Thursday, October 16, 2008

Joe the Plumber is a Selfish Prick

Disclaimer: I don't know Joe the Plumber from Joe Blow, but after hearing about him and his tax problems throughout the debate last night, I have to say he is a selfish prick. Here's why:

He claims to be unable to buy a business he has been working for because Obama's tax plan would make it unfeasible. Apparently, the additional 3% tax increase Obama would impose on any of Joe's net business income over $250K per year will make it unprofitable for him to realize his dream of purchasing his own plumbing business.

Where to start? Let me address Joe directly ...

Joe, you do realize that in "purchasing" an existing business, as you are proposing to do, you must first come to terms with the seller on the selling price? If this additonal tax is going to cost you too much of your prospective net profit, you must realize it is also going to cost the seller more of his net profit if he does NOT sell the business. This is, therefore, a negotiable item that both you and the seller must take into consideration in agreeing on a purchase price. You are in the catbird seat here, Joe. If you can't handle this type of negotiation, perhaps you should not be in business for yourself in the first place.

You also realize that once you are a business owner, virtually every expense you incur in your business is tax deductible? It is only the NET business income that is taxable, and under Obama's tax plan, only the net income over $250K will face a tax increase. And just to be extra clear, it is not so much a tax increase as it is allowing the Bush Tax Cut for the Wealthy to sunset as it was intended to do in 2010 regardless of WHO is president. This means income tax rates will return to their pre-Bush level, back to the time when our government was not running such huge deficits because the income tax rates were high enough to cover our national expenses ... kind of like the way you would hope to run your own business, Joe.

Do you realize the "onerous" tax increase you are facing under Obama, the one that is precluding you from purchasing your dream business, is only $1500 for every $50K you net over $250K? Remember the $250K is NET, meaning you have already deducted every possible business expense from your gross revenue and still have over $250K left for yourself. And the Obama tax plan has incentives to help you realize immediate deductions for capital expenses, which will help you further reduce your net taxable business income.

You talked about Obama's tax increase being so high as to not allow you to employ "people". Since you said "people", I assume you are talking about at least 2 people, in addition to yourself. Having run a small business myself for 25-yrs, I know how much it costs to employ "people". It generally runs the employer about 1.5 times the actual salary of the employee. This includes paying the employer share of payroll taxes, state unemployment and workers compensation fund insurance, and any employee benefits you intend to offer such as health insurance and pension. The Obama tax plan has incentives in the form of a tax credit for each new employee you hire, which will help reduce your cost of each employee.

I've estimated that in order for any Obama Tax Plan increase to even begin to impact you, Joe, your prospective business would have to be generating gross sales revenue of around $2million/year. Using industry standard expense figures, your direct costs would be about 70%, or $1.4million, leaving $600K to cover 10% avg overhead expenses (=$200K) and 2 employees at $75K each (=$150K) ... which would leave you a net taxable business income of $250K.

Now here is why I say you are selfish, Joe:

From your complaint, it's obvious that your prospective plumbing business must be grossing a lot more than $2million/yr, therefore netting you a lot more than $250K/yr. Well, Joe, I don't mean to sound like I'm picking on you, but if you're netting more than $250K/yr, maybe you ought to be paying your employees more. Every dollar more you pay them reduces your net taxable income. Think about offering better benefits, like increased matching pension plans and family medical coverage. Whatever benefits you offer your employees will also be available to you, TAX-FREE (unless McCain gets elected because he will make some of those benefits taxable)! Or think about hiring additional employees, which would provide the jobs our country needs to help get our economy back on track. Think about new equipment purchases which will not only help your business to run more efficiently but also help the economy in general (remember every dollar you spend on these business items is a sales dollar to some other business). All these expense items will help you grow your business while reducing your net taxable business income, so you won't be stuck paying the IRS that extra 3% on net income over $250K/yr! While you're at it, get yourself a knowledgeable tax accountant (his fee will be another business expense to help reduce your net taxable income), because you obviously do not have the skills to do this yourself.

