Joe the Plumber
As anyone who watched last night's final Presidential debate knows (or, even if you only read about it, I'm sure you've heard by now) that the real star of the evening was "Joe the Plumber" a/k/a Joe Wurzelbacher from Ohio. Now, I have no fight to pick with Joe, but given that his was the back upon which so much of Sen. McCain's last ditch effort rested, I felt that it was at least worth noting a few interesting things about Joe. Fifteen minutes of fame isn't all it's cracked up to be.
First, take this from ABC News:
In an telephone interview with Katie Couric this morning (Joe is far more articulate that Gov. Palin...), Joe said that he "wasn't swayed" by the debate, but that he did have an idea who he was going to vote for. So was he an undecided voter or not?
Wurzelbacher conceded today that he is not in danger of being hit with the higher tax rate. He acknowledged that he wants to buy a plumbing company for $250,000 to $280,000. That wouldn't be how much profit he would make from the firm.
He would make much less, he said.
That would seem to indicate that Wurzelbacher would not be subject to Obama's proposed tax increase from 36 percent to 39 percent for those making more than $250,000 per family. Instead, he would be eligible for a tax cut that Obama is proposing.
It turns out that it may not matter whether Joe decides who he wants to vote for because his voter registration may be one of hundreds of thousands that Ohio Republicans want to purge. According to Toledo Blade Joe may be registered to vote (as a Republican), but his voter registration has his name spelled as "Worzelbacher" (replacing the "u" with an "o"). Right now, the United States Supreme Court is considering an emergency appeal of a voting rights/voter registration case from Ohio (decided by an appellate court yesterday) that could involve purging the voter registrations of people when there are discrepancies between voter registrations and other state information. I wonder if Joe is the kind of voter that Republicans were hoping to disenfranchise?
It appears that Joe's tax concerns are more general than specific to Sen. Obama's tax plans. Also from that ABC News story:
"Not that I don't want to be taxed," Wurzelbacher told "GMA." "You have to be taxed. Just because you work a little harder to have a little bit more money taken from you, I mean, that's scary. I worked hard for it. Why should I be taxed more than other people?"Apparently, Joe is a fan of flat taxes. According to Toledo Blade: Mr. Wurzelbacher said he disagrees with the idea of people being taxed at a higher rate because they earn more. Furthermore, it appears that Joe takes his anti-tax views pretty seriously. How seriously? He doesn't always pay his taxes and presently has a nearly $1,200 tax lien from the State of Ohio.
But it isn't just income taxes that Joe has a problem with. He doesn't like Social Security either and think that it is a "joke":
And, we might also want to stop calling Joe "the Plumber". Why? Because he isn't licensed to be a plumber. Again, according to Toledo Blade:
A check of state and local licensing agencies in Ohio and Michigan shows no plumbing licenses under Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher’s name, or even misspellings of his name.
He is also not registered to operate as a plumber in Ohio, which means he’s not a plumber.
Seriously, you can't make this stuff up. My guess is that Joe is probably ready for his fifteen minutes to be over.