Does Joe the Plumber know Joe Six-Pack?

October 16, 2008

(Corrects third paragraph to say Joe about to buy a business) 

Joe the Plumber was the surprise star of the third and final presidential debate, getting no less than 13 mentions in the opening minutes.

So who is this guy? His full name is Joe Wurzelbacher, and it turns out he had a close encounter with Barack Obama a few days ago. John McCain adopted Joe’s cause as a way to tar his opponent as a tax-and-spend liberal. rtx9llq.jpg

The apparent problem is that Joe is about to buy a company that makes a little over $250,000 a year, and under Obama’s proposal that would put him into a higher tax bracket. Obama told Joe that he wasn’t trying to punish his success, only to spread the wealth around.

“Joe wants to buy the business that he has been in for all of these years, worked 10, 12 hours a day. And he wanted to buy the business but he looked at your tax plan and he saw that he was going to pay much higher taxes,” McCain said.

“Joe, I want to tell you, I’ll not only help you buy that business that you worked your whole life for and be able — and I’ll keep your taxes low and I’ll provide available and affordable health care for you and your employees,” McCain said, staring straight into the camera.

McCain got a little caught up in the moment and muddled in his message to Joe by saying at one point that “fifty percent of small business income taxes are paid by small businesses.”

Still, Joe the Plumber has become a bit of Internet celebrity and Republicans quickly latched onto his plight, issuing a statement saying his comments to Joe showed that Obama would “tax to death” the American Dream.

Obama’s response was that Joe the Plumber needed a tax cut five years ago, and Obama wants to “make sure that the plumber, the nurse, the firefighter, the teacher, the young entrepreneur who doesn’t yet have money, I want to give them a tax break now. And that requires us to make some important choices.”

As for Joe himself, directory assistance had no telephone listing for him in Toledo, Ohio. If you’re listening, Joe, we’d love to hear how you’re handling fame!  

Click here for more Reuters 2008 campaign coverage

– Photo credit: Reuters/Gary Hershorn (McCain makes a point at the presidential debate)   


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I don’t believe Joe the Plumber is an average American — $250,000 a year?! My wife and I, both college educated with master’s degrees, struggle to make $77,000 annually combined. $250,000 IS rich.

Posted by Chandler | Report as abusive

isn’t joe the plumber lucky? he makes 250K+ a year and he has John McCain to stick up for him.

Posted by rm | Report as abusive

I am a plumber’s apprentice in Wyoming and my boss cannot offer us an insurance plan and still pay us enough to afford the increases in the cost of living without going out of business himself anyways. Could the McCain plan change that fact?

Posted by Larry C. Dressell | Report as abusive

To Joe (The Plumber)

WHEN Obama wins the election I feel for you and your employees. I say this becuase all of the McCain supporters (the ones in denial of his imminent loss) will be shitting bricks. Who are they going to call, the one McCain loves, Joe the Plumber. Maybe you should start distributing laxatives now.

Posted by Chelsea | Report as abusive

@Chandler – Maybe the low salaries of college educated people and the high salary of Joe the plumber is the real reason that US education gets lower scores than other countries.

Posted by Amy An | Report as abusive


No disrespect intended but if you guys both have MS degrees, maybe you should consider being a plumber. Seriosly though, I can relate to Joe the Plumber as I am a small business owner myself and I have worked very hard and stuggled for a long time the first few years. So why should my hard earned money be taken from me and given to someone else? Just because Joe and most other small business owners (that employee millions of people so those people in turn can provide for their families)that had the nerve, dedication and perserverace to realize their dreams should be taxed higher, just so the the money could be passed on to the firefighter, teacher, student, etc. like the above article mentioned? C’mon, they chose their professions, just as you and I did.

Posted by tim | Report as abusive

Poor Joe. He’s only making a quarter of a million a year. And he’s a plumber. Is he actually making as much as two senators, two governors, or two Berkeley full tenured professors? Huh? And he feels sorry for himself? And McCain does too?

Posted by James Behlke | Report as abusive

I don’t think Joe the Plumber falls into the category of Mom and Pop either. I doubt he would be taxed “to death” under the Obama plan.

My disappointment that the McCain “wefare for giant investors” capital gains cut of 8% didn’t come up. Is there anything the man won’t do to reward people like himself and his wife. Cripes, who in the middle class benefits from any of the plums he is handing out to the wealthy?

I’m tired of being told to tighten my belt while the fat cats get a new pair of pants. Would it kill them to sacrifice a little? Our kids are already fighting the war so their little angels can live up to their potential. Enough!

Posted by Pogge | Report as abusive

Joe the plumber doesn’t sound like an average American to me, either. I’m college educated too and struggle to make enough to support myself, a grandchild and my disabled daughter. Wish I had someone to stand up for me… OH WAIT! I think maybe Obama would.

Posted by Phyllis | Report as abusive

Poor old Joe the Plumber. He’s really got it rough. How’s he gonna get by on a measly $250,000 a year?

Posted by Fred | Report as abusive

I don’t know about anyone else but quarter-mil/yr is a hell of a lot of money.

Isn’t it so typical that McCain and the NeoCons would support tax breaks for the rich.

Joe the Plumber, with his 250K salary and small business, probably hired a lobbyist. Hmmmmm.

Posted by jjl171 | Report as abusive

Chandler, have you ever considered a career in sales? I’m in sales and I’ve consistently earned more than $77,000 per year and I don’t have a degree, let alone a masters. I’m not being facetious, just trying to help. As far as someone making $250K being rich…that’s not true. Better off? Agreed. Many people I know make over $250K and they work hard – they’ve earned it and shouldn’t be punished for their success. That just isn’t fair.

Posted by Dan | Report as abusive

Tim i agree with 100%. Also, Chandler maybe you should invest in a new job.. i mean c’mon. Dont expect others to trickle down their success for you and your unfortunates.

Posted by Nok | Report as abusive

damn. you all fried chandler. told the man to be a plumber. but really, do plumbers get money like that!?

Posted by modi | Report as abusive

ever call a plumber in the middle of the night? they are rich

Posted by ross | Report as abusive

No you idiots….Joe himself doesn’t make 250,000+ a year, his entire small business does. He has to spread that to his employees and overhead. Do the math – he’s not rich – very middle class.

Posted by andy | Report as abusive

Joe the Plumber is a lot like Cosmo the plumber in Moonstruck. Worrying about whether he can buy some baubles for his mistress.

Posted by Strykur | Report as abusive

If the two of you are making 77k combined each with masters then don’t blame Joe but yourselves!!!

Why are you made someone worked hard and now can make decent money.

Posted by David | Report as abusive

Hey Joe that’s great that your gonna make 250k a year but cmon…. you think that’s a deal breaker? What about the rest of us? You suck, go HOME JOE

Posted by dave | Report as abusive

At $250,000 Joe is no ordinary plumber, or American for that matter. And why should I be helping some rich guy buy his business anyway? Let him wait until he’s got $350,000.

