Rick Sanchez Gets Dirty With Joe the Plumber
RICK SANCHEZ: Probably nobody in this campaign has been referred to more by his acronym or slash name than "Joe the Plumber." His real name is Joe Wurzelbacher. And he's good enough to join us now to bring us up to date on what's going on with them -- Joe, are you there?
JOE WURZELBACHER, "JOE THE PLUMBER": Oh, hey, I'm doing good. How about yourself today?
SANCHEZ: Good. Good.
Man, we -- I've got to tell you, just to be completely open about this, so many people have been writing to me today saying why are you talking to this guy, why are you talking to this guy?
So here's your chance to answer a lot of the questions that I've been getting from a lot of them. And I'll start with just probably the most curious question that a lot of people have.
Why would you be so upset about people who clear more than $250,000 a year having to pay taxes when you're nowhere near that category? Is that a fair question? Can you give me answer?
WURZELBACHER: I mean, you know, they're not going to like the answer. Because it's called principles, you know? I mean that's what it comes down to to me. I don't want someone else's money. You know, let me make my money. And, you know, what if you get the opportunity to make that kind of money and all of a sudden the government is going to take it from you?
You know, I'm not riding on anybody else's back I can't do on my own.
SANCHEZ: But you are not in a situation where you're going to be able to make that money any time soon. You're nowhere near being able to buy a business that clears more than $250,000 a year, because that would take millions and millions of dollars, right?
WURZELBACHER: So it's OK to go out and rob a bank then?
I don't understand the logic. That doesn't make any sense, brother. I mean, it's called principles. And I'm not trying to be, you know, disrespectful toward you, it's just principles. That money belongs to them. It doesn't belong to me. I didn't work for it.
SANCHEZ: No. No disrespect taken. The point is that we do have a system in the United States where somebody has to pay for fixing the roads, for the infrastructure, for the police department, for the firefighters who come out and put out the fire in your house. So who, if not those who make a lot of money should be paying those taxes?
WURZELBACHER: Well, you know, you're getting only one part of that. What's the second part is you're forgetting -- or the person that wants to know the answer to the question is, you know, the people who don't work or don't work very much and, you know, support those fine establishments you're talking about as far as our roads and fire departments, police departments, aren't paying into it at all. And so they're going to actually get more or they're going to get money back from my hard work? That doesn't seem right. I mean, taxes are necessary.
SANCHEZ: So wait.
WURZELBACHER: They're not (INAUDIBLE) --
SANCHEZ: So wait. Am I hearing you correct?
Did you just say you want people who make less than $250 to be taxed more and people who make over $250 to be taxed less? You think it's a little -- it's a skew now and you want to fix it?
WURZELBACHER: No. Nowhere in what I just said did I say anything about people who make less than $250,000 should pay more. I didn't say that at all.
SANCHEZ: So you would -- well, because you just said that they are not taxed. They don't pay their share. So, guys, the money has got to come from somewhere, Joe?
WURZELBACHER: Oh, yes. But does it have to -- you know, take in more from someone else that's worked just -- you know, harder in their lifetime or gotten better breaks is not right. I mean, you can -- you can disagree with it, but the fact is right is right and wrong is wrong. I mean, it's not an opinion here. I mean you don't take money away from someone who's worked more or had, you know, better breaks and give it to other people.
SANCHEZ: Wait. But under --
WURZELBACHER: It's just (INAUDIBLE) --
SANCHEZ: But under this system, you're the one who's going to benefit. Look, I looked it up on CNN.com/money. The average plumber makes --
WURZELBACHER: Oh, yes, but they're (INAUDIBLE) --
SANCHEZ: The average plumber makes $37,000 a year. So I don't know how much you make, but --
WURZELBACHER: I make more than that, but I'm not in the six figures. I work damn hard for my money.
WARNING! WARNING! Stand by for a sleaze attack by Rick Sanchez:
SANCHEZ: Well, it's just kind of hard to figure out. I mean, you don't have a license. You're not registered as a plumber. You owe back taxes of $1,200. A hospital is asking you -- St. Charles Hospital -- Mercy Hospital is asking you for $1,100 --
WURZELBACHER: No, hold it. Hold on. You know, hold on one second, brother. I've got a question for you.
SANCHEZ: Go ahead.
WURZELBACHER: Why are you vetting me out and you haven't done this with Obama? You're sitting here asking me all these insane questions. I asked a question of a public -- an elected public official --
WURZELBACHER: And you're going to ask me these questions?
SANCHEZ: No, no, no, no, no. Joe --
WURZELBACHER: This is kind of ridiculous, man.
SANCHEZ: Hey, Joe. You've gone on the air and endorsed John McCain. You are no longer --
SANCHEZ: You are no longer just Joe private person. You have thrust yourself into this campaign...
WURZELBACHER: Wait a minute. Hold on --
SANCHEZ: -- by holding news conferences, talking to reporters and endorsing a candidate.
WURZELBACHER: (INAUDIBLE) myself.
SANCHEZ: You have to be asked the tough questions, my friend. That's the way it works in this country.
WURZELBACHER: Well, you know, ask good questions. Like why don't you ask what I'm going to do for -- you know, what I'm going to do now?And, you know, I have --
SANCHEZ: Well, the good question is this, why is a guy who's not even licensed as a plumber, is nowhere near making $250,000 a year to clear, asking why it is that people who make that kind of money could be taxed? It just --
WURZELBACHER: All right, brother, you know --
SANCHEZ: I can --
SANCHEZ: I guess that the question is --
WURZELBACHER: I'll answer the question. I'll answer it.
WURZELBACHER: You know, I've answered it once. I'll answer it one more time.
WURZELBACHER: And you're not going to understand it. Again, it's called principles. Look it up and then you'll figure it out, man.
SANCHEZ: And your principles say that somebody who makes a lot of money should not be taxed?
WURZELBACHER: No. Look up principles and read the definition. Get it right out of "Webster's" and you'll understand it maybe. It's talking about taking someone's money and taxing them at a harder rate because they make more than you, they've worked harder than you? I mean, you know, cry me a river, man.
SANCHEZ: Well, some people would argue that actually the way the system is right now, that those people over $250,000 -- in fact, that seems to be Obama's argument -- aren't paying their fair share like they were, perhaps, in the 1960s and that it's imbalanced. I suppose you would disagree with that?
WURZELBACHER: A flat tax. Well, what about a flat tax? You know, would you be for that? Would that be fairer for you?
SANCHEZ: Yes, as a matter of fact I've done stories on flat taxes. I think it's a remarkable idea.
WURZELBACHER: I'm all about a flat tax. Obama doesn't want to go there. He actually -- if you look at the rest of my interview with that...
SANCHEZ: But --
WURZELBACHER: -- (INAUDIBLE) interview, but as far as he was in my yard, I asked him about a flat tax.
SANCHEZ: But neither does McCain.
SANCHEZ: So why are you bringing that up?
WURZELBACHER: Well, because, you're bringing up stuff that's insignificant to the question that I asked. I mean you're -- you want to talk about my license. I've come out on the record and said yes, I don't have a license in this state.
SANCHEZ: All right.
WURZELBACHER: You got me.
SANCHEZ: Joe -- hey, Joe?
SANCHEZ: I'll tell you what. It's a good discussion. We're getting some different perspectives that you've shared with our viewers. And I appreciate you taking the time to talk to us today.
WURZELBACHER: See you later.
SANCHEZ: All right, man. God bless.
It looks like Rick Sanchez will air your dirty laundry if he finds he is losing an argument. And I do hope Rick takes Joe the Plumber's advice and look up "principle" in the dictionary.