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Saturday, October 22, 2016

Congratulations, Samuel “Joe” Wurzelbacher — better known as “Joe the Plumber.”

The non-Joe, non-plumber announced on his Facebook page that he has acquired a job with the Chrysler Group LLC, which requires membership in the United Automobile Workers labor union.

“In order to work for Chrysler, you are required to join the union, in this case UAW. There’s no choice – it’s a union shop – the employees voted to have it that way and in America that’s the way it is,” he wrote.

Wurzelbacher became nationally known during the 2008 presidential debate when GOP nominee John McCain cited how “the Plumber” had confronted President Obama about his plan to end tax breaks for those in the top tax bracket. He later said that McCain had “screwed up his life.”

Being a Tea Party celebrity generally requires that you don’t have an actual job or, if you do, that you quit it as soon as possible — while endlessly chastising the jobless (blatant hypocrisy is another requirement). But after his congressional bid for Ohio’s 9th district floundered, with incumbent Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) winning more than 70 percent of the vote, he was eager for an opportunity.

Of course, Chrysler would likely not exist without the government bridge loans that Mitt Romney actively opposed. The former Republican nominee for president argued that private creditors should have stepped in for a traditional bankruptcy, though General Motors’ chief executive officer insisted no such capital existed.

The auto rescue of both General Motors and Chrysler was begun by President George W. Bush. On the day President Obama took office, Fiat announced it wanted to buy Chrysler.

Obama’s auto industry task force recommended the acquisition, which was necessary for the company’s survival, and kept the automaker funded until the sale was complete.

Altogether, the auto rescue saved $248 billion in personal income and saved millions jobs, like the one “Joe” “the Plumber” just started.

Photo: Joe the Plumber’s Facebook page

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Copyright 2014 The National Memo
  • daniel bostdorf

    Joe the Plumber shoild pick up the phone, call the White House, and thank President Obama.

    It is crucial that we get a clearly defined set of facts to back up the ramifications of the rescue of GM and Chrysler.

    Best source is from the Treasury department.

    TARP Programs: Auto Industry

    From the Financial satbility report:

    “Program Overview – Five Year Update

    When President Obama took office, America’s automobile industry was on the brink of collapse. The financial crisis had nearly frozen access to credit for vehicle loans and sales had plunged by 40 percent. Faced with that sober reality, the Obama Administration moved quickly to protect the broader economy by stabilizing the industry. These actions saved more than one million American jobs, according to independent estimates.

    The automobile industry is now profitable and creating jobs at the fastest pace in 15 years. In fact, since June 2009, when GM and Chrysler emerged from bankruptcy, more than 340,000 jobs have been created.

    Treasury exited its investment in Chrysler in 2011, recovering 90 percent of the taxpayer funds invested six years ahead of schedule. In December 2013, Treasury exited its investment in GM, recouping a total of $39.7 billion from its original GM investment when it sold all of its remaining shares of GM common stock. In January 2014, Treasury sold 410,000 shares of Ally common stock in a private offering for proceeds of approximately $3.0 billion. This followed a repayment by Ally of $5.9 billion in November 2013. As of February 2014, Treasury holds roughly 37 percent of common stock in the company, and has recovered approximately $15.3 billion, or 89 percent of the $17.2 billion investment provided to Ally during the financial crisis. Treasury will continue to work with Ally to further wind down this investment through either a public offering, private sale of its common shares, or other alternatives.

    While the auto industry rescue may end up as a net cost to the government, the cost of a disorderly liquidation to the families and businesses across the country that rely on the auto industry would have been far higher. The government’s actions not only saved GM and Chrysler but they saved many businesses up and down the supply. They even helped Ford, as its CEO has acknowledged.

    While there is still more to work to be done, the decision to rescue the American auto industry helped the economy recover from the financial crisis and enabled the auto industry to come roaring back.

    Read more key points here:

    • Lynda Groom

      I doubt that good old Joe has either the stones or the grey matter to understand the reality of the situation. Can you smell the irony?

      • daniel bostdorf

        AGREE!! I also smell hypocrite …

  • Independent1

    If so much as one right-winger comes onto this blog and falsely claims that the auto bailout cost America’s taxpayers 10-12 billion dollars, I’m going to pitch a fit. The auto bailout “cost” the American taxpayers zilch, nada, nothing!! Suggesting such a thing is nothing but a clear example of absolute ignorance.
    The fact that the U.S. Treasury decided to cash in their stock before GM’s stock price rose to the point where it would have been at the break-even point with the original INVESTMENT!! Was based most likely on the Treasury’s realization that the auto bailout investment had already returned an astounding RETURN ON INVESTMENT!!
    The resulting 10 billion or so not recovered SAVED the American taxpayers billions upon billions of dollars;
    The bailout arguably kept 1.5 million Americans from losing their jobs saving billions upon billions in unemployment benefits that did not have to be paid.
    The U.S. Treasury has received over 80 billion in tax revenues since the bailout from auto-industry related companies and employees that would have been lost had the auto-industry actually gone bankrupt (which it would have without the government’s infused monies).
    The bailout prevented Mitt Romney and his cronies from buying out GM and Chrysler, destroying all the union jobs, pocketing all the pension monies, shipping millions of American jobs to China while dumping all the pension liabilities onto the American taxpayers – which is exactly what he and his cronies did to the auto industry’s largest small parts maker Delphi where they destroyed Delphi and shipped all its 25,000 union jobs to China.
    The bailout arguably kept America from falling into another GOP created depression and the billions upon billions of tax dollars that such an event would have resulted in costing the American taxpayer as thousands of more companies went belly up and millions more American workers lost their jobs.
    And the bailout has resulted in a thriving auto industry which is actually now making greater profits than at any time since the 1990s, far more than it ever did during Bush Jr’s disasterous 8 years in office; the auto industry remains as America’s largest manufacturing sector that for who knows how many years to come will continue putting untold billions upon billions of dollars into the U.S. treasury in the form of taxes; billions of tax dollars that will stay in America instead of to some foreign countries – all because of the auto bailout that Obama insisted on following through with.

