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Letters to NRO: Joe the Plumber is not unique [Mark the Trucker, Joe the Lawyer]
NRO | October 16, 2008 | letters to Kathryn Jean Lopez

Posted on 10/17/2008 5:22:42 AM PDT by Tolik

Punishing the successful and spreading the wealth goes against the grain in America. As dirt diggers discovered, Joe the Plumber is not wealthy himself. He owes taxes to IRS, and has enough problems. But he has that normal (at least it used to be) American dream to become successful and have a small business of his own one day. He understands basic economics and how jobs and wealth are created better than Obama and the Left that know only how to distribute wealth around. See these telling testaments from NRO readers - Joe the Plumber is not alone.

Joe the Plumber and Mark the Trucker   [Kathryn Jean Lopez]

From a proud American wife who gets it because she lives it:

Hello Kathryn,

I always like to read what you write, particularly when you stand for life.  Good take on Joe.  I am married to Mark the Trucker.  He owns a small transportation business (approx 15 employees).  He started with one truck in 1978.  I'm pretty proud of him.  He was also my high school sweetheart and still a hunk.  

Anyway, the point I want to make is that small businesses are usually S-Corps or LLCs, and that means what they cannot deduct as business expenses is taxed as personal income.  That puts most small business in a higher tax bracket than the one they would qualify for if only their real earnings were taxed.  Also, this predicament disqualifies their children from receiving financial aid for college—we are "wealthy" by FAFSA standards.  

In the transport industry an owner has to keep sinking-fund, so to speak.  Engines blow up, accidents happen, and the price of replacing an 18 wheel tractor or a specialty trailer is very expensive.  My husband is taxed a higher rate on income that is really not income.  He puts a large percentage of it back into his business, as I know most entrepreneurs  do.  We live on a modest percentage of what appears "wealth" to Senator Obama.  

My husband's employees understand that.  They see how we live and they respect their boss because he pays a fair wage and does provide health care and contribute to their 401ks.  He's not a Fat Cat or Robber Baron. 

They recognize every time they pass through the toll booth and the EZ Pass registers that their boss is being taxed.  They see more taxes when they fuel his rigs.  They know that Interstate permits are more taxes.  He pays Unemployment and Workman's Comp, as well as half of their Social Security taxes.  They recognize this.

And Kathryn they all vote Republican.  

My gut feeling is that Joe works for a man like my husband, and wants to buy the business.  Joe is like my husband and his employees.  They work hard and dream bigger.  There are a lot of Joes and Marks out here and they all don't own businesses yet, but they dream.  They know less government is best government.  I sent that Joe clip to my husband as soon as it became available on Youtube.  He has passed it around.  Thanks for reading this far.

Good morning, Kathryn

I’m Joe the Lawyer.

After dropping out of high school and spending 4 years in the USMC (1963- 1967), I met the woman of my dreams, married, borrowed $500 to buy our first house, did college and law school at night while working full time, had 3 children, educated all of my kids through college (total cost $340,000…none tax deductible), started my own law practice with $25,000 of borrowed funds 32 years ago, have consistently employed between 2 and 11 employees the entire time, never missed a payroll and have earned about 175,000 to $250,000 per year over the last 10 years.

The American Dream, right?

Well, not having worked for a big corporation or a state or federal govt entity, I’ve had only my own savings to accumulate in a 401K for my retirement. I’m now 64, have a mortgage of about $750K (refinanced for college expenses) and can’t retire on my 401K (especially now with the recent market downturn) unless I sell my house (if I can find someone who will buy it) and severely reduce my standard of living.

So, my strategy (assuming my health continues good) is to work until I’m 70, earn as much as I can (this year I’ve worked an average of 60 to 65 hours per week), pay down my mortgage as much as possible and save, save, save. Sure, I’ll make more that $250,000 this year but I’m working the equivalent of 2 jobs.

Not sure where I went wrong here. Started with nothing; married 40 years; 3 kids grown, educated and off my payroll; and can’t retire until earliest age 70. Obama wants to tax me some more, further extending my working life.

