Deception and Deceit in Presidential Politics: Joe the Plumber

Probably the worst trait of any Presidential campaign in the USA is the perceived need by the candidates to distort the truth – to lie to the American people – in order, at least in the view of the principals – to garner support. Do the politicians think we cannot handle the truth or do they feel that the truth is not sexy enough or do they think we’re too stupid to understand the truth and/or to see through their distortions?

Whatever the case may be, the debate between John McCain and Barack Obama two days ago was more of the same. Today, we will shine the light of truth on one of the lies that came out of that debate.

McCain makes the first aggressive move of the evening, bringing up a conversation Obama had with an Ohio plumber. McCain and the right have seized onto this part of the conversation: “I think when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.”

But here’s the entire context of the exchange, per NBC/NJ’s Athena Jones:

JOE THE PLUMBER

The article gives a full account of the conversationbetween Obama and Joe the plumber.

It  seems that McCain is misrepresenting the facts of Obama’s proposed tax hike. Iwould attribute this to senility or Alzheimer’s, given McCain’s age, but all of the medical information about McCain seems to indicate that he is quite healthy and shows no signs of the mental impairments that plague others his age who do not have the benefits of the high-quality free health care afforded US Senators. So, the only other two explanations I can think of for his misrepresentations are stupidity or dishonesty. I’ll let you decidefor youselves, but I lean toward the dishonesty explanation. After all, he is a politician and has been one for a very long time.

Here’s a more objective, and therefore more truthful assessment of the effects of Obama’s proposed tax hike:

The fact is, millions will not be hit by a tax hike. An estimated 335,000 small business owners – just 2 percent of the total – would be impacted by Obama’s tax increase

According to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, Obama’s tax hikes apply only when personal income, not the value of the business, rises above $250,000.

“What goes on your income tax form is your profit, not your gross receipts,” said Eric Toder of the Tax Policy Center.

Reality Checking “Joe The Plumber”
CBS Evening News: Now Famous Ohio Man Owes Back-Taxes; Was Called By Campaign Officials

I want to applaud Senator Obama for being upfront about the need for a tax hike. How else are we going to pay for the Wall Steet bailout, the loans to the automobile industry, Social Security benefits, the continued war in Iraq/Afganistan and/or the promised universal health care? From what I’ve been able to glean from McCain’s campaign rhetoric, I hope his wife handles the family budget, because what he is proposing for his Presidency will put future generations of Americans into debt well into the 22nd century and beyond. Better a tax hike now than chaining our descendants to an incredible national debt. We made this mess, we should pay to fix it!

One last piece of advice to Seantor McCain: As a Repiblican running for Preident, you relly need to distance yourself from plumbers with dubious reputations. Remember the Watergate plumbers and Richard Nixon?

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3 thoughts on “Deception and Deceit in Presidential Politics: Joe the Plumber”

  1. a quote from your page-
    But here’s the entire context of the exchange, per NBC/NJ’s Athena Jones:

    JOE THE PLUMBER

    The article gives a full account of the conversationbetween Obama and Joe the plumber.

    It seems that McCain is misrepresenting the facts of Obama’s proposed tax hike. Iwould attribute this to senility or Alzheimer’s, given McCain’s age, but all of the medical information about McCain seems to indicate that he is quite healthy and shows no signs of the mental impairments that plague others his age who do not have the benefits of the high-quality free health care afforded US Senators. So, the only other two explanations I can think of for his misrepresentations are stupidity or dishonesty. I’ll let you decidefor youselves, but I lean toward the dishonesty explanation.

    This appears to be opinion of writer, not an “entire context of exchange”. So, are you wanting to give facts and truth, or tell what should be believed based on the fact that is what you believe. The truth has been muddled, your opinions have been made clear.

  2. In reply to pbnett:

    First, I used that article because it was the only one that gave a pretty good account of the exchange between Obama and Joe the plmber. I was not able to find an actual transcript of the conversation. This was the best I could come up with.

    Second, any news article these days is more commentary than reporting. Even the most objective-loking article is biased to some degree by the prejudices of the writer and/or his employer.It nay be an obvious and clearly defined opinion or it may be as subtle as the writer’s choice of words.

    Third, and most importantly, facts are what we make them. Therre are no cold, hard facts, obly the spin we put on them. For a more detailed exposition of my thoughts on this subject, although in a somewhat different context, I suggest you read my article, “What is Truth” from my other blog, The Threshing Floor, Here’s the link to that article: http://jbotscharow.com/?p=470

    Finally, to all of you who have read this post the last two days, thank you for making this the most-read artcile Ihave written! I hope you will find other articles here in the future worthy of your attention. Thank you agian. You made my week.

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