Hhhhhhhh….

Politico reports

Fresh off his stint as a war correspondent in Gaza, Joe the Plumber is now doing political strategy with Republicans.

When GOP congressional aides gather Tuesday morning for a meeting of the Conservative Working Group, Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher – more commonly known as Joe the Plumber — will be their featured guest. This group is an organization of conservative Capitol Hill staffers who meet regularly to chart GOP strategy for the week.

When will the House Republicans have officially jumped the shark?

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Good As Gold

So yesterday I posted expressing my bewilderment that Sam “Joe” the Plumber had listed The Theory of Money and Credit by Ludwig von Mises as a book recommendation, noting allegedly himself that, “it brought monetary theory into the mainstream of economic analysis. It is important reading for these troubled times.” Not having read the work itself, I assumed Sam “Joe”‘s emphasis on monetary policy was a just a subtle dig at the expansionary fiscal policy now being pushed by most economists, but it’s worth pointing out that Mises was an ardent supporter of the gold standard and general government hater of the highest order.

Ludwig von Mises, Money and Credit: p. 416 ff: [T]he gold standard appears as an indispensible element of the body of constitutional guarantees that make the system of representative government function…. What the foes of the gold standard are asking for is… to intensify very considerably the already-prevailing upward trend of prices and wages…. Such a policy of radical inflationism is, of course, extremely popular…. How pale is the art of sorcerers, witches, and conjurors when compared with that of the government’s treasury department! The government, professors tell us, ‘can raise all the money it needs by printing it'[1]. Taxes for revenue, announced a chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, are ‘obsolete'[2]. How wonderful!… Eventually… the cleverly-concocted plans of inflation collapse. Whatever compliant government economists may have said, inflationism is not a monetary policy that can be considered as an alternative to a sound-money policy….

Important reading for troubled times indeed.

Joe the Merchandiser

I really shouldn’t be directing what limited audience I have anywhere else, much less to Sam “Joe” the Plumber‘s new website, but it’s always worth seeing the many blessings American has to offer. As far as I can tell Joe is mostly fighting to cash in America’s fascination with political dilettantes to pay off his back taxes, but he insists his movement is all about “We the People.” Anyway, though Joe is a stalwart combatant against government corruption, he’s not above accepting the $14.95 Joe the Yearly Membership Fee which grants Joe fans access to some of the perks of Joe Membership (no word on Joe Mama!). Anyway, here’s some of what you get.

Joe the Forum: Here registered members can share ideas about how to stop government corruption, establish community benefits and much more. We will also be looking to build strategic alliances with other organizations.

Wait — stopping government and establishing community benefits? Sounds pretty socialist…or at least a little Joe the Community Organizer-y. Off message.

Joe the Blogger: Another benefit to registered members with be a monthly subscription to Joe’s blog, where he can share the latest on the fight for preserving Americas freedoms.

First of all, who charges for a blog? Tres declasse. Second of all, if you’re focus is preserving the America’s freedoms, it might behoove you to draw as wide an audience as possible and not seem like a you’re trying to cash in on your 15 minutes before you have to get your real plumber’s license.

And of course…Joe the Shop, where you can pre-order Joe’s book Fighting for the American Dream.


Awkward…

UPDATE: It seems that 4,000 of the 6,000 people at this rally were bused in school children.

Joe the C.P.A.

Contrary to a previous report, Joe the Plumber does not actually make over $250,000, and so under Barack Obama’s tax plan, would actually be the beneficiary of a tax cut. Here’s his reasoning for opposing Obama’s tax plan:

In fact, the plumber told Katie Couric last night that he’s actually in a bracket that would get a tax cut, not a tax hike, under Obama’s plan; but he hopes to move up.

Is Joe the Plumber making the argument that the prospect of a higher tax rate would disincentive making more money? I mean, I know he doesn’t always pay his taxes, but he does realize that you are taxed at marginal rates under the American tax code right?

Yes, Really

Marc Ambinder, obviously in reference to my last post, asks:

Really?

We’ve all been reduced to mining the blood relations and voting history of Joe the Plumber?

Is the election really that boring again?

Really?

Look, if John McCain is going to hoist Joe Wurzelbacher as the apotheosis of Americana it’s worth taking a look at what John McCain envisions an iconic American to be. In this case, it’s a “blue collar” worker apparently making over $250,000 in profit, perhaps illegally, doesn’t pay all of his taxes, and despite not paying his taxes, still has the temerity to whine that the government is taking his money.

As long as the McCain campaign continues to rely almost exclusively on symbolism to earn votes, it’s important to analyze just what those symbols mean. After all, what else is the purpose of identity politics?

Joe the Lawbreaker

Apparently, the crowd at the McCain rally in Downington, PA was Joe smitten today, eschewing the usual incantations of “Kill the Mooslim!” “Drill, Baby, Drill” for the fresher “Joe! Joe! Joe!”

At first, the references to “Joe the Plumber” struck me as a disingenuous way for John McCain to relate to average middle class voters. At second glance, Joe does not disappoint. Here are some facts about Joe the Plumber.