    • daniel bostdorf


    • johninPCFL

      You are ignoring the fact that the first auto bailout by GWB was made with no condition that the money ever be repaid (and it wasn’t) and that the interest earned on the second round by Obama (that not only required repayment, but set the terms for the interest and timing) was what made the entire effort close to financially breaking even.

      • Independent1

        I’m not ignoring any such thing. Of the 609B in monies that were paid out related to TARP/AutoBailout/Wallstreet Bailout actually 621B have been paid back or earned in the form of interest to more than cover all the monies the government loaned out (and that includes the 17B of TARP money GWB gave the auto industry in December 2009).

        All the Tax revenues received and monies saved because of of saved jobs that I pointed out earlier, etc., are not included in those calculations. There was actually 12.5B in auto bailout money still outstanding but that was more than covered by interest earned on other monies that had been paid back. The net effect is that the tax payers are out NADA related to TARP and the other bailouts; but ahead on the saved jobs and all the monies that weren’t paid out because millions of jobs weren’t lost and America didn’t fall into another depression.

        If you doubt what I’m saying, bring up this link that is keeping track and is up to date as of 2/13/2014:

  • Hilarious, but not all that surprising. Time after time, the people who screamed the loudest against the evils of government intervention have always been the very first in line for handouts after they’ve failed to stop them from being given.

    • ralphkr

      I do believe that you are talking about my mother’s family who constantly complained about Roosevelt (I was a teenager before I learned that FDR’s real name was not “That G– D–n Commie Roosevelt”). While they were griping about Roosevelt and his Communist ways they were busy collecting from WPA & CCC & their town (all of whom seemed to also be rock-solid Republicans) collected new schools, courthouse, jail, bridge, and some paved roads. They did not turn down food that my Dad brought them from his farm even though my Dad was also a G– D–n Democrat.

      My dad stopped being a Republican when the Republican State Banks were all shut down during Hoover’s administration and they gave my Dad a note for $46,000. Shortly later they gave dad a deed to some worthless property about 100 miles from our farm and said that now they only owed dad $23,000. My father traded that land for a Pinto Pony and a nice saddle (we probably had the only $23,000 Pinto in the USA). After WW2 the Republican legislature declared that all unsecured debts owed by the state over 5 years were null & void and then bragged that due to astute Republican stewardship our state was debt free.

  • Robert Roberto

    Some plumbers earn extra money when they do jobs in the afternoons or weekends because it’s cash money and they don’t report it to the IRS. It may not seem fair, but remember many on SSD or SSI do the same thing and get away with it because disability payments sometimes isn’t enough to make it, if you have a large family.

    • DurdyDawg

      Well, there’s a great leap between making extra money as a plumber and making extra money digging ditches or what ever menial minimum wage job that no one wants except the desperate and needy. The plumber could bring in an extra five bills doing work under the table.. How much do you think a welfare recipient could make? And don’t include the disabled as their scrutinized all the time and know they could lose everything if they did more than Walmart greeter (which walmart reports).

  • scott seibert

    lol…Joe.. I’ll bet he’s not complaining when he gets a raise every year thanks tot he union or the benefits he gets when he retires thanks to the union. Or the scheduled breaks to insure safety thanks to unions. lol.. joe the plumber… a tea party douche/hypocrite.

  • JDavidS

    Joe the Plumber has always had a job. Now that he’s become an auto worker his former job is vacant. Now the village is looking for a new idiot.

  • charles king

    I only want the American People to do is some (Critical Thinking) about What? ever the subject is or are. I am eighty-four (84) years young Why? because I think young. I ask myself Why? are people with MONIES want to destroy the People’s Democracy. Who? the hell are these pieces of S***s, WHERE? did they come from and WHY? are they so keen on making the People think different about their Democracy. A red flag should pop-up When? you hear this kind of talk. Your VOTE is the best defence against any of these cowards. Democracy works, do not let MONIES get in the way of your Democracy its the best thing in this World, so keep the faith. Thank You are the magic words in my book. I Love You All. Keep critical thinking about What? Plutocracy VS Democracy this is serious stuff in small town USA . MR> C. E. KING

  • Justin Napolitano

    I hope they don’t ask him to do any plumbing.
    Is he qualified to do anything but sweep the floors?

  • DurdyDawg

    Hypocrisy in the making.. Declare Obama and the Dems evil manipulations then profit from that same accusation.. Typical conservative BS.