Keith R. Schmitz
It is sad to see the McCain commercial where what we take to be average people declaring Spartacus-like -- "I'm Joe the Plumber."
The McCain campaign has been trying to get average Joes whipped up with this notion that money is being given to people who haven't worked for it. I had to cover this smear while canvassing this weekend in Whitefish Bay.
It doesn't take much to imagine the implication about who "those people" are. You got to admire our friends in the GOP. They find a way. Wish they were as resourceful in running an effective government, but hey, that's where their heads are at so you can't expect much better.
Never mind the notion that getting more money to the people who will spend it -- the middle class -- will help the economy. Wasn't that what those economic stimulus checks from the Bush administration were all about? Spreading the wealth in the 50's and the 60's is what built the middle class.
Besides, if you check the comparison charts, the Obama plan will lay out something like an additional $500 in tax breaks over McCain for the lowest income group. If you are into cooking like I am that's not spreading - that's more like sprinkling.
But those of us who have brains -- including Republicans -- know that inherent in government moving around the economic china shop there is always going to be redistribution of the wealth.
We have to look no further than the government bailout of the Wall Street investment businesses. Turns out the support we tax payers are giving to the people who ran our financial car into the ditch will be higher bonuses thanks to money from us Average Joes and future generations of Average Joe Jrs.
OK class. What do we call that?
Redistribution of the wealth.
Very galling of course are the insipid lectures from the moral paragons on the right about personal responsibility. Here there are no lessons in personal responsibility.
What will be the stimuli to let those know that if they commit the same mindless, greedy behavior that caused the current mess that there will be punishment? This is not to score cheap points on cheap shot talk show hosts. It will turn out the rest of us Average Joes are living with the consequences big time in terms of what looks to be massive job losses and other punches to the pocketbook.
When it comes to politicking, Democrats never know when they will say what will be twisted to be the wrong thing. They are always navigating a chasm for which there is no way to determine when they will tumble into it, thanks to the fact that the GOP has nothing to talk about other than smears and distortions of Democratic speeches -- with the gleeful help of the "liberal media". This is what they bring to political discourse.
Barack in his repartee with Sam the Plumber should have avoided the term "spread the wealth," because it isn't quite correct.
Since we have been sheared in the past (though some of you will chime in on how much you like it), he actually should have said re-spreading the wealth.
Ours have been spread around. Time to spread it back into our packets.