I really hadn’t been following all the news and coverage about “Joe the Plumber” the day after the debate. But I found a story that caught my attention. I now understand why “Joe the Plumber,” whose real name is Samuel Wurzelbacher, is so concerned about his taxes being raised—especially since he has a tax lien against him by the State of Ohio. After all this is over, he might not be so happy with all the media attention that has been cast his way by John McCain.
According to the NYTimes:
[…] Thomas Joseph, the business manager of Local 50 of the United Association of Plumbers, Steamfitters and Service Mechanics, based in Toledo, said Thursday that Mr. Wurzelbacher had never held a plumber’s license, which is required in Toledo and several surrounding municipalities. He also never completed an apprenticeship and does not belong to the plumber’s union, which has endorsed Mr. Obama. On Thursday, he acknowledged that he does plumbing work even though he does not have a license.
His full name is Samuel J. Wurzelbacher. And he owes back taxes, too, public records show. The premise of his complaint to Mr. Obama about taxes may also be flawed, according to tax analysts. Contrary to what Mr. Wurzelbacher asserted and Mr. McCain echoed, neither his personal taxes nor those of the business where he works are likely to rise if Mr. Obama’s tax plan were to go into effect, they said.
…Mr. Wurzelbacher told reporters that the company he works for, Newell Plumbing & Heating, has two full-time employees: himself and the owner, Al Newell.
Neither Mr. Newell nor Mr. Wurzelbacher responded to telephone calls. And Mr. Wurzelbacher has provided only vague information on his and the company’s finances since talking to Mr. Obama. But if the plumbing business remained a two-person company and the net proceeds — after deductions for business expenses — were shared by the two men, both incomes would most likely fall well below the top tax brackets on which Mr. Obama wants to raise rates, as would the company itself.
Both, in fact, would probably be eligible for a tax cut, said Bob Williams, senior research associate at the independent, nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, though the cut would probably be greater under Mr. McCain’s tax plan than Mr. Obama’s.
According to public records, Mr. Wurzelbacher has been subject to two liens, each over $1,100. One, with a hospital, has been settled, but a tax lien with the State of Ohio is still outstanding.
Hey, who knows… Maybe he might end up with his own reality show that will let the viewers follow him on his quest to owning and running a plumbing business–or maybe finally getting his license.