Posted by RichO | Report as abusive

mccain looks like bernie from weekend at bernies

Posted by ross | Report as abusive

Why should Joe the Plumber gain so much publicity for whining about making a mere 250K salary a year. I am a low income student working 2 jobs with a full 18 credit course load but you don’t see Mccain supporting me during a Presidential debate.

Conclusion: Support Obama

Posted by country | Report as abusive

250 k is not rich. This man had a vision and a dream and made into a reality. Too many of us want to make money, but few of us rarely take the risk.

Posted by john | Report as abusive

Is the tax break on retained earnings of the company or on the net profit of your company. If I have 6 employees makeing 50000 a year does that mean I will be paying higher taxes.

Posted by Dan | Report as abusive

This is an attack on the american dream. Obama wants to increase the middle class. Get out of the way and you will be run over by the rush to get to the upper class. Once we start taxing those who make it, we remove insentive. Once we lose the American dream, we lose America.

Posted by John C. | Report as abusive

98% of the country is small business (less than 1,000 employees), not big business. If Joe the plumber buys the business, then his business would get a tax credit as a small business, so there’s nothing to complain about there. If Joe’s income goes up, then obviously his taxes would increase, but he’s got the opportunity for tax shelters because of his new ownership. Go ahead Joe, buy the business and be the engine of the U.S. economy.

Posted by Brian G. Jones | Report as abusive

What about Josephine?

Posted by ymclain | Report as abusive

Hey Joe, you are rich already, stop crying like McCain does. I dont think that you are a real patriotic, because you dont want your own country to growth by giving a litte bit of your wealthy hard worked money.And I dont think that Obama it’s gonna take $250,000 a year from your pocket.

Posted by carlos | Report as abusive

so you are educated people who chose your paths and, oh dear, they don’t pay as well as a hardworking blue collar guy’s did. quit whining and change your careers. i know a dozen of these guys across time zones, who took a skill and parlayed into a small business and kept it growing. pick on the politicians and the corporate ceos that are making really big bucks but leave the small guys – and yes, a quarter million a year still qualifies as middle america – alone. just because you don’t have the luck, fortitude or will to make it happen for you doesn’t mean this guy and people like him, deserve your lip. nobody hands you your success, you earn it. witchhunting for successful people to force them to redistribute their hard earned money to people who don’t do as much, offer as much or deserve as much is ridiculous. has no one studied socialist history? weren’t you all alive when the communist state of russia imploded? give this guy a break. he’s already paying more right now in taxes than you are. keep your entitlement whining aimed at the candidates.

Posted by Killy | Report as abusive

Being in the same kind of business Joe the plumber is. I can say that he isnt bad off at all. Also if he is whining about missing a tax cut. WHy doesnt he either A do more business to offset this tax. Or start his own plumbing business from scratch to get this tax break. The economy isnt always the same. He wont make 250-280,000 a year forever! Besides that on the average plumbers can make $30 bucks an hour with all their licenses! Vs a HVAC guy making $18. Obama is right in taxing the higher incomes!

Posted by karl | Report as abusive

I don’t know any plumbers who make $250,000 a year, but perhaps Joe has worked his butt off for many years. Is this truly income from an hourly wage? Or is this money he has put away in investments etc. Either way, I have watched my own father, who is now in his 70s, work 70-80 hours a week tirelessly. Yes, he makes more than $250,000 a year – and yes, he should be able to keep it. And not everyone who makes that much is living some life of excess or luxury. My dad happens to give a lot to charity and not-for-profit organizations that provide help to those in need. Why is he now a villan?

Posted by Amanda | Report as abusive

Joe the plumber is Joe six pack.(Do you know of a plumber who doesn’t drink beer?) Micael Chiklis should play the role of Joe “the beer drinking plumber” in the upcoming made for TV movie. No doubt drinking Bud!

Posted by Frank R | Report as abusive

Joe said he’s going to give interviews tomorrow, can’t wait to hear his side!

Posted by Melissa | Report as abusive

It’s not YOUR MONEY. It’s Joe’s money. Got it?

Posted by Conservative | Report as abusive

Wow. I am really suprised by how ignorant college educated people have become. Apparently none of you have had a business. Simply because Joe the Plumber earns over 250K in receipts does not mean that is his take home pay. Do any of you realize how much money, time and effort is involved with earning your own company? You do not have a typical 9-5 job, you can not sue anyone for unemployment, you have to continuously market yourself, you success or failure depends upon you. How pathetic those of you who are cynical of Joe the Plumber do not have the fortitude to create wealth only to take it. I am a small business owner. Last year our company earned 158K and I paid 105K in employment. I guess this means I am rich, right?

Posted by Kelly Schuan | Report as abusive

Joe the plumber is who may give you a job..and many others but now he wont if obama gets elected…so go to white house when obama is elected and put your hands out for money!!! joe, sorry you got the american dream and obama and his pan handlers will take it away.

Posted by tyler | Report as abusive

Am sick and tired of people buying into the propaganda.

American businesses are “Supposed” to be paying some of the highest taxes yet thanks to lobbying by major corporations American businesses PAY MINIMAL Taxes! Thanks to loopholes and creative accountants!

So yes once again the little man joe the plumber and the hard working citizens are left holding the bag!

The BANKERS got the laws amended to make bankruptcy filling less easy for the regular citizens yet WE BAIL OUT THE BANKERS for messing up their finances!

Posted by Anita | Report as abusive

where do you live that you both have masters degrees and make 77,000 combined?

Posted by mike | Report as abusive

Look folks, I’ve been on both sides of the quarter million fence we’re talking about here and just like me, we Americans should feel grateful enough when we have it going well for us to toss in a couple of extra points into the balancing bucket that tides Shmoe through a cold winter as Joe’s contemplating trading up his Pontiac for a Porsche!

Go Obama!

Posted by Sandeep | Report as abusive

Yes, but what you need to remember is that Joe is buying a business…a business that pays other people…so they can support their families. He benefits, but they do, too. Obama doesn’t understand that the “rich” people are the ones that employ everyone else. Furthermore, who defines “rich?” For the millions of people in China, India, and Africa living on $10 or less a day, $77,000 seems pretty rich! The problem with socialism is that any arbitrary standard of “richness” is exactly that: arbitrary!

Posted by Mark F | Report as abusive

Forget about “Joe the plumber”….Has anyone figured out how Barack and Michelle made 4.2 million last year??? That really sound outrageous!

Posted by KLT | Report as abusive

I think perhaps Joe doesn’t yet earn $250K. When he acquires the company, he may gross that before paying business expenses and taxes.

Posted by kokomo | Report as abusive

can nobody read? he’s buying a company that makes 250,000 a year, HE doesn’t make 250,000 a year as a plumber.

Posted by jess | Report as abusive

“A great man said that I have never met any hotest politian.” Clinton lied, Bush lied and the next one will also. GO WORK HARD & MAKE MORE MONEY or YOUR LIFE WILL NEVER CHANGE.

