nullBarack Obama discovers a leak under his sink and calls Joe the Plumber to come and fix it.

Joe drives to Obama’s house, which is in a very nice neighborhood and where it’s clear that all the residents make more than $250,000 per year.

Joe arrives and takes his tools into the house. He’s shown the room that contains the leaky pipe under the sink. Joe figures it’s an easy job that will take less than ten minutes.

Obama is standing near the door and asks Joe how much it will cost.

Joe immediately says, “$9,500.”

“$9,500?” Obama replies stunned. “But you said it’s an easy job!”

“Yeah, but what I do is charge a lot more to my clients who make more than $250,000 per year so I can fix the plumbing of everybody who makes less than that for free,” responds Joe. “It’s always been my philosophy. As a matter of fact, I lobbied government to pass this philosophy as law, and it did pass this year. It’s now known as ‘Joe’s Fair Plumbing Act of 2008.’ Surprised you haven’t heard of it, Senator.”

In spite of that, Obama tells Joe there’s no way he’s paying that much for a small job like a slightly leaky pipe, so Joe leaves.

Obama spends the next hour flipping through the phone book looking for another plumber, but he finds that all other plumbing businesses listed have gone out of business. Not wanting to pay Joe’s price, Obama does nothing.

The leak under Obama’s sink goes unattended for the next several days.

A week later the leak is so bad that the Obama has had to put a bucket under the sink. The bucket fills up quickly and has to be emptied every hour, and there’s a risk that the room will flood, so Obama calls Joe and pleads with him to return.

Joe goes back to Obama’s house, looks at the leaky pipe, and says “Let’s see—this will cost you about $21,000.”

Obama quickly fires back, “A few days ago you told me it would cost $9,500!”

Joe explains, “Well, because of the ‘Joe’s Fair Plumbing Act,’ a lot of rich people are learning how to fix their own plumbing, so there are fewer of you paying for all the free plumbing I’m doing for the people who make less than $250,000. As a result, the rate I have to charge my wealthy paying customers goes up every day.. Not only that, but for some reason the demand for plumbing work from the group of people who get it for free has skyrocketed. This has put a lot of my fellow plumbers out of business, and frankly, I’m hurting now too—thanks to greedy people like you who won’t pay their fair share.”

Obama tries to straighten out Joe. “Of course you’re hurting! Don’t you get it? If all the rich people learn how to do their own plumbing and you refuse to charge the poorer people for your services, what will you do for money?”

Joe immediately replies, “Run for president, apparently.”

Comments

One Response to “Obama’s Plumbing: A Lesson in ‘Spread the Wealth’”

  1. On Bar Managers, Economics, and the Role of Government at Saved By a Towel on October 22nd, 2008 11:39 am

    [...] let’s do a quick summary. Increase taxes on the producing parts of the economy. Give tax breaks and refundable [...]

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.