conservative (worthy of the name) is.