$250,000 per year seems like a lot until you look behind the number. Thinking of letting my 6 person staff go, keeping only my secretary and cutting back on all expenses. Then, even if my taxes go up, I ought to be able to save more.

Of course, 6 jobs will be lost.

Eric the Lawyer Makes the Case for McCain   [Kathryn Jean Lopez]

Another e-mail:

I really wish McCain would emphasize the portability of his health care plan. Under his plan, if you lose your job you still get the tax break for your health insurance. An example from my own life: in 1999 I worked for a law firm that offered a very comprehensive health care plan. Nice while it lasted, but when I got downsized I found I couldn't afford the expensive monthly premiums to keep the coverage through COBRA. Fortunately we didn't have any disqualifying conditions, because my next employer offered no benefits whatsoever and I had to get my own policy with a high deductible so I could afford the premiums. Didn't much like having to pay my own premiums with after-tax income, but that turned out to be a great blessing when I decided to open my own office because I already had my own policy. If my employer had been paying for it, I probably couldn't have afforded the expensive premiums, and by then probably couldn't have gotten a new policy.
Maybe McCain should just have Joe and Mark the Trucker and Eric the Lawyer campaign with Sarah the Governor for the next three weeks. They sound like they can make the sale.

10/16 02:05 PM



TOPICS: Editorial; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: joetheplumber

1 posted on 10/17/2008 5:22:43 AM PDT by Tolik
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To: Lando Lincoln; neverdem; quidnunc; .cnI redruM; Valin; King Prout; SJackson; dennisw; ...

take a look!

This ping list is not author-specific for articles I'd like to share. Some for the perfect moral clarity, some for provocative thoughts; or simply interesting articles I'd hate to miss myself. (I don't have to agree with the author all 100% to feel the need to share an article.) I will try not to abuse the ping list and not to annoy you too much, but on some days there is more of the good stuff that is worthy of attention. You can see the list of articles I pinged to lately  on  my page.
You are welcome in or out, just freepmail me (and note which PING list you are talking about). Besides this one, I keep 2 separate PING lists for my favorite authors Victor Davis Hanson and Orson Scott Card.  

2 posted on 10/17/2008 5:23:59 AM PDT by Tolik (2008: Maverick/Barracuda vs. Messiah/Mouth or The Hero vs. the Zero and "Our mama beats your Obama")
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To: Tolik

Notice how the media elites spent more time “vetting” Joe the Plumber than they did Barack the Obama?

3 posted on 10/17/2008 5:34:45 AM PDT by I_hate_politicians
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To: I_hate_politicians

Nathan Sharansky’s test for a country to be free is when anybody can get to a public square and say what he wants about the political rulers and what-have-you without a fear of persecution and intimidation. OK, to be clear, I am not making a case that we live in unfree country. My point is that the Left behaves in the way typical of tyrannical regimes when people are afraid to speak up because they do know they will be intimidated.

Joe the Plumber is being made an example of now: keep quiet or we will dig up stuff on you and publicly humilate you. People are not perfect. Everybody have something they don’t want to make public. So stay quiet or else...

4 posted on 10/17/2008 5:51:38 AM PDT by Tolik (2008: Maverick/Barracuda vs. Messiah/Mouth or The Hero vs. the Zero and "Our mama beats your Obama")
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To: Tolik

MERCAT the lawyer. I entered law school at the age of 27, had a child nine months later, finished on time... worked briefly for legal aid and then the feds and then started my own practice. That was over 30 years ago. I recently cut my staff and now only employ one part time contract person who is also a stay at home mom of two and in a paralegal program. My son (the one I had in law school) also works part time for me occasionally. I have in the past been part of a three lawyer firm employing up to five people. I now do most of my own work and have learned to fax file and scan. I always have done my own documents since I type at 80 words a minute. So if Obama wins, I’ll continue to cut back on my practice and if I do cut my standard of living, my husband and I might be able to retire in 10 years. He’s 66, a full time landlord with residential rentals. That’s a huge LOL since the value of that portfolio has dropped and of course we can’t sell it because of the capital gains tax and the huge requirements re radon, mold, disclosures etc. and of course, I won’t even look at my IRAs. Anyway, I can’t really complain. No heavy lifting, pleasant working companions, oh, and yes, we still have mortgages but 15 year which will be paid off in 10. So unless O totally f*cks up we’re probably okay and be able to retire just before we die.