Posted by Jay | Report as abusive

this how much the buisness does in sales and service.his salery could be $250,000,but his sales and service would have to be about $600,000.they make it sound like his salery is $250,000 but its not

Posted by john condon | Report as abusive

Look- I don’t really think it matters if he’s well of or not… if he works and does a good job, and earns good money, he shouldn’t be highly taxed for it! My husband has worked endlessly and loyally for his extended family’s resturant and has never made more then 1600.00 per month… which we’re alright with, but if he made more yes we’d complain about higher taxes because it’s money HE WORKED FOR… NOT THE GOVERNMENT! And don’t poke fun at the plumber… I’m thankful we have plumbers able to handle issues I’d prefer not to when they do occur!

Posted by Beckers | Report as abusive

Here is the interview with Joe WURZELBACHER – the Plumber. lications/id.1465/pub_detail.asp

Posted by KC | Report as abusive

Guys: He is not talking about raising taxes on $250K-a year-Joe, he is just not going to CUT his taxes as he will for those making less than that.

Posted by B Gruben | Report as abusive

obama can easily win this election….the people that didnt get the american dream are jealous so they vote for obama..simple, too many jealous people in this country..dont be jealous, just work hard and get that american dream like joe the plumber…but now joe the plumber may get his hard work taken away from you jealous folks..:)

Posted by tyler | Report as abusive

HONEST – Sorry

Posted by Jay | Report as abusive

If nothing else, we would like to thank McCain & Palin for our Halloween costume repetoire.

Posted by Marie | Report as abusive

Joe stated that he is buying a business that will make 250k+ per year. Now, there is NO WAY that he can buy that business for less than $1,000,000. A plumbing business making that much, unless it is being sold in the family, is going to cost A LOT. So, Joe either is buying the business with a loan, or with OTHER capital (family money, etc.), or he is buying it from family at a small cost. Either way, Joe was not clear if the business has revenue of 250K a year, which would be before paying employees, etc., or if it takes a 250K a year profit. If the profit is 250K a year, then the business would be worth more than what I think it is. Either way, Joe (apparently he’s just an average Joe in McCain’s circles) has the capital to buy the business. Can’t say I really feel to badly for Joe the Plumber. I need more info.

Posted by S in Ohio | Report as abusive

Kelly: You would actually qualify for the tax break Obama is talking about.

Posted by B Gruben | Report as abusive

i’m worried about the economy, currently nikkei index is fall october 16th 2008

Posted by Lenygbog | Report as abusive

Does anyone really think that John McCain would even associate with “Joe the Plumber”? Maybe he will have his people hire him to work on one of his 11 homes…..

Posted by Maureen | Report as abusive

What is this Joe guy whining about? I’d kill to make that kind of money, jeez!

Posted by Anon | Report as abusive

Joe is lucky?! How about Joe is the typical hard working American and needs nothing more than the government to get out of his way. I have an idea, how about we let Joe the Plumber and Joe Sixpack have a crack at the Whitehouse?

These stickers say it all. 081333

Posted by RWS | Report as abusive

Joe the Plumber’s REVENUE for his company is $250K…that’s not the same as his PROFIT. He has to pay employees out of the $250K.

Posted by Jen | Report as abusive

and tomorrow the new york stock exchange close the markets. Uhmm whose are the guilty of the fall economy

Posted by Lenygbog | Report as abusive

I don’t know whether or not I consider myself to be an average American, but I make $24,000 a year working at a call center (full-time) while attending college. I suppose that I hope that the other people also working in this call center, who don’t have aspirations of college, don’t feel like they’ve been steamrollered by the McCain campaign because we make 10% of what Joe does.

Isn’t the general idea of taxation to make the lives of all of our countrymen better? Why shouldn’t small business owners making a quarter million annually have to pay a little more to support the college subsidies or the EPA or the thousands of other federally funded programs?

Posted by Amy Brown | Report as abusive

Where in the world does this plumber work that he is making 250K a year?? I know lots of people with college degrees and they make way less than that. I am a college student-maybe I should quit school and go to work as a plumber!! Sorry Joe, if you make 250k a year you can afford to pay more taxes than someone who only makes half that much or less.

Posted by Deanna | Report as abusive

If Joe works 10-12 hours a day for years on end don’t you guys think he deserves to earn and keep $250,000. Maybe you guys should work a little harder to earn your own $250k so you don’t have to blame him for your struggles. My husband and I have 4 kids, do not have a college degree and have worked our butts off to provide for them. We have earned over $250,000 in a year and as little as $30,000 for other years. I have been a small business owner and provided 12 people good jobs and insurance and I still struggle to have enough money to send my boys to college. If you think taking money from the rich is somehow right when they pay 85% of all the taxes as it is you are not a true American…not in spirit. Stop crying and asking for government handouts and get to work. Let Joe the plumber provide the American dream for his family and you go find yours.

Posted by cindy | Report as abusive

Well, that’s just swell that McCain is sticking up for the “little guy” who wants to buy a business that makes 250K. I make less than 40K, John, how about sticking up for me? Or for any of the other Americans who make less than 100K a year? We don’t matter, do we? Keep the prices at Wal Mart low enough and we’ll never complain. Go home John, go home to one of your 8 mansions.

Posted by Jason | Report as abusive

No you idiots….Joe himself doesn’t make 250,000+ a year, his entire small business does. He has to spread that to his employees and overhead. Do the math – he’s not rich – very middle class.

– Posted by andy

Actually Andy, before you start calling others idiot, you should be aware that Joe the owner of a rather large plumbing business (if he clears $250K) is taxed on what is left after he pays his employees. Joe is whining about being in the top 5% income level of the US.

Sorry, I just have a hard time feeling sorry for him.

Posted by Oeno | Report as abusive

That’s $250,000in sales – for the company that he’s trying to buy. Chances are that after expenses he will probably show a loss, hence paying -nothing in taxes.

Posted by jeff | Report as abusive

Ok, media. Ok, everyone. Get off you butts and find out who this guy is. My gut tells me this is so clearly a campaign plant. One day after Obama meets him on a rope line, McCain mentions him how many times at the debate? As a first year business owner, Joe the plumber can claim that he is going to realize more than 250K in profits (and let’s be clear, that’s what the income tax increase on people who make over 250K means. Tax on profit, not on operating expenses)

I’m a small business owner of over 13 years and I have never come close to that kind of windfall. Furthermore, if I were in such a position, wouldn’t I be more likely to employ more people and invest in capital improvements to avoid severe tax consequences?

So this request is twofold. First, prove that this whole thing is a ruse. If that’s the case, what does that say about the McCain campaign? Secondly, let’s finally put the nail in the coffin of the taxes kill small business myth. Yes, small business is the backbone of our economy, but fewer than, what, 90% of small business make anywhere near the threshold of 250K in profits, and if they do, they are incentivized by higher taxes to reinvest that money?

Please, look into this!

David Heinzen
Vice President
OutWest Global Adventures, Inc.

Posted by david Heinzen | Report as abusive

Joe the Plumber is NOT the average American. I’m a college student, a mother, a professional photographer, and I struggle to pay my bills every month.

