OK, I give in. I have steadfastly avoided ANY references to Joe the Plumber, the Ohio bald guy that everyone is talking about. But today in the AlterNet daily peek e-mail was a link that made me change my mind. The link led to an article called "Enough With the Spartacus-With-a-Plunger Already"posted by Warren Street (http://www.theygaveusarepublic.com) I am a big fan of colorful, erudite language, so I really want to call attention to this image. Spartacus with a plunger. I like it.
Secondly, Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman (how weird yet cool does that sound?) also had a column today mentioning JtheP, called "The Real Plumbers of Ohio ." The strength of Krugman's arguement is not in his language, but in his numbers. Numbers like:
"...The average Ohio plumber’s income in that 2007 report was only 15.5 percent higher than in the 2000 report, not enough to keep up with the 17.7 percent rise in consumer prices in the Midwest. As Ohio plumbers went, so went the nation: median household income, adjusted for inflation, was lower in 2007 than it had been in 2000. "
And more numbers that show we were better off in 2000 than in 2007:
"According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, in 2007 only 45 percent of companies with fewer than 10 employees offered health benefits, down from 57 percent in 2000."
In the end, though, Krugman makes his point with words, plain and simple words:
But the typical plumber would pay lower, not higher, taxes under an Obama administration, and would have a much better chance of getting health insurance.
I don’t want to suggest that everyone would be better off under the Obama tax plan. Joe the plumber would almost certainly be better off, but Richie the hedge fund manager would take a serious hit.
But that’s the point. Whatever today’s G.O.P. is, it isn’t the party of working Americans.