The Affordable Plumbing Act

A few weeks after leaving office, former president Obama discovers a water leak under his sink.  He calls Joe the Plumber to come out and fix it.  Joe drives to Obama’ s new house, located in an exclusive, gated community near Chicago where all the residents have a net income of more than $250,000 per year.

Joe arrives and brings his tools into the house.  Joe is led to the guest bathroom that contains the leaky pipe under the sink.  Joe assesses the problem and tells Obama that it’s an easy repair that will take less than 10 minutes.  Obama asks Joe how much it will cost.  Joe checks his rate chart and says, “$9,500.”

“What?!  $9,500?  Obama asks, stunned.  You said it’s an easy repair.  Michelle will whip me if I pay a plumber that much!”

Joe says, “Yes, but my practice is to charge those who make $250,000 per year a much higher amount so I can fix the plumbing of poorer people for free.  It’s always been my philosophy.  As a matter of fact, I lobbied the Democrat Congress, who passed this philosophy into law.  Now all plumbers must do business this way.  It’s known as the ‘Affordable Plumbing Act of 2014’.  I’m surprised you haven’t heard about it.”

In spite of that, Obama tells Joe there’s no way he’s paying that much for a small plumbing repair, so Joe leaves.  Obama spends the next hour flipping through the phone book calling for another plumber, but he finds that all other plumbing businesses in the area have gone out of business.  Not wanting to pay Joe’s price, Obama does nothing and the leak goes unrepaired for several more days.  A week later the leak is so bad that Obama has to put a bucket under the sink.  Michelle is not happy; Oprah and other guests arrive the next morning.  The bucket fills up quickly and has to be emptied every hour.  There’s a risk that the room will flood, so Obama calls Joe and pleads with him to return.

Joe goes back to Obama’s house, looks at the leaky pipe, checks his new rate chart and says, “Let’s see, this will now cost you $21,000.

Obama quickly fires back, “What!  A few days ago you told me it would cost $9,500!”

Joe explains, “Well, because of the ‘Affordable Plumbing Act’, a lot of wealthy people are learning how to maintain their own plumbing, so there are fewer payers into the plumbing exchanges.  As a result, the price I have to charge wealthy people like you keeps rising.  Not only that, but for some reason the demand for plumbing work by those who get it for free has skyrocketed!  There’s a long waiting list of those who need repairs but the amount we get doesn’t cover our costs.  This unfortunately has put a lot of my fellow plumbers out of business, and they are not being replaced.  Nobody is going into the plumbing business because they can’t make any money at it.  I’m hurting,too, all thanks to greedy rich people like you who won’t pay their fair share.”                       from Bobby in Lanexa . . . .

About budbromley

Life sciences executive, retired
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