I implore anyone to spend a day in my shoes- to decide which is a higher priority, a gallon of milk or a loaf of bread. To decide which is more important, gas for my car or my blood pressure medication. When you know what it’s like to have to choose between food and medication, or diapers and gas, then you know what it’s like to struggle. Then you have a right to be upset about being taxed.

Posted by Lisa | Report as abusive

Hey guys.

My toilet kept running last year and my water bill tripled as a result. I had a plumber fix it for me to get my water bill down to where it should be. I’m glad I was able to hire a man like Joe the Plumber to help me becaue I don’t feel like messing around with water pipes and the such.

Anyway, there should only be tax when you spend money and not when you earn money. This is the only way that makes any sense, as it covers everyone everytime they spend money.

Thanks guys.

Posted by ArteKuna | Report as abusive

77k with Masters? Educated maybe, smart no.

Posted by Y Foil | Report as abusive

why dont we all just make the same amount of money? why cant we all make the same? i’m thinking obama wants that…i think obama is in the wrong country to run for president. try other countries where they dont have dreams…

Posted by tyler | Report as abusive

Come on people. If Joe’s company is only grossing $250,000 a year then he is not one of the small businesses that are affected by Obama’s plan. His plan affects the businesses that NET $250,000. There is a huge difference.

Posted by Oeno | Report as abusive

Anyone else think it’s funny how quickly this Joe buisness has spiraled out of control?

(Also, if we don’t track down this Joe character, are people going to start claiming he’s an urban legend, or some actor hired to play the part of Joe SixPack? I seem to be!)

Posted by James R | Report as abusive

The question is: Do you think that we should exist and operate together in this world or do your own individual and selfish needs out way the greater good? No one person can survey on their own, it is because of the collective that we are all even getting by. So, go home Joe and all the self-concerned and self-interested parties out there. I rather give a little knowing that it is helping my fellow Americans and sleep at night knowing that I am not sacrificing my moral fortitude.

Posted by Jessica Ruano | Report as abusive

If McCain is on Joe Plumber’s side, maybe he should replace Palin! This is perfect:

Posted by Gary | Report as abusive

Cindy said it great. Thank you.

Posted by Jay | Report as abusive

Why do so many of you seem to discredit Joe because he makes $250,000 a year? Every one of us has the chance and opportunity being an American to do the same. He has worked very hard and probably risked a lot to get his plumbing company to that level. There is so much negativity going on here for people that you do not perceive to be the “average” American. This is a man that took the opportunity to build his company and live the American dream that is there for all of us to take. He also employs people, which is helpful to his community and to our economy. Are you really going to disregard the needs of someone based on how much money they make? This is someone who is asking what tools will be given to him to succeed and expand his business. It is a win win for all of us.

Posted by Kasie | Report as abusive

half of you miss the point. Joe has worked hard and has the opportunity to get ahead. that is the American dream. Obama wants to punish him so that Obama can “spread the wealth”. The college grads combining to make $77k per year have no business taking money away from Joe the Plumber.

Posted by Austin H | Report as abusive

Too right, Jen – the discussion above missed the point entirely. The 250K is more likely to be GROSS income before salaries and overheads are taken out. I should think that a business that can afford to pay anyone 250K a year would be described as anything but small…

Posted by J | Report as abusive

… They are already selling t-shirts.. I’d love to show up in one of those tomorrow,

Posted by James R | Report as abusive

I still think the high point of the evening was when McCain said Sarah Palin was a breast of fresh air.

Posted by getplaning | Report as abusive

Joe, can i have a job with you? you can pay me under the table…ill make sure i get cash from the customers..we can keep your income right below 250,000…hmmmm, i wonder if this is going to happen? hell yeah under obamas plan..

Posted by tyler | Report as abusive

Can someone send this link to Joe the plumber? ll-baracks-tax-cuts-help-your-family/

Have him put his numbers in and let him decide.

Posted by zuq | Report as abusive

Cindy, you nailed it. I agree with you 100% and admire you and your family for your hard work and contribution.

Posted by Kasie | Report as abusive

My household makes JUST over $250k/year. Under Obama as president, my taxes will go up. Guess who I am voting for? Brack Obama, of course. I know how blessed I am, and if by raising my taxes a little, this country can be guaranteed better access to care for special needs children, healthcare for everyone, etc., I do not mind doing my part. I already pay almost 40% of my income to the Federal government. Watching them spend MY money on war, on removing my civil liberties, on rewarding big corporations, has made my blood boil for eight years. I make enough money to pay high taxes, period. With Barack Obama, at least those taxes will go toward helping Americans with less, rather than helping the very rich get richer.

Posted by Borky | Report as abusive

This debate would have gone down better for McCain if the entire country had played the Joe the Plumber drinking game.

Posted by Lisa | Report as abusive

No need to go under the table tyler, they shift money smugling over seas, like most jobs, to a swedish bank account that escapes the taxing of government.

Posted by James R | Report as abusive

J.McCain-Wallace use scare tactics,hate,anger and mud to convince,but he falls short. He knows that he lost the Presidency and he is desperate for any trick.

Posted by Dick | Report as abusive report/archive/how-much-would-you-pay-ta xes.html

Look here for the differences in the plans.

Posted by jill | Report as abusive

Thank you to andy, apparently the only other person who did not just skim over this article – the plumbing business, not Joe the plumber, makes 250k a year. I mean, what’s the point of arguing if you can’t get the facts straight?

Posted by reader | Report as abusive

To everyone that feels like they owe the government or someone else because they are successful, give away the money you don’t pay in taxes. Pay them back for all they have done for you. You can give it to any charity. If you can’t decide on a charity, just send it to the IRS, they will figure out how to spend it. Make sure you give it all, you owe them that much.

For myself, I owe my success to me. As such, I would like to pay myself back for all I’ve done.

Posted by smallbutgrowing | Report as abusive

Hi Emily,

Is Joe the Plumber going to purchase a company that makes over $250,000 a year in profits? That seems like a lot for a two person plumbing company. I thought that companies were taxed on the net profits, not on the total sales.

Maybe it’s a really low overhead business. Sounds like the American Dream to me!

Jan Kearney
Berkeley, California

Posted by Jan Kearney | Report as abusive

I am sick to death of people saying, “It’s my money. I don’t want to pay taxes.”

If you don’t want to pay taxes, go live someplace else. Don’t ride a bus, don’t use the U.S. mail, don’t use any roads or schools, or any of the services our government provides with your tax dollars. Paying taxes is not only requisite in a civilized society; it’s our patriotic duty.

Such a bunch of whining babies. I’m embarrassed for you.

Posted by mmll | Report as abusive

[…] long after its mention on international television, Joe the Plumber had a Twitter account. By debate’s end, he […]

Posted by Hail to the Tweet | Real-time political response on Twitter lives Debate 2008 | BlogSchmog | Report as abusive

Well, I can see most views here. I understand that the “Joes” out there got lucky or have worked hard to make their money and don’t want to give it to anyone else.


