I am Joe the Plumber.

I ought to be a liberal, since I am in academics.

But I remember being poor and I know that my father working eighty and ninety hours a week is why we were able to eat and why we had clothes to wear. We didn’t get or take a government handout. And my father made it. He’s in the upper class now.

When he started he was a farm boy living in a car while going to school. He married my mom, a sophomore in high school, while he was still homeless. We rode the bus for years because we couldn’t afford a car, even when we had to walk a mile to get to the bus stop.

My first home was the same as my annual salary. Our house now is only 1.3x our salary. We didn’t buy a big risky house. We bought what we could reasonably afford. (And sometimes it was a stretch.)

I believe that working hard can get you the American Dream. And I think if you aren’t working hard, then you don’t deserve the American Dream and we don’t owe it to you to supply you with our money so that you can have it.

I am Joe the Plumber.

I read some great commentary on the Joe the Plumber movement from Varifrank, about how folks asked why he is being targeted. Good stuff.