WASHINGTON POST: Joe the Plumber is not exactly a plumber and he’s “not even close” to making the kind of money that would result in higher taxes from Democrat Barack Obama’s proposals. Such is the whirlwind of information that has come out about Joe Wurzelbacher of Holland, Ohio, since Republican John McCain made him famous in last night’s debate. McCain mentioned him more than 20 times to use him as a symbol of hard-working Americans who would be hurt by Obama’s tax policies. Obama and Wurzelbacher met earlier in the week in Toledo, where Wurzelbacher said Obama’s plans to raise taxes on those making $250,000 a year or more would penalize him in his plans to buy the plumbing business for which he works.
Wurzelbacher since then has been on Fox News, interviewed by CBS’s Katie Couric and appeared on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” Not all the attention has been welcomed. Wurzelbacher, 34, told the Associated Press that he was not a licensed plumber. Because he works for a small company that does residential work, he said, he doesn’t need to be licensed. Wurzelbacher said he is of modest means, but worried Obama’s tax plans would eventually hurt him. “You see my house. I don’t have a lot of bells and whistles in here, really. My truck’s a couple of years old and I’m going to have it for the next 10 years probably. So I don’t see [Obama] helping me out,” he told reporters this morning. MORE
MSNBC: Because he works for someone else, he doesn’t need a license, he said. But the county Wurzelbacher and his employer live in, Lucas County, requires plumbers to have licenses. Neither Wurzelbacher nor his employer are licensed there, said Cheryl Schimming of Lucas County Building Regulations, which handles plumber licenses in parts of the county outside Toledo.
TOLEDO BLADE: He voted in his first primary on March 4 of this year, registering as a Republican.
ABC NEWS: ABC News’ Chris Bury is outside Toledo, near the home of Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher, aka “Joe the Plumber,” and reports that Wurzelbacher — such a key part of Sen. John McCain’s critique of Sen. Barack Obama’s economic proposals — acknowledged that he wants to purchase the plumbing business for $250-280,000, not that he would net that much in profits. He would make much less, he said. Which would seem to indicate that he would be eligible for an Obama tax cut, not that he would be subject to the tax increase from 36% to 39% Obama would impose on those making more than $200,000 per person, or $250,000 per family. MORE
CBS NEWS: Wurzelbacher also owes the state of Ohio almost $1,200 in back income taxes, according to Bloomberg News. Records on file with the Lucas County Court of Common Pleas show that the state filed a tax lien against Samuel Joesph Wurzelbacher (Joe’s full legal name) for $1,182.98 on Jan. 26, 2007, and it remains in effect. Despite portraying himself in some media accounts as an independent or undecided voter, it appears that ‘Joe the Plumber’ is a longtime, registered Republican. MORE
PHAWKER: Shut up and sit down, assclown!