I have a degree as well. I went into apartment management and I was making okay money. I, unfortunately got hurt on the job and lost it. Why should anyone care? I cannot return to that field due to this injury. Now I have 2 choices.
1)Go back to school and get another degree in something else. This will give me more debt from loans and since I am not working at the moment, it would be very hard to do without trying to work at the same time and I would have to take a low paying job due to the lack of that degree.
2)Go into another field without more school. This means…I won’t make as much money!

So.. In the meantime..I have no health insurance due to being unemployed and can’t afford it. I am in a state that has an unemployment rate of 6% (I mean I have to complete with Boeing and Microsoft employees) which makes it hard to find work.
As you can see…I don’t feel bad for “Joe the Plumber” because he will be taxed for buying a company. I would love to buy a company but I just am trying to figure out how to put food on my table and pay my rent!

Just think if this would happen to you. Would you want someone who is willing to give more money to the rich or someone willing to give you a break in office?

Posted by Kimberly | Report as abusive

The talk about “Joe the plumber” is more annoying than “Joe sixpack”(which took me a few days to figure out if that meant six pack abs or six pack beer…because personally I think I relate more to Joe with six pack abs…)

This shouldn’t be about “are you going to make Joe the plumber happy”? because I’m not Joe the plumber. I don’t relate to Joe the plumber by occupation, and especially by income. And I’m self employed…aren’t I supposed to be one of the people that “Joe the plumber” is supposed to represent?

Posted by Nick Meinzer | Report as abusive

I don’t ride a bus, thanks. I had to pay for every letter or package I sent through the US mail, I was never able to send any for free; should I have been? I feel a little ripped off 😉

The roads thing, supposedly, that’s what the taxes on every gallon of gas is for.

Try again…

Posted by smallbutgrowing | Report as abusive

I’ve got a college degree and almost a MS to boot. So, let me just say, based on this blog it appears that there are a whole lot of dumb college-educated people in this country. You think that because a business does $250k in receipts that he comes home with that money? How ignorant!

For the record, I worked my butt off while in school, went through a divorce while doing so, and ultimately had to incur a significant amount of debt to finish. Even so, having a college degree does not entitle me to make more than someone who has a trade or skill such as plumber. It’s all about work and sacrifice. Wake up people, just because someone has or makes more money than you doesn’t mean they owe a blasted thing.

Posted by Gerald | Report as abusive

I think now JOE PLUMBER’s COMPANY is gonna be so popular among americans that he will be earning $500,000 instead of $250,000 after getting his name 13 times in the presidential debate by Mcain.

Posted by Hardeep | Report as abusive

adding to smallbutgrowing

schools are funding by property tax…in Texas at least

Posted by jill | Report as abusive

[…] Does Joe the Plumber know Joe Six-Pack? and the YouTube video of Joe the Plumber and his confrontation with Obama, a video that has gone […]

Posted by   Video & Photos: Barack Obama John McCain Final Presidential Debate 10-15-08 [Full Video] – Shallow Nation | Report as abusive

After listening to a major news correspondent embedded with the Obama campaign explain the Obama campaign’s answer to Joe the Plumber about why he should give more of his money to the government, I have a question…
If Joe the Plumber gives X amount of money to Barrack Obama  and Obama gives this same X amount of money to Middle America  then Middle America turns right back around and gives the same X amount of money back to Joe the Plumber to buy his goods and services, how will Joe’s business ever grow? How will he ever grow it enough to employ more of Middle America? How will he ever grow it enough to pay more taxes? Why would he want to? And the scariest question of all — What incentive would Middle America have to grow, if all their needs are being met by Joe?
It’s like saying, “Here. Here’s some of my hard earned money so you can pay me to do more hard work for you.” It just doesn’t make any sense! Who is it fair to? Certainly not Joe! Joe probably knows better than anybody who needs his hard earned money, given out of good heart. And that’s what will lift, not only those who receive Joe’s money as a gift, but also Joe, himself.
The Obama campaign reasons that if Joe the Plumber doesn’t give more of his money to Middle America, there won’t be anybody who has money to pay for his services. Please explain to me, how are you making any money, and how is it fair, if you are getting paid with your own money? And how is that Capitalism? Or is it something else entirely?

Posted by Faye Nicholson | Report as abusive

Smallbutgrowing… Do you seriously believe that COST OF POSTAGE is what keeps the US Postal system running?? I literally, physically laughed out loud when I read that. Really, I don’t believe any adult in this country could possibly be that ignorant. I’m going to do you a favor now and let you know to never say that aloud, to anyone, and for god’s sake, don’t tell any children that, because they might actually believe it. 😉

Posted by smittenp | Report as abusive

Kelly Schuan… so you run a business where you claim your earnings before you take out your employees pay? So let me get this straight… you make $53K per year but you pay takes on $158K? And we’re ignorant?

Posted by joe | Report as abusive

Gerald.. they do owe a blasted thing… they owe taxes, just like everyone else.

Posted by smittenp | Report as abusive

It’s funny that so many use the term “punished” when talking about a guy making $250,000 a year paying his taxes. Where’s the “punishment”? It’s simple fairness. You make more money, you can afford to pay more. You are struggling to get by, you don’t pay more. It’s like Sarah Palin’s comment that paying taxes isn’t patriotic. Thomas Friedman said it well: isn’t paying for the war you want to continue patriotic, instead of passing the bill to our kids? Isn’t paying for the military equipment to protect your son patriotic? Isn’t paying for the roads and bridges our nation needs patriotic, instead of letting them decay and collapse?

Come on Joe – show a little pride in America instead of just looking out for #1!

Posted by Mike Kelly | Report as abusive

Here’s the deal. Anyone that is concerned about taxes probably works for the money they get. Regardless of how the money is made, hourly, by the job, salaried, or otherwise, if you average out the amount of money made over the number of hours worked, they are basically paid by time.

If you think a percentage based tax on earnings is fair, would you give up even 10% of your working life, as time, not money, to someone else? That is, say you work a 8 hour day, would you give someone else 48 minutes, 10% of eight hours, of your life?

Maybe if you thought you were getting something in return. However, the more I work, the more I pay taxes, the less I have time to use and take advantage of all the supposed things taxes pay for.

Posted by smallbutgrowing | Report as abusive

Tell Joe to tell both canidates to give each American 1 millon dollars out of the 700 billon and all can pay for their homes, health and help the economy.

Posted by Nancy Chapman | Report as abusive

I am retired, disable, and thank the good lord I do work out of my home. But I do not make enough money to pay more taxes, and I do not have a healthy medical plan. So if given a millon dollars out of 700 billon we could pay our houses off, spend money for the economy and still let the government have the rest of the money to do what they need.

Posted by Nancy Chapman | Report as abusive

If Joe the Plumber isn’t smart enought to position his business into a favorable tax position he doesn’t belong in business. The tax code is, always has been, always will be filled with loopholes to make your income to tax ratio bearable.

Obama is only proposing a 3%-10% graduated tax increase, basically not renewing the bush tax cuts. Joe the plumber needs to quit whining and cough up the exta 5k-10K to help the country.

