Risk Rap

Rapping About a World at Risk

Meet Joe the Plumber

The GOP has injected another populist caricature into the election campaign. Joe the Plumber joins Hockey Moms and Joe Six Pack as the holy trinity on whose rocks the Republican Party will make its stand.

Joe the Plumber from the swing state Ohio sounds like he could be from Jersey. Joe the Plumber said he wants to buy his bosses plumbing business. But Joe the Plumber doesn’t like Obama’s tax plan because he thinks it will force him to pay higher taxes on a $250,000 salary he hopes to earn someday. I don’t know of many plumbers that are making $250K a year. Many small business owners don’t have to take a salary or pay themselves a distribution from the profits of the business if it pushes them into a higher tax bracket. Joe the Plumber should see an accountant.

But that is not the point. Joe the Plumber wants to start a business and hire Joe Six Pack. Joe Six Pack needs a job so he can make car payments on the Chrysler minivan that his Hockey Mom wife drives to get the kids to practice.

Every four years The GOP seems to rediscover the common folk with a slew of populist rhetoric to run cover for their trickle down economics. The trickle down economics that have been practiced for the past 8 years have led to the abysmal economic mess we are now fighting to overcome.

McCain’s disingenuous socialist insinuation of wealth redistribution belies the fact that generous unfunded tax cuts, entitlement giveaways and unbridled corporate welfare have all been hallmarks of the recent GOP legacy. A kind of socialism for the rich.

This legacy has contributed to the broken down minivan in Ms. Hockey Mom’s driveway and the inability to afford the kids participation in the way too expensive hockey league. All this has left Joe Six Pack crying in his beer over his lost job and his resetting mortgage rate that he won’t be able to make payments on.

Obama’s tax plan will not discourage small business capital formation. On the contrary, Obama’s plan will reduce the tax burden on the middle class so they can hire Joe the Plumber to replace the old hot water heater and repair the leaky pipes under the kitchen sink. Duct tape just ain’t doing it anymore.

So with all the extra income in the hands of Joe Six Pack and Ms. Hockey Mom they will have the money to spend with Joe the Plumber and he will finally be able to buy that business from his boss.

Joe the Plumber should really be in the tank for Obama. Another GOP administration may forever flush away the possibility of Joe the Plumber’s dream of owning his own business.

Music Video: Plumbing Song, Weird Al Yankovich

Risk: small business taxation, capital formation, tax policy

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October 16, 2008 Posted by | elections, McCain, Obama, Palin, politics, pop, republicans | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Foggy Mountian Breakdown

It was all going along as planned. Paulson’s 3 page USS TARP was carefully constructed and sitting in dry dock. His exemplary stewardship and all out PR campaign had all oars in the water and the crew rowed with great athletic precision. America’s Chief Fear monger “W” was recruited to address the nation to explain the complicated nuances of mortgage backed securities and issue a stern warning about the cataclysmic consequences if we failed to act positively on TARPs adoption.

The free marketeers of Wall Street had skillfully wheeled their Trojan Horse into the heart of the capitol city of the free world. Disguised as a kind of Noah’s Ark to float the ship of state through the pending economic tsunami; the ships Captain Henry Paulson, tour director W and the able crew of yeoman Democrats implored their countrymen to quickly board the Ark to avoid the pending economic apocalypse. The cost of steerage passage, a cool $700 BN. A small price to pay for a tiny slice of economic subsistence pie.

The deal that was done became undone as the Maverick from Arizona boldly sailed into town on an apolitical hydrofoil boasting a “Nation First” bumper sticker and presumingly powered only by fuel efficient populist sentiment. He sat at the feet of his party leader the BIG W, smiled for the camera, fingered his pen, said little and did much less. He took great risk to accomplish this feat. He sat on the right side of the table, exposing the left side of his melanoma scarred face to the frenzied cameras of the political paparazzi. McCain did not care that his least flattering side was exposed. It was truly a moment of profiles in courage.

This morning WHOO HOO WAMU was seized by the FDIC and sold to JP Morgan. TPG a very clever private equity firm lost a big chunk of its investors capital (see Risk Rap post 4/9/08). Even the fat cats are taking a haircut on this one. Yes the banking crisis is real and the rising tide of economic duress needs drastic and immediate attention.

There is a great reluctance by my countrymen to sheepishly accept this deal. I think they believe in the principles of free market capitalism that has been religiously preached to them by the very same leaders who are now resorting to the impressment of their tax dollars to force them aboard this life raft. I hope we understand the price we may pay for the courage of our convictions.

For now the TARP deal, like the stasis in our government and the frozen debt markets are broke and lost in a foggy mountain breakdown. Watch this space for periodic progress reports as we chart the fantastic odyssey of our rudderless ship of state.

Music: Earl Scruggs and Friends, Foggy Mountain Breakdown

Risk: depression, recession

September 26, 2008 Posted by | elections, McCain, Paulson, politics, TARP | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hillary Drops the G

Hill Knockin Down a Few

Yesterday’s WNYC’s Brian Lehrer Show had a piece on Cam-pain-in in the Keystone State.

Andrea Bernstein noted that Clinton was tryin to sound like Obama. They ran an audio of a speech she made in Wilkes-Barre. I think she sounded more like a Republic-in.

Ms. Clinton thinks droppin the G will give her some down home street cred with white workin folks like me.

Perhaps she should take a page from W’s playbook a speak only in incomplete sentences. Maybe that will produce the breakthrough with voters that she needs to overtake Obama.

File under: political, language, cultural, class risk

You Tube Video: John Lennon, Working Class Hero

April 5, 2008 Posted by | class, culture, politics | , , , , | Leave a comment