Friday, October 17, 2008

Joe the Non-Plumber vs. the plight of millions of working-class Americans

Funny thing about "Joe the Plumber." That's not his name and he isn't a plumber. His first name is Samuel, and because he doesn't have a license, the State of Ohio says he can't call himself a plumber.

Another funny thing: Samuel (Joe) Wurzelbacher, based on his income -- $40,000, according to recent court records -- would receive a bigger tax reduction under Obama than he would under John McCain, who has adopted the Ohioan as his tax-plan hero.

There doesn't appear to be any danger that Joe the Non-Licensed Plumber will have to pay taxes on an income above $250,000 -- the ceiling for Obama's tax breaks. If the plumbing company that he said he was interested in buying delivered that kind of boodle, it would have a price tag of at least $1 million (four times profit). In actuality, the two-man company, which operates out of the garage behind the house of its owner, had sales of $100,000 last year, and a likely income (after expenses) of about $6,000, according to a Wall Street Journal story.

What's frustrating about this story is that for about 24 hours America, and a big chunk of the rest of the world, was obsessing about one man's concern about his taxes going up on an income he didn't and wouldn't have. Meanwhile the tax plight of millions of Ohioans and other Americans who make less than the median income of $30,000 and get 15.3% in FICA scooped off the top of their paychecks goes ignored.

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