I assume Joe and all his rich friends voted for Bush the last 2 times so secondly they need cough up more taxes to pay back America for electing a moron to the presidency for the last 8 years.

Posted by ctl | Report as abusive

Look, smallbutgrowing, everyone who works pays taxes. The people who make the most money are not necessarily the people working the most hours, nor are they necessarily working the most physically or mentally challenging jobs. It’s only right that the people who are making the most money are taxed the same percentage or more than the people who are making less money. It’s not all about giving handouts to the people who don’t work at all. There are plenty of hardworking, honest people out there who will never be able to afford their own house, or to start their own small business from the ground up, let alone to outright buy a successful, established business worth a quarter mil or more… and yes, even being approved for a loan of that amount attests to a person’s relative wealth, because banks don’t give loans to people unless they can reasonably expect that the person will earn enough to pay it back. Obama wants the people who make more to pay more than the people who make less… but the people who make less WILL still have to work, and they WILL still have to pay taxes. No one is going to be getting rich off the rich. Tax breaks aren’t going to catapult people from lower to upper class. They’re still going to have to work to get the things they want in life.

Posted by smittenp | Report as abusive

so lets understand the mathematics of taxes,
30% of 100,000 is 30,000 and
30% of 200,000 is 60,000 so a person who earns more is already paying higher tax, now why to ask more from him, i don’t think it is fair, also why government is interested in someone’s income and tax them more or less, their scope should be government employees who have job security and immunity from market conditions.
I will rather employee some more folks, give business out to local community, buy stuff to generate businesses.
— You got it what I just said

Posted by pgh1 | Report as abusive

We are supposed to be compassionate people and take care of each other. All Joe the Plumber cares about is that he might be taxed an extra 3%. Boo Hoo..

Try living in Michigan, college educated, with the loans to prove it, and become ill and disabled along the way in the last few years. When I was able to work last year, I earned $24k–but my medical costs were $12K. Now, I am on social security disability and still pay close to $500 of my $1100 a month on health insurance and costs, even with Medicaid. Not wishing it on you, but what happens, Joe the Plumber, if you become ill or disabled? Wouldn’t you need others to share their wealth with you, so that you could at least survive.

What is so wrong with socialism???? At least everyone is taken care of equally. We don’t take care of people who need it in our society. I see disabled children here in Michigan with horrific conditions due to a lack of funds, not their condition. I see people with disabilities struggling to survive and live in deep poverty. Not all people that need help are undeserving. Many people fall through the cracks. People are dying from medical neglect and poverty here in Michigan.

Other nations take care of their own. They look down on Americans because we are so materialistic, and favor our own interests rather than the betterment of the whole. Joe the Plumber is an example of what these other countries are talking about.

Posted by Laurie | Report as abusive

[…] came Joe — a name that will probably stay in our Google and YouTube searches for a while. By one count, he got at least thirteen mentions in the first part of the debate. Soon enough, a Twitter user […]

Posted by Obama, McCain and Joe The Plumber: Attack and Defense In The Last Presidential Debate « Feet In 2 Worlds | Report as abusive

Take a look at this:  /show/1410.html+us+population+taxpayers &hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=2&gl=us

Apparently, the number of people that pay taxes is going down every year. Combine that with the fact that every year the federal government spends more money. Pretty soon, the few of us that are lucky enough to have worked to better ourselves, will be able to work to pay to take care of even more people we don’t even know.

Posted by smallbutgrowing | Report as abusive


Sorry, I’m not quite as versed in the running of the government or it’s money losing enterprises as yourself.

If the USPS isn’t charging enough to cover the costs of delivering the mail, maybe they should do what any other business would have to do, raise prices, cut costs, or go out of business. I’m sure FedEx, UPS, DHL, etc. would be more than willing to pick up the slack.

Posted by smallbutgrowing | Report as abusive

All you people working hard and going to school trying to make ends meet. Joe the Plumber has been there and he did it without handouts. He is still working and trying to buy a business. Why do you think Joe the Plumber should give to you? He already is paying taxes. I work hard to make ends meet to, like others payday to payday, but Joe the Plumber doesn’t owe me anything, people we are not entitled and the government function is not to distribute wealth.

Posted by tiff | Report as abusive

Oh, and I should also mention that because I work for myself, I buy private health insurance. My husband and I, no children, pay more than $900/month for basic health insurance. McCain’s $5000 tax credit is laughable in the face of private insurance costs. To me, that number is illustrative of how out of touch McCain is. After taxes, almost 10% of my salary goes toward paying for health insurance. TEN PERCENT. That is insane. If I can get the same health insurance that Barack Obama and John McCain get for the same price? I will save thousands of dollars a year, which will more than make up for the small tax increase under Obama’s economic plan.

I don’t understand why so many people are so scared of this “socialism” straw man. What Obama is offering is similar to something plenty of people I know who don’t have employer-subsidized health insurance do: they set up an LLC and join their local Chamber of Commerce, thereby getting CoC insurance rates. That doesn’t mean that the Chamber of Commerce in Smalltown, USA gets to dictate their healthcare decisions any more than your employer who provides healthcare gets to dictate YOUR healthcare decisions. Obama’s plan for the uninsured is just as if you worked for, say, a the Post Office or the IRS and used their employer-subsidized insurance. The employer is the Federal Government, but do you really think that the Federal Government is telling your mailman which doctor he can see, or whether or not he can have an operation he needs? Ask your mail carrier what kind of role the government plays in his healthcare decision, besides paying for most of it.

Posted by Borky | Report as abusive

Smallbutgrowing.. the USPS is not a business. Nor is the Department of Transportation. I’m far from an expert on the subjects of government and taxes. But for someone who complains so much about having to pay taxes, you are surprisingly uneducated about what those taxes pay for. I would think that if the government was taxing any percentage of your income, you would be interested in exactly where your money is going. If you have no idea where your tax dollars go, it makes sense that you are so vehemently against taxes. Please, get the facts, and consider updating your opinion when you are better informed.

Posted by smittenp | Report as abusive

We found Joe. Got to to see a live interview with him just moments after the debate.

Posted by Jill | Report as abusive

Basic Tax facts folks. Joe’s business will more than likely be an S-Corp. In simple terms, all business PROFIT flows to the owner’s personal income tax or Joe can pay himself $250k in salary and claim that the business makes $0 (FICA taxes make that a stupid move but probably he’ll pay himself $100k minimum to not get audited and pay 15% less tax!). This mean Joe personally is making AT LEAST 250K a year but probably even more since his tax is: his pay + the company profit! This guy is not hurting and there is no way that he’s reconsidering buying that business with numbers like that!

I’m personally blessed that my company is earning similar profit. That’s good money! Yes it’s patriotic to pay taxes and more important morally the right thing to do. Sure it hurts to pay taxes but damn I’m still making $250K a year! You only pay taxes on profit not on sales, how hard is that to understand?

Posted by Steve | Report as abusive


Well, it’s tough to know exactly where all the money goes. Everyone has a different story with different supporting graphs and facts.

