CNBC Host: Joe the Plumber 'Would be Huge' Any Other Year
It may not have been "huge" when CNBC's Joe Kernen said it but the dude has been on practically every news station by now.
Kernen told chief Washington correspondent John Harwood that the "Joe the plumber" story "would be huge" and even a "bombshell," in any other election year. Kernen said voters "don't care" because they are buying into Sen. Obama's assertion that the Bush tax policies have led to the financial crisis.
"Obviously not everyone out there knows how to connect the dots between the [financial crisis] and tax policy. For some reason the Bush tax policies are being cited by Obama as the reason that we're in this position right now, again and again and again," said "Squawk Box" co-host Kernen Oct. 16.
But Kernen didn't stop there:
Now, normally in a campaign if you, if someone admits Robin Hood economics -take from the rich, give to the poor - ‘Yeah, I admit it, that's what I want to do.' Most people are smart enough to see that that doesn't work, that dividing up a smaller pie doesn't help the economic situation ... This Joe the plumber story would be huge in any other year. People don't care this year because it's, ‘Well, look where we are right now because of those tax policies.'
He explained later, "It doesn't have to do with tax [policy]," but with "fear and greed and bubbles and everything else and mortgages that were rammed down people's throats."
Regarding Obama's tax plan, Kernen is skeptical.
On Oct. 13's "Squawk Box" Kernen told Harwood that he "hoped" Obama would come out with a different tax plan, "because this one, this one is not going to help the investor class and the investor class, obviously, that wealth disparity is not quite what it was a year ago."
"Some of the Wall Street guys that are supporting Obama, they all tell me the same thing: He's got to stay here right now to win the election. He's smart, he's going to move to the center like Clinton did and this tax proposal, he's not really going to do any of these things. That's all the way they rationalize this plan, which is really more welfare than tax cuts," Kernen said.