New Page 1

 Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Joe the Plumber and his tax problem

  You have to seriously question whether John McCain has the judgment to be president. First there was the reckless choice of a running mate whose obvious lack of experience has made her the butt of jokes.

Then came Joe the Plumber.

The Toledo man that McCain repeatedly referenced during the final presidential debate and has brought up repeatedly since then is quickly becoming a major embarrassment to the Republican presidential candidate.

As we all know by now, Joe the Plumber, whose real name is Samuel Wurzelbacher, isn’t even a licensed plumber. Joe first came into the public spotlight when he confronted Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama during a campaign stop in Toledo, Ohio. Joe told Obama, “I’m getting ready to buy a company that makes about $250,000, $270,000, $280,000 a year. Your new tax plan is gonna tax me more, isn’t it?”

The Toledo Blade reported that divorce records indicate Joe made $40,000 in 2006. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, 2007 records from the Ohio Department of Taxation showed an active lien on Joe’s property placed by a creditor whom Joe owed $1,200. And numerous media outlets have reported that Joe owes the state of Ohio around $1,200 in personal income taxes.

Yet a guy who couldn't pay his taxes and bills is on the verge of buying a lucrative plumbing company? A company that’s so successful it does $250,000 a year in business?

I’m skeptical that Joe has a million or so dollars hid under his mattress and, given his history, I’m also skeptical that Joe would be approved for a giant loan in this era of tight credit. So I'm at a loss over Joe’s claim of “getting ready to buy a company”. Where would he get the money to buy a company that does a quarter of a million dollars a year in business?

As numerous blogs and media sites have pointed out, Joe himself has provided reason to wonder if his question to Obama was contrived. In an interview with the conservative blog , Joe implied that his actual intent was to try to catch Obama off guard. Well that was actually my intent,” the unlicensed plumber was quoted as saying.

On Sunday, Joe attacked the media during an appearance on FOX News, saying, “The media's worried about whether I've paid my taxes, they're worried about any number of silly things that have nothing to do with America,” according to the Associated Press.

Joe, if taxes are unimportant, then why did you ask Obama a tax question in the first place?

Your plea for privacy would be valid if you hadn’t deliberately chosen to place yourself at the center of a fierce national debate by granting numerous media interviews and basking in the limelight.

Sorry, Joe, you can’t have it both ways.

Conservative commentators are screaming that Joe is being unfairly punished by the media for “asking a simple question.” So passing on public information about Joe’s finances that shed light on his claim of “getting ready to buy a company” is a bad thing?

The fact that McCain has made Joe the centerpiece of his campaign during the closing weeks of the election, raises serious questions about McCain’s judgment.

You’d think that McCain’s staff would have thoroughly vetted Joe’s claim of being on the verge of buying a business for any hint of discrepancy real or imagined before their candidate brought up his name repeatedly in a presidential debate.

Apparently they don’t learn from past mistakes.

Millions of Americans are facing home foreclosure, unemployment and the prospect of bankruptcy. Millions more have seen their retirement plans and their dreams of paying for their children’s college education destroyed by the stock market collapse. There are a whole lot of people in this country who are struggling with serious economic concerns that desperately need to be addressed.

Quit wasting our time, Joe.

  Go to Latest Posting

Comments 1


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Corrections to your comments:

1) Joe's name is Samuel JOSEPH, he can go by Joe. In fact, my son goes by his second name because he doesn't like his 1st name which is John.

2) You can work as a plumber - like JOE - if you are part of a company or unit with a licensed plumber -which is exactly what Joe does.

3) Joe has a dream - in fact, it's called the american dream of owning his own business and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. That was what his question and comments were about. Not everybody wants a degree - but that doesn't mean that they do not have a right to their own opinion even though you will be hounded by pundits and press, smeared, vilified and crucified for expressing an opinion in the land of the free speech. This still isn't Cuba...

What this episode has shown me is fear. I would never dare to speak up in front of Obama unless I would parrott whatever he said. So in fear of my life can I say that I love Obama...

1:36 PM

Post a Comment

Go to Latest Posting