Regardless, I don’t think many would argue that there is a lot of waste now. Every year, the budget seems to go up and taxes need to be raised to cover it. Whatever happened to cutting costs? Not diverting money from somewhere else, but actually cutting costs.

Combine that with the truly ridiculous loopholes in our current code that end up netting large businesses no tax burden and the growing number of people on the lower end of the income range paying no taxes; the taxes that are paid, whatever they’re for, are being paid by the few in the middle. People that are trying to better themselves. People that want something out of life besides what is given to them.

I just want the government and it’s tax system to stay out of my way.

Posted by smallbutgrowing | Report as abusive

There is a video of Barak and Joe on YouTube and Viral Video Chart… oA

Posted by Andrew Davies | Report as abusive

I’m Glenn ,the carpenter I,ve been in business for 6 yrs I have 2 employees and I can hardly clear 50,000 a year.But I was not stupied when I started out I knew I would be in a higher tax bracket than when I was making 8.75 an hr.If joe the plumber is worried that he’ll have to pay more tax because he makes 250,000 a year well thats real sad. maybe he should try working from the ground up ( like most of us small biz owners) and not working from the top side ways.

Posted by GLENN | Report as abusive

this individual was approached initially by a conservative newspaper, or a columnist working on their behalf. This might have been a Mccain ploy!!

Posted by stephen payne | Report as abusive


Posted by FLUSHED | Report as abusive

The gross receipts of Joe’s business are not taxed as income, so if, as many of you are saying, the business takes in 250k per year, and he pays salaries, expenses, etc., the income will be well under 250k, and there will be no tax increase, and in fact, most likely a tax break under Obama.
If, on the other hand, the net profit after expenses is over $250k, (a/k/a spending money) Joe will have to pay an extra tax of 3%. But only on the amount over $250k. So if Joe has net profit of say, $280k, he will pay and extra $900 in tax. I don’t think this will cripple his ability to live.

Posted by honus | Report as abusive

I always thought those plumbers charged astronomical rates, and now we know they make over $250,000 a year. Boohoo for Joe.

Posted by Sharon | Report as abusive

“so lets understand the mathematics of taxes,
30% of 100,000 is 30,000 and 30% of 200,000 is 60,000″
You actually don’t understand the mathematics of taxes. Somebody that earns 200,000 doesn’t pay 30% on 200,000. They only pay 30% on what they make over 200,000.

Posted by honus | Report as abusive

Boy, heck of a thread to start with two foolish comments like that. Joe the Plumber himself is not taking home anywhere near $250,000. The business earns that much and because it’s a small business, it’s taxed as individual income. There is no relief for the fact that that business has expenses such as supplies, transportation, rent and employees that greatly cut down that $250,000. Therein lies the flaw in liberals understanding of taxation.

It’s amazing how little you know about the economy yet you claim you can fix it.

Posted by Matt | Report as abusive

To Chandler and other college-educated folks, In the US, your salary is directly proportional to the impact you make, and not to (a) the level of your education, (b) how hard you work. I mean not an iota of disrespect. I have a doctorate degree and am making comfortable 6-figure. I have seen my colleagues (all have Ph.D.’s) struggle at much lower pay grade, and trying to make ends meet. Why? Because their jobs carries less influence.

Think impact. Joe the plumber makes more than you perhaps because he carries a lot more impact due to his entrepreneurial acumen. If so, more power to him!

This doesn’t mean he should pay less taxes. I think Obama’s plan is right for the country.

Posted by ChicagoDude | Report as abusive

I thought the embarrassingly uninformed comments about how much Joe the plumber is actually taking home were bad, but then I kept reading.

Where do any of you get off acting as if you are entitled to money that someone else has earned? In the real world, it’s called stealing. If my neighbor had a vegetable garden more bountiful than mine, and I decided to take some of his peppers to make us more even, I’d be lucky to not get shot, but would almost definitely wind up in jail if caught. Now, this commie is proposing making it public policy and all of you *diots are supporting it!!

Jealous that someone is making more than you? Work harder or smarter!!! It’s not their fault you haven’t achieved and they have.

Posted by Matt | Report as abusive

I saw a picture of Joe the Plumber sitting on his couch. Placed on his coffee table was a pack of cigarettes. If one is to assume that those cigarettes belong to Joe, then one can conclude that he really isn’t too concerned about taxes–he pays cigarette taxes to the state of Ohio.

Perhaps the question is: Does Joe the Plumber know Joe Camel?

Posted by Ut oh | Report as abusive

[…] Joe the Plumber (possibly related to Joe Six-Pack) left the debate looking good – or at least looking important. Whoever this guy is, the candidates sure care a lot about him. […]

Posted by College Candy » The Third Presidential Debate: Is it Over? Should We Go Home? | Report as abusive

[…] all the talk about Joe the Plumber in last night’s final presidential debate, I thought folks might want to meet another plumber […]

Posted by Literary Safari » Plumbers for Obama | Report as abusive

[…] 21 times according to the rough estimate of political pundits after the debate. Reuters counted 13 times in the first few minutes of the debate alone. Even legendary NBC anchor Tom Brokaw broke precedent […]

Posted by » Joe the Plumber Gets His 15 Minutes, On the Tube and On the Web | Report as abusive

My husband and I have been working our tails off for 20 years on our small business, we have to pay our own retirement..We have kids bills and mortgages that we have to pay and for years we lived very frugally and we still do,why should we work hard to spread the wealth around……Why should more of our money go to others, who don’t even want to work? We give money to plenty of causes. And it costs a lot of money to be in business..I guess some of you just can’t see that. Obama makes me sick, let all the people who want to pay more taxes make the government an offer, and leave the rest of us alone. Pretty soon none of us will be making any money it will all go to the government with people like Obama in office!!!!

Posted by joan | Report as abusive

Obama used the debate tonight as an excellent opportunity to explain his programs & policies, point by logical point.

McCain used the debate to attack Obama & parrot the old Bush-Reagan dogma of deregulation that has led us into this current worldwide economic meltdown.

Who won?

Really, McCain sealed his fate tonight by proving himself stale & lacking on policies to bring our country forward.

I’m sure, however, that Obama, as President, will work constructively with Senator McCain and the Republicans to advance our country.

Oh, one more point. Regarding Palin, even John McCain, for all his “praise”, couldn’t bring it over his tongue to state that he considers Palin qualified to be President, were something to happen to him.
That’s significant.

Obama said he’ll leave it up to the voters to decide.We have. While it might be fun to drink a Joe-six-pack with her, that’s not what she’s running for.

The vast majority of Americans can recognize someone in way over their head, and have no doubts Palin is utterly unqualified for high office.

Obama/Biden are the only candidates qualified and with the right stuff to be running our country come Jan. 20th, 2009.

On Nov. 4th, I will vote for Obama/Biden without any doubts or reservations.

Posted by fbla1805 | Report as abusive

I am curouis if Joe the plummers business has gross reciepts of $250,000 per year or if this is the net profit for the business.

