Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Affordable Plumbing Act

Only weeks after leaving office on Jan. 20, 2017, former President Barack 
Obama discovers a leak under his sink, so he calls Troy the Plumber to come 
out and fix it. Troy drives to Obama’s new house, which is located in a 
very exclusive, gated community near Chicago where all the residents have a 
net income of way more than $250,000 per year. 

Troy arrives and takes his tools into the house. He is led to the guest bathroom
that contains the leaky pipe under the sink. Troy assesses the problem and tells
Obama that it’s an easy repair that will take less than 10 minutes.

Obama asks Troy how much it will cost. Troy checks his rate chart and says,

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

Troy says, “Yes, but what I do is charge those who make more than $250,000
per year a much higher amount so I can fix the plumbing of poorer people for
free. This has 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 of it.” 

In spite of that, Obama tells Troy there’s no way he’s paying that much for
a small plumbing repair, so Troy 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 Troy’s price, Obama does nothing and the leak goes 
un-repaired for several more days. A week later the leak is so bad Obama has 
had to put a bucket under the sink. Michelle is not happy as she has Oprah 
and guests arriving the next morning. The bucket fills up quickly and has to 
be emptied every hour, and there’s a risk the room will flood, so Obama 
calls Troy and pleads with him to return.
Troy 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

Troy explains, “Well, because of the ‘Affordable Plumbing Act,’ a lot of 
wealthier people are learning how to maintain and take care of their own 
plumbing, so there are fewer payers in 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, especially paperwork 
and record-keeping. This unfortunately has put a lot of my fellow plumbers 
out of business, they’re not being replaced, and nobody is going into the  
plumbing business because they know 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’. On the other hand, why didn’t you buy plumbing insurance last 
December? If you had bought plumbing insurance available under the 
‘Affordable Plumbing Act,’ all this would have been covered by your policy.”

You mean I wouldn’t have to pay anything to have you fix my plumbing  
problem?” asks Obama 

Well, not exactly,” replies Troy. “You would have had to buy the insurance
before the deadline, which has passed now. And, because you’re rich, you
would have had to pay $34,000 in premiums, which would have given you a
silver’ plan, and then, since this would have been your first repair, you
would have to pay up to the $21,000 deductible, and anything over that would
have a $7,500 co-pay, and then there’s the mandatory maintenance program,
which is covered up to 17.5%, so there are some costs involved. Nothing is for

WHAT?!” exclaims Obama. “Why so much for a puny sink leak?!” With a
bland look, Troy replies, “Well, paperwork, mostly, like I said.

And the internal cost of the program itself. You don’t think a program of 
this complexity and scope can run itself, do you? Besides, there are 
millions of folks with lower incomes than you, even many in the ‘middle 
class’, who qualify for subsidies that people like you must support. That’s 
why they call it the ‘Affordable Plumbing Act’! Only people who don’t make 
much money can afford it. If you want affordable plumbing, you’ll have to 
give away most of what you have accumulated and cut your and Michelle’s 
income by about 90%. Then you can qualify to get your ‘Fair Share’ instead 
of giving it.” 

But who would pass a crazy act like the ‘Affordable Plumbing Act’?!”
exclaims the exasperated Obama.

After a sigh, Troy replies, “Congress… because they didn’t read it.”

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