And if after all this, your business is still netting more than $250K/yr, then I say, congratulations, Joe! You are a successful business owner and should be proud to pay your fair share of taxes in order to keep the country that made your success possible sound. Now, if you don't care about contributing to keeping our economy sound, if all you care about is Joe, then I say you ARE a selfish prick and your business venture is probably doomed to failure, no matter WHO is president and no matter what their tax plan is.

***** UPDATE: In addition to everything else, Joe the Plumber was probably a republican plant! Read HelenWheels & follow her links today. Looks like "Joe" is related to Charlie Keating. McCain may regret making "Joe" the centerpiece of his debate points. Well as the Church Lady would say, how conveeeenyunt!


Cart said...

Not to mention he is not a plumber - just a handyman at best.

eProf2 said...

DK, you really got into this post with a great analysis. Did you work for the IRS? While I didn't go into the depth of your analysis, I immediately thought that he was just like the CEO's of all these banks and equity companies: GREEDY AS HELL! He should feel great about bringing home more than 250K a year from his yet to be purchased plumbing company.

D.K. Raed said...

I wouldn't let him near my pipes!

I know, I shouldn't stay up late thinking about stuff like that. It just pissed me off the more I thought about it. Of course, I didn't have the information that came out today on Joe's true ID etc. I shouldn't have given him free tax advice. He lives in a house valued at $90K & has a tax lien that he can't pay for a measly $1100 and he's "worried that Obama will raise his taxes"? Oh but hey, he hopes to one day buy a plumbing biz & net over $250K? Good luck talking a bank into loaning that guy start-up capital.

No, I never worked for the IRS, but I represented various small companies I worked for when they were audited. The audits usually ended up with the IRS having to refund tax money & them trying to hire me. You can probably tell I'm in the midst of corporate tax prep now.

Ingrid said...

HAHAHA...I must say, 'we' sure are the veritable citizen journalists vetting all these crazies left right and center!! Ah the tangled web we weave...repeat after me..



enigma4ever said...

omg...great are so funny and I love that you spoke directly to Joe the it...

D.K. Raed said...

yeah, I guess Joe thought he could just slither up to Obama & drop a steaming pile & then leave unnoticed. He must've clogged his own pipes when he saw the media descending on his driveway. But note McCain is still humping poor old Joe, even though Joe is one guy least likely to be affected by any recision of Bush's Tax Cuts for the Wealthy.

I feel kind of slimy for giving Joe free tax advice, especially since it turns out he will probably NEVER be in the position of netting over $250K/yr (sorry to bust your balloon, Joe). But he still is a selfish prick representing all selfish pricks who think paying their fair share of taxes is somehow unpatriotic.

DivaJood said...

Joe the Plumber shares the same last name as somebody who was Charles Keating's son-in-law. There is no empirical proof that he's related.

D.K. Raed said...

Diva, who needs "empirical proof"? Certainly not the repubs who have flung out so much trash talk, now all their supporters are flinging it around like it must be true just cuz everybody is saying it. SIGH ...

Fran said...

Wow DK ~ You sure flushed this topic out.

Oh! and Samuel Joseph, you HAVE to be a licensed plumber to own a plumbing business.

Apparently-- we are telling the plumber to get his shit together!


D.K. Raed said...

It gets worse. Bill Maher says the "plumbing" business "Joe" works for is a septic-tank-cleaning service. Hence, no plumbing license required, they are NOT plumbers! Maher made some joke about a quarter of a million dollars worth of shit.

But hey, I'm not dissing septic tank cleaners. Various houses we've owned were beyond the city sewer districts, so we were on septic tanks. They do need to be pumped out every so often & let me tell you, when that happens, you realize that is a job you will ALWAYS pay someone else to do!

recygirl said...

Here's why else he is selfish: If someone can't think of the well-being of other people, but only of themselves, then they certainly are selfish. Coming from an over $250K income (in a good year, thanks to my husband), I am HAPPY to spread our tax money to those who aren't as fortunate as we are. In any event... Barack Obama is taxing himself and giving out money to people who are on the lower income level. Get rid of the invisible backpack and start thinking about others, Joe!