5 posted on 10/17/2008 5:57:17 AM PDT by Mercat
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To: Mercat
O and his friends don't understand that there are workaday practicing attorneys out her like us and that we have much more in common with Joe the Plumber than we do with the Harvard Law crowd.

Big picture, there's something in the air - Americans are wising up that being “elite” (however you define it - money, fame, power, influence) isn't all that it's cracked up to be. You end up compromising your integrity, your finances, your sense of self, simply to keep up with the Joneses. And at then end, it's a pretty empty existence.

Joe and Sarah represent a powerful message that the elites like Peggy Noonan don't understand and never will - It's OK to pursue personal excellence on our own terms. All we ask is that government keep things safe and sane and then get the heck out of our way.

Not everyone can be a billionaire or a reality TV star, but everyone can reach their personal goals if they are set reasonably and thoughtfully and are followed upon with the thrift and work necessary to make them a reality. Look at Sarah. Look at Todd. Look at Joe. Look at my Grandfather who was a small business owner for 40 plus years. Look at any of the millions of others who succeed on their own terms and feel good about it.

The question is whether we can get our friends and neighbors to clue into this sense before November 4. Channeled and directed, this is a powerful force than can get this country back on track.

O will do everything in his power to smother this movement in the cradle before it gains force and overwhelms him and his friends once and for all. He and his spinners and his friends in the media tried to take out Sarah, they tried yesterday to take out Joe, and they would have no qualms about doing the same thing to any of us if we “got out of line.”

But we are many, we are strong, and we are saying NO to their vision of America.

(Sorry for the rant - Peggy Noonan really got under my skin...)

6 posted on 10/17/2008 6:20:53 AM PDT by Loyolas Mattman ("Oh, God Love Ya'...Stand Up for Chuck!!!" - Joe Biden)
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To: Tolik
Obama frequently talks about helping people get higher education. I would like you to meet, Ashlee just graduated college. Ashlee didn't necessarily apply herself in high school, so she didn't qualify for scholarships, I'm a single mom working two jobs with 4 kids, so I was unable to provide the money for college, however Ashlee was able to go to college. She went to college on student loans. She has just recently finished college with a Bachelor of Science degree in health information management, upon finishing school, she took a job for 9.00 per hour, she has recently been given a substantial increase. Ashlee has 10,000 dollars in loans to pay back. The great thing here is that, she doesn't complain about her plight, she knows that with her education and hard work she will obtain the American dream, but not because someone gave it to her, yes she did get loans, but she's paying them back and at 23 she's on her way to a great future. Personal responsibility and accountable go a long way. I think she appreciates her accomplishments more because she worked for them herself.
7 posted on 10/17/2008 6:25:58 AM PDT by rzn_republicans ((raising republicans in liberal schools))
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To: rzn_republicans; Mercat; Loyolas Mattman

Mercat, Loyolas Mattman and rzn_republicans, Thank you for your personal stories.

Spreading the wealth give-me-ism (properly labeled as socialist welfare state) versus building your American Dream your way with your hard work. Can the contrast and choice in these elections be more striking?

8 posted on 10/17/2008 6:36:11 AM PDT by Tolik (2008: Maverick/Barracuda vs. Messiah/Mouth or The Hero vs. the Zero and "Our mama beats your Obama")
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To: Tolik

You also may want to share your stories with this guy:
Christian Ferry, McCain-Palin Deputy Campaign Manager

9 posted on 10/17/2008 10:05:31 AM PDT by gimme1ibertee ('s all up to you,girlfriend!)
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To: Tolik

Thanks for the ping.

10 posted on 10/17/2008 1:24:35 PM PDT by GOPJ (Theresa Collins...national coordinator of "Inmates to Support Barack Obama," ...)
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