Friday, October 17, 2008

As Joe the Plumber Grows Famous, the Politics Get Murkier

You can't make this stuff up -- it turns out that Joe the Plumber is: A) NOT a licensed plumber; B) Is delinquent in paying his taxes; and C) Would likely see his taxes go DOWN under Obama!

On Thursday, Obama campaign aides fought back, saying that if Mr. Wurzelbacher earns the wages of a typical Ohio plumber, $40,600, and holds a $90,000 mortgage, he would see a tax cut under Sen. Obama's plan of more than $1,000, compared with no tax reduction under Sen. McCain's. If he succeeds in buying the plumbing business where he works, he could see even more tax benefits, including Sen. Obama's proposed elimination of capital-gains taxes for small-business investment, a 50% tax credit to purchase health insurance for employees and a $3,000 tax credit for every new hire over the next two years.

Meanwhile, reporters and liberal bloggers dug up a $1,182.98 tax lien the state of Ohio has taken out against Mr. Wurzelbacher, and discovered he's been plumbing without a license, something he does not deny. Reporters also discovered that Mr. Wurzelbacher's name is apparently misspelled on the Lucas County Board of Elections database, potentially disqualifying his vote. The Ohio Democratic Party is using that last fact to challenge a Republican lawsuit that seeks to disqualify some new registered voters over such record-keeping discrepancies.

Late Thursday, Mr. Wurzelbacher answered the door and told a reporter he wasn't doing any more interviews. Asked about his claim that the business he wants to buy makes $250,000 a year, when Ohio business records say it's less, he said, "I don't discuss that with my partner."


As Joe the Plumber Grows Famous, the Politics Get Murkier

Joe the Plumber is the newest celebrity on the presidential campaign trail after his star turn in the presidential debate. Both sides rushed to embrace him on Thursday, even though the real Joe doesn't make a clear case for either political camp.

Joe Wurzelbacher, the Holland, Ohio, plumber who became the central character in several sharp exchanges between Sens. Barack Obama and John McCain, held impromptu press conferences in his front yard, appeared on national morning talk shows and offered the nation his political prognostications. He called Social Security "a joke" and said: "I have parents. I don't need another set of parents called the government."



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