Joe Six Pack, meet Joe the Plumber

The third and final Presidential debate covered the economy, healthcare, taxation and the VP choices – but none of them were afforded as much attention as Joe the Plumber.

McCain mentioned Joe 21 times and Obama was good for 5 mentions, for a grand total of 26 mentions for Joe the Plumber.  By contrast,  Iraq came up 6 times.  Joe came up more that the economy (16 times) and outshone mention of Sarah Palin and Joe Biden as well.  Not surprisingly, we saw Joe the Plumber designs hit the system mid-debate and within a few hours Joe had about 1/4 the content of all plumber designs.

Joe Wurzelbacher (his last name isn’t “The Plumber” after all) became an unlikely hero for the McCain campaign after having a discussion with Obama on the campaign trail about the Illinois Senator’s proposed tax plan.  McCain used Joe as an example of a hardworking American (dare we say Joe Six Pack?) who would pay more taxes under the Obama plan.

Obama countered by repeating what he’s been saying throughout the debates:  That if you make less than $200,000 a year, your taxes will decrease.  This works out to 98% of small business and 95% of America, making some wonder why Joe the Plumber is being held up as an everyman if he’s in the top 5% of small business owners.

As it turns out, Joe the Plumber doesn’t actually make $250,000 a year and is eligible for the Obama tax cuts.  It would also seem that Joe would be eligible for the Obama tax cuts if he purchased the business he referenced, as gross receipts (the $250,000 – $280,000) is different than taxable income.

It seems Joe was concerned about the principle behind Obama’s plan.  He worries that if he someday makes that much money he’ll be penalized for it, and he’s concerned that Obama might at some point lower the taxation thresholds.

Despite being made an instant celebrity thanks to McCain, Joe won’t endorse either candidate and is keeping his vote private.

Because that’s the American way.

  1. Obama’s 95% figure is a lie. This is obvious to anyone who realizes that more than 5% of Americans pay zero taxes.

    And how convenient that that entire reason for Joe becoming news is absent from this post — namely Obama’s call for Socialism, “Spread the wealth around.” You know, I could handle Bush III, but there’s no way we could survive Marx II.

    Tax cuts: LIE
    Joe’s income: LIE

    Well, at least you spelled Joe right.

  2. Ummm… Ronnie- SERIOUSLY?

    Joe the Plumber has surely figured out (by now) that Obama’s plan is good for him and 95% of America and 98% of America’s small businesses.

    You still haven’t figured that out? The math is clear but it’s not the math you described.

    95% of Americans will not see a tax increase with the Obama plan. Yes, more than 5% of Americans do not pay taxes b/c they don’t make enough- But that 5% is INCLUDED in the 95% referenced. The 5% are people making over $250k.

    And honestly, if you make more than $250k profit as a small business you are likely not really a small business. All accountants advise small businesses to make it their goal to show as little profit as possible on the books at the end of each year by taking their profits and using them for investments in property, materials, and other expenses that can be attributed to their business.

    Why do you think the richest people in the world – such as BOTH Bill Gates and Warren Buffet endorse Obama? Because they know that his plan makes sense and people with high income can AFFORD to pay more in taxes. The ones struggling to make rent and mortgage payments are the ones that need help.

  3. Tichelle, SERIOUSLY, ummmm, even MSNBC (the Obama Network) debunked his 95% claim. Figure that out. And it’s not ONLY that a huge percentage of Americans pay no taxes. It’s also that Obama’s math doesn’t add up. If Obama is being honest (laughter break) about his economic plan, we’ll be running a higher deficit than George Bush ever had. So, is he lying then … or is he lying now?

    Sorry, Warren Buffet and Bill Gates can’t buy my vote. Robin Hood needs to lose.

    Exit question: What kind of politician actually brags about being endorsed by Microsoft?

  4. mr mcain i am a little man iam a cook i make less than joe but i am proud like you and palin i have 3 kids there grown and i have 1 dog she is a baby 2weeks ago my grand child died obama was not there yall wasi will vote for you and no one else my father was in ww2 he was a great man he passed in 1975im 47 now every year that goes by i hope it is rep.everyyear it was demc.we almost starved to death.i will back you big time .thank you mr mcainthank very much nelson price

  5. Joe the P”LIAR” ain’t no Plumber!Ohio has a licensing board that list certified plumbers and Joe ain’t on it!So Joe,why the big lie?Just more of the Republican lies ala Karl Rove.

  6. Joe the Liar? Nice. Isn’t it a fabulous political party that will totally destroy a private citizen who did nothing but ask their Messiah a question?

