The Corner

Wallow in the Mire

Re Joe the Plumber, if I hear another bigshot media correspondent stating that Joe’s feeble earnings mean he would not pay more tax under King Barack the Wealth-Spreader and thus has nothing to complain about, I’ll pull over, rip the radio out, and stomp it into the shoulder, as Frank Sinatra is said to have done the fifth time he heard “Light My Fire” on a road trip from Palm Springs to Los Angeles.

I’m sure those reporters want only the best for poor Joe, but their reassurance is fine only if you’re planning on remaining in the exact same socioeconomic status for all eternity. As I said in my weekend column:

The heart of the American Dream is aspiration. That’s why people came here from all over the world. Back in eastern Europe, the Joe Bidens and Diane Sawyers of the day were telling Joe the Peasant: “Hey, look, man. You’re a peasant in the 19th century, just like your forebears were peasants in the 12th century and your descendants will be peasants in the 26th century. So you’re never gonna be earning 250 groats a year. Don’t worry about it. Leave it to us. We know better.” And Joe the Peasant eventually figured that one day he’d like to be able to afford the Premium Gruel with just a hint of arugula and got on the boat to Ellis Island. Because America is the land where a guy who doesn’t have a 250-grand business today might just have one in five or ten years’ time.

It shouldn’t need an immigrant to point this out. The issue is not the Plumber but the Spreader. 

Mark Steyn is an international bestselling author, a Top 41 recording artist, and a leading Canadian human-rights activist.

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