‘Spread the Wealth Around’ Comment Comes Back to Haunt Obama
October 15, 2008 - 7:34 AMSen. Barack Obama's recent comments to a plumber named Joe are making some Americans nervous about Obama's wealth-redistribution tendencies.
“Your tax plan’s going to tax me more,” the plumber named Joe Wurzelbacher told Obama at a rally in Ohio on Sunday.
Wurzelbacher told the Democratic presidential candidate he’s about to buy a company that will put him above the $250,000 income level. Obama has said he will raise taxes on people making a minimum of $250,000 – and that includes small businesses that file taxes as individuals.
“It’s not that I want to punish your success, I just want to make sure that everybody who is behind you, that they’ve got a chance at success too,” Obama told the plumber.
“My attitude is that if the economy’s good for folks from the bottom up, it’s going be good for everybody. If you’ve got a plumbing business, you’re gonna be better off if you’ve got a whole bunch of customers who can afford to hire you, and right now everybody’s so pinched that business is bad for everybody, and I think when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody."
The latter comment about spreading the wealth around has been picked up by the Republican presidential candidate John McCain and other critics, who say Obama sounds like a socialist.
Obama’s discussion with Wurzelbacher went into much more detail. Obama told the plumber that as a small business owner, he’d get a tax cut for his healthcare costs. And he said the plumber’s taxes would stay the same for amounts below $250,000. “It is true that from 250 up…for that additional amount, you’d go from 36 to 39 percent, which is what it was under Bill Clinton,” Obama said.
Obama also said that “95 percent of small businesses make less than 250 ($250,000).”
And he told the plumber that over the last 15 years, when Joe wasn’t making $250,000, “you would have been given a tax cut from me, so you’d actually have more money, which means you would have saved more, which means you would have gotten to the point where you could build your small business quicker than under the current tax code.”
It’s like Robin Hood, the Wurzelbacher told Fox News’s Neil Cavuto on Tuesday. Wurzelbacher said he’s the kind of person who lives paycheck to paycheck – and “I just resent the government or Barack Obama’s plan to take more away from me.”
Sen. McCain worked Obama’s “spread the wealth around” phrase into a speech he delivered on Tuesday.
“This weekend, a plumber concerned that Senator Obama was going to raise his taxes asked him directly about his plan,” McCain told a rally in Blue Bell, Pa. “The response was telling. Senator Obama explained to him that he was going to raise his taxes to quote ‘spread the wealth around.’ This explains how Senator Obama can promise an income tax cut for millions who aren't even paying income taxes right now.
“My friends, my plan isn't intended to force small businesses to cut jobs to pay higher taxes so we can ‘spread the wealth around.’ My plan is intended to create jobs and increase the wealth of all Americans,” McCain said.
McCain says he would reduce business tax rates to boost job-creation.
See Earlier Story:
Obama’s Tax Plan Based on ‘Neighborliness’ (Sept. 9, 2008)