    It’s disgusting what politics has become. Attack an issue. OK. Attack a candidate. OK. But what does it say about the values of a party that would rip apart a private citizen for simply asking a question?

    Barack Obama: Support me, or I’ll destroy you.

    Welcome to the People’s Republik of Obama. Too bad Joe wasn’t an illegal immigrant. He’d probably be getting a parade.

    Joe the Plumber: All he did was ask a question.


    Sad. No, infuriating. Insert the word “teacher,” “firefighter,” “auto worker.” When will The One mock your profession?

    “A plumber.” “HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA.”

    How dare John McCain fight for plumbers? HOW DARE HE?

    What’s wrong, Barry? Not cosmopolitan enough for you? Doesn’t fit in at your Hollywood soirees? You pathetic piece of trash.

    Seriously, what was wrong with Hillary again?

  8. What really bothered me about the debate was Obama’s repeated claim that you can keep your health care plan if you like it. What he really means is you can keep your health care plan if your employer continues to provide it. But really, why would they keep paying for your health care if you can get it free from the government?

    And Kathy, it’s much worse than Robin Hood. Robin Hood was taking back money stolen from the people through high taxes. He wasn’t taking money justly earned by wealthier people.

  9. Pingback: Talk of the Day » Blog Archive » Guest Post: To Joe the Plumber from Scott the Preacher

  10. Destroy. Destroy. Destroy.
    Any Obama supporter who would tear down a private citizen like Joe Wurzelbacher simply for asking a question is beyond low.
    Anyway, you remember the double-digit swing McCain got after the democrats went after Sarah Palin’s children?
    Keep it up. The timing is just about right.
    Bump, Part II
    You can beat down Joe, but his question remains. Is Barack Obama a socialist?

  11. The American people are now the socialists, Ronnie, HELLO!!! Wakeup call to the Republicans, Society just bailed out the banks because of the Republican legacy and plain old greed.

    That’s Socialism without the benefit of an actual say. And who deregulated the banks to start this fiasco? Ronald Reagan, the Republican Messiah. Funny that so many Righwingers make Messiah jokes about Obama when Repbulicans idolize him to the point of cult status. He’s the one who laid the groundwork to get us into this mess.

    It’s hilarious to watch Sarah Palin fumble around and try to talk about getting government out of the way. Her predecessor bungled the last 8 years so badly and the economy is such a disaster that the government is bailing out banks and big companies right and left on society’s dime. Another thing she doesn’t understand or understand that she doesn’t understand.

    There’s a tea party out there somewhere waiting to be had.

  12. Arnie, I certainly take your point about the bailout being an example of ridiculous government intervention to solve a problem that they created. To say that Reagan started this fiasco is a little silly. You may as well blame Alexander Hamilton if all it takes is a Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon-style connection.

    This fiasco is the result of two things: high oil prices and Barney Frank.

    Oil prices we artificially high because the oil cartel wanted them that way (hey, how about we set up a food cartel and see if they can grow corn in a desert). Anyway, that problem just fixed itself, as evidenced by the FIFTY PERCENT drop in oil prices. The market could not sustain it.

    On banking, the Democrats thought it would be a great idea to give mortgages to people who don’t pay their mortgages. Brilliant! The only problem is we’re not letting the banks who were stupid enough to get into this market fail. That’s how capitalism works — bad businesses must fail. But no, Barney Frank thinks Fannie and Freddie (the poster children for bad lending) were doing just swell.

    So we have six years of the economy doing just great under Bush. Then boom. Oil prices and mortgages take their tolls. The Democratic Congress panicked and addressed the latter with a huge bailout … which is why only the former has actually fixed itself.

    A perfect example of conservatism working and socialism failing. Rewarding failure breeds more failure.

  13. And I will certainly accept that Reagan is an icon for the Republican Party, if you will accept that we’re talking about 20 years after his presidency and not the middle of his first political campaign (sorry, winning a Senate seat by being the only one running doesn’t count).

  14. Everyone needs to watch Hannity’s America Tonight! People open your eyes and see Obama for you he is. Please people we have to pray for a victory for McCain Palin. A ticket that has no ties to terrorist and have fund their campaign legally. Be great americans and vote November 4th for McCain Palin!

  15. We are ALL Americans. The assertion that “real” Americans are only those
    citizens of the United States who abide by one set of ideas, religious or political, is in direct contradiction to EVERYTHING that real Americans like Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Patrick Henry, George Washington and Abraham Lincoln devoted their lives to. Freedom of speech, worship and assembly are the foundation this country is built upon.
    Without a foundation, what happens to a building?

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