Joe the Plumber: Obama’s Vision Encourages People to 'Sit on Their Butt'

March 1, 2009 - 11:22 PM
Joe the Plumber told CNSNews.com in a video interview that he believes President Obama's vision of big government "encourages people to stay home and sit on their butt."
(CNSNews.com) - Joe Wurzelbacher, who became a phenomenon in last year’s presidential campaign when he engaged then-candidate Barack Obama in an impromptu debate about free enterprise on a sidewalk in his Ohio neighborhood, told CNSNews.com in a video interview that he believes President Obama’s vision of big government “encourages people to stay home and sit on their butt.”
 
Wurzelbacher has just published a book, “Joe the Plumber: Fighting for the American Dream,” co-authored by Thomas Tabback.
 

 
In the book, Wurzelbacher talks about the inspiration he took from his grandfather, and contrasted the character and determination his grandfather displayed during the Depression to the mindset of government dependency that he believed is being bred by the welfare state that President Obama supports.
 
Wurzelbacher’s grandfather, who ran a small business molding concrete, managed to independently support his family during the Depression.
 
When asked about the lessons he had learned from his grandfather’s experience, Wurzelbacher said: “Patience and hard work.  That’s what will see you through.”
 
“He worked throughout the Depression,” Wurzebacher said of his grandfather. “He was able to feed his family because of the reputation that he put out in the community that he was a man to get a job done.  And he did it right. And he took care of their house like it was his own.  So, he didn’t leave messes. He didn’t just half do the job. He did it all the way.  And because of his ethics, he was able to actually put food on the table throughout the Depression.”
 
Wurzelbacher said his father woke up early and worked more than five days a week in order to maintain his independence and support a family.
 
“That is what the American Dream is to me.  And that’s what does make it possible, is hard work,” said Wurzelbacher. “Struggling—you’re going struggle. You are not going to get through this life without struggling. So, I’m not necessarily saying embrace it, but expect it, and when it comes, step up to the job, work hard, get through it, and then enjoy the benefits afterwards.”
 
 “Do you think that this is what Barack Obama and his vision of big government and government dependency puts at risk? The ethic that your grandfather taught you?” Wurzelbacher was asked.
 
“Oh, absolutely,” said Wurzlebacher. “It encourages people to stay home and sit on their butt. You know: Don’t worry about it. We’ll take care of you. Now, that’s what your mom and dad tell you when you’re a child, that’s not what the government tells when you’re a man or woman.”
 
“[T]he government again is encouraging irresponsible behavior,” said Wurzelbacher. 
 
Wurzelbacher appeared on “Online with Terry Jeffrey.” Here is a partial transcript of that appearance:
 
Jeffrey:  In your book you talked about your grandfather who molded concrete as a profession. Tell me about what you learned from your grandfather.
 
Wurzelbacher:  Patience and hard work.  You know, that’s what will see you through. He worked throughout the Depression.  He was able to feed his family because of the reputation that he put out in the community that he was a man to get a job done.  And he did it right. And he took care of their house like it was his own.  So, he didn’t leave messes. He didn’t just half do the job. He did it all the way.  And because of his ethics, he was able to actually put food on the table throughout the Depression.
 
Jeffrey: He was a small businessman?
 
Wurzelbacher: Yes.
 
Jeffrey:  He got up early in the morning?

Wurzelbacher: Um hmm.
 
Jeffrey: Worked hard at least five days a week, maybe sometimes more?
 
Wurzelbacher:  More like seven.
 
Jeffrey: And he was absolutely dedicated to doing what he did to the best of his ability? 
 
Wurzelbacher: For his family.
 
Jeffrey: And in your mind is that--what your grandfather gave to you by example, and by the things he taught you--is that at the heart of what the American Dream is all about? Is that what makes the American Dream possible?
 
Wurzelbacher:  That is what the American Dream is to me.  And that’s what does make it possible, is hard work. Struggling—you’re going struggle. You are not going to get through this life without struggling. So, I’m not necessarily saying embrace it, but expect it, and when it comes, step up to the job, work hard, get through it, and then enjoy the benefits afterwards. 
 
Jeffrey: You say, your grandfather did this in the Depression?
 
Wurzelbacher: Yes.
 
Jeffrey: He was going out and working for himself during the Depression, taking care of himself during the Depression?  
 
Wurzelbacher: Correct. Well, that and his family, and my mom consequently a couple of years later.
 
Jeffrey: He was taking care of a family. Do you think that this is what Barack Obama and his vision of big government and government dependency puts at risk? The ethic that your grandfather taught you?
 
Wurzelbacher: Oh, absolutely.  It encourages people to stay home and sit on their butt.   You know: Don’t worry about it. We’ll take care of you. Now, that’s what your mom and dad tell you when you’re a child, that’s not what the government tells when you’re a man or woman. 
 
Jeffrey: But your mom and dad also teach you--like you’re teaching your son--to eventually be independent, stand on his own, be responsible for himself, and take care of himself.
 
Wurzelbacher: Absolutely, and the government again is encouraging irresponsible behavior. 
 
Jeffrey: They are teaching a contrary message?
 
Wurzelbacher:  Yes.
 
Jeffrey: They want to teach your child to let the government take care of him.
 
Wurzelbacher: Correct. And I have a big problem with that.