Thursday, October 16, 2008

Hello. Hope all of you guys are doing okay.

Jamie left town yesterday for San Francisco, so Ryan came over last night, and in the grand tradition of unsupervised Steans men, we went to a buffet. In particular, we went to Buffet Palace, the Chinese super buffet near my house. I have a total love-hate relationship with that place. Last night I managed not to overeat too badly, so it was okay.

After eating, we hung out at my place with all three dogs and watched Ghost Hunters, Destination Truth, and probably some other stuff that I can't really remember.

It was a pretty typical evening for the Steans men.

I DVR'ed the final debate, and watched a good chunk of that after Ryan left. As expected, McCain came out swinging, but I thought Obama did a great job of keeping his composure and calmly responding to allegations and accusations, while simultaneously scoring some points of his own. There was a lot of talk about some guy that McCain called "Joe the Plumber" who Obama supposedly met on the campaign trail, and who was worried about the effect that Obama's economic plan might have upon the Ohio plumbing business that he was trying to establish (McCain's point in bringing this guy up was to hold him out as a typical small businessman who would suffer a negative impact under Obama's tax plan). Well, even when I heard about Joe the Plumber last night his story seemed a little strange. I was immediately asking myself what kind of plumber opens up a shop that immediately makes over $250,000 (which is probably the only way that the Obama tax plan would have a negative impact for him), and I was wondering if I should give up my law license in order to go seek out a career in plumbing. As it turns out, Joe the Plumber (real name Joe Wurzelbacher) doesn't have a plumbing license, and apparently has never been a member of any plumbers union, although he claimed on his Facebook page to have been a member of the local 189 in Columbus. Joe has a couple of liens on his property because of unpaid taxes, and tax analysts have noted that Joe would have to have a taxable income of more than $250,000 a year in order to face a potential tax increase- not merely $250,000 or more in gross receipts. If Joe's income was less than $250,000, he would likely be eligible for a tax cut. On the campaign trail today, VP candidate Joe Biden was quick to point out that very few plumbers make more than $250,000 a year, and that, therefore, the vast majority of plumbers would probably receive a tax cut under Obama (the Bureau of Labor Statistics states that the average salary in 2007 for plumbers and pipefitters was $47,350- Biden claimed on the trail today that 98% of American small businesses make less than $250,00, but I'm not really clear on whether he believed that to be a truly solid statistic).

Anyway, McCain fought harder in this debate, but I don't think he got a victory out of it. I don't think that Americans really care about Ayers, ACORN, or any of the other distractions that he's been trying to turn into major campaign issues, and they didn't really hear any sort of new or convincing details on economic plans from McCain last night. Perhaps, more importantly, they saw one candidate who looked frustrated, angry, and at his wit's end, and another candidate who looked confident, calm, thoughtful, and.... well, presidential.

Anyway, there are still weeks before the election and a lot can happen, but I didn't see last night's debate as changing the momentum.

Well, that's it for now. Maybe more later.


Anonymous said...

The $250,000 bogey man. I like how that class warfare has now clearly drawn the line as to who is rich and who is not. I now look forward to looking down and loathing and being jealous of this $250,000 bastard, whereever and whoever he is.

That is until of course, I start making 250,000. Of course, what is my incentive to really work and bust my tail to get my income up over $249,000 if I know at 250k Uncle Sam is going to stick his big meaty paws in my pocket so I an help subsidize lunches and breakfasts for low income kids, so their parents can save money for their bigscreen t.v. payments, and tined windows on the escalade.


J.S. said...


Anonymous said...

What's your definition of low income kids? My definition is kids whose parents are struggling to make ends meet. Not kids whose parents are struggling to make money for their tv payments and tinted windows on the Escalade.

The only person that I know who drives an Escalade is a good friend of mine and he is multimillionaire. I don't see a lot of Escalades driving around East Austin.

You know what my incentive is to really work and bust my tail despite the fact that I make under $250,000? So I can KEEP my job, pay my mortgage and take care of my family including my 3 year old daughter.

Maybe engineering is more competitive then law, but I know at least 10 very good engineers who lost their jobs in the last three years, and they were making close to or above 6 figures. All of these engineers busted their tails at their job and were still shown the door. They could care less about Uncle Sam's big meaty paws and would gladily pay the tax penalty.


J.S. said...

Really, crying about class warfare (on behalf of the poor, abused people in the top 5% of the population) in the same comment where you claim poor people are only interested in buying TVs and customizing their cars while their kids go hungry? Very nice.