Posted by Robert Ryerson | Report as abusive

I think “Joe the Plumber” works for the McCain campaign, and he was a plant so he could have his “zinger” in the debate. It’s so tranparent.

Posted by CATHY | Report as abusive

Read my Open Letter to Barack Obama:

Dear Senator Obama,

I am a stay-at-home mom living in the over $250k tax bracket. I want to ask you why you feel my family is not doing it’s part to share the wealth in this country. Our family does well but we also pay taxes at the highest marginal rate. We do not have millions or the kind of lifestyle that would get us access to tax loopholes. We only get deductions for home mortgage interests, state taxes paid and charitable contributions. Last year those three deductions were capped because the government limits the deductions at our income level. In the past we have been stuck in AMT which ensures we do not underpay our fair share of taxes.

Because of our family’s income level, our children will not qualify for student loans or other aid. Therefore we must save entirely for their college. We save as much as we can. In recent weeks lost 30% of those savings as well as a decent amount of our retirement savings and the few mutual fund investments we have are under water. The only other asset we have is our family home. We only have one. It would be really tough to sell it in this market, we’ve lost a large chunk of our equity.

We have never received a stimulus check, yet we do our part to donate to charities we believe in, invest in the market and spend to keep the economy going. And we pay our taxes. There is no question that the opportunities in this great country have allowed us to achieve the American Dream. For that I am grateful.

Your proposals will take an additional 12% out of our annual family budget by increasing the marginal tax rate and increasing payroll taxes. We aren’t struggling yet but we will be if your tax proposals pass. We will have to stop or severely limit college savings, with one child only 3.5 years from college and the savings down 30%. Last year we paid enough in Federal Taxes to supply 240 individuals with a Bush stimulus check, similar to the stimulus plan you propose if you are elected (I guess that continuation of the same Bush economic polices is good). I have no doubt that some of what we paid went to wasteful government projects and earmark spending that did not help any struggling families. You say $18 billion in earmarks is not a lot of money to you but 12% of my family budget is a lot to me and my children. I do not begrudge what we already give the government, but I will argue that we are doing our share. I argue we are patriotic and we are neighborly.

We are upper middle class, we are not like your friends, Oprah and Warren Buffet. Our priorities are saving for our retirement, our kids college and paying off our house. We can comfortably do those three things now, though we are worried about the economy like everyone else.

I am a registered Democrat and have always believed in social programs for those who need them. I still believe in them. But I do not understand why when you speak that it sounds as though my family is getting something over on this country. That we aren’t doing our part. That we don’t pay enough tax. That we don’t do enough to lift others up. I say we are doing a lot by not asking anything from the government. I say it is the government that is letting the American people down, not us.

If this economy gets worse my husbands job will be at risk. We could lose our home along with the remainder of our savings. The only good news I see coming from the Democrats is that maybe then we can have the government contribute to our children’s college education, we’ll get a tax cut and might finally see one of those stimulus checks. Then you’d finally get your chance to lift my family up.

Posted by Pennsylvaniamom | Report as abusive

Regardless of whether Joe’s company makes $250K in profit or gross sales, it doesn’t really matter. If it’s gross sales, I doubt he’d have enough after salaries to show a profit of $250K. Like most of us with small businesses, we make sure our net profits are low at the end of our fiscal year so we don’t have to pay taxes (take bonuses, expand the business, etc.). Not to mention, what is so different about what Obama’s plan from what we have now? Aren’t our tax laws such that the more you make, the higher the tax bracket you are in? It’s been that way forever, but now it’s suddenly evil? Everybody works hard at what they do, whether you make $30K a year or $3M a year. Does everyone deserve to keep their hard earned money? If so, then if no one pays taxes, we collapse. Get it?

Posted by Darryl | Report as abusive

@ rm it’s his whole business making that much, right? not him. so him and his employees. dunno how many people that 250K is spread across.

Posted by ms | Report as abusive

Tell Joe to tell both canidates to give each American 1 millon dollars out of the 700 billon and all can pay for their homes, health and help the economy.

Posted by Nancy Chapman

1,000,000 x 300,000,000 (280,000,000 not counting illegals) = 300,000,000,000,000

300,000,000,000,000 > 700,000,000,000 by a lot.

Redo your math.

Posted by Matt | Report as abusive


I love all you people who need BO to take your money so you can ‘help’ more people. There are countless charities that you can donate directly to. Let’s say you give $50,000 to a charity. They get $50,000. Let’s say you give $50,000 to the US government because BO has decided you’re wealthy and that’s not fair to people who aren’t. That $50,000 pays the IRS employees reviewing your tax forms (and possibly more for audits), it goes to Treasury employees’ salaries to preserve its remaining value, it goes to salaries of legislative, executive and judicial branch employees to argue over and eventually implement the policy on where your $50,000 goes, it then goes to pay for supplies and wages for the paper pushers actually doing the distribution. By the time your $50,000 gets to that same charity, you’re lucky if it’s worth $10,000. Congratulations. You’re smart enough to make $250,000 a year, but can’t grasp the simple fact that government interferes with the transfer of wealth.

Point two is that nobody cares whether or not you want to give up even 75% of your earnings! Some people (like Dick Cheney – $6m out of $8m payout went to charity) do just that! But where do you get off forcing everyone else to do just as you want to do?

BTW, read the book Who Really Cares and you’ll see that study after study shows that in every category of giving, Republicans give much more to charity than Dems. Dems think it’s the government’s place to decide how much you’re allowed to keep.

Posted by Matt | Report as abusive

Nancy Chapman,

I should apologize and clarify. I don’t disagree with the concept of that money also going to the citizenry and not just large banks (who do, by the way, create massive numbers of jobs), but even if it was only split among the people, it wouldn’t be anywhere near $1m each.

Posted by Matt | Report as abusive

To all you who advise Chandler to get a new job: … and if we all do, there´ll be no firemen, teachers or nurses? Redistribution is what government does all the time, and it is call taxes. You want schools? Some jobs simply cannot fetch a “market value” – unless you suggest that only the really stupid should get teaching jobs.

Posted by Osmund LI | Report as abusive

I have a hard time relating to the plight of “Joe The Plumber”. If Joe is buying an already existing business, just how is he doing this magical thing called “creating jobs”? I seriously doubt that he’s going to expand much during these economic times. I’d bet that the guy who’s selling his business wants to sell because his business has dropped off. He’s probably telling Joe that he’s making $250K so he can sell the business for more. His net is probably much less. The odds of Joe’s taxes going up are quite slim. As a business owner, he’ll have write-offs that he now probably lacks. My B.S. meter is buried in the red.
If the business owner that Joe’s buying the business from lives in Holland, OH, at $250K he’s making over 6X the median income in Holland. Based on plumbers that I know, I’d say that Joe is probably only making 3X the median income of his neighbors. After getting the bill for plumbing services, most people would have a hard time feeling badly for the plumber.
That said, it’s apparent that Joe doesn’t need to say who he’s voting for in order for people to know it. I’m sure that it has nothing to do with the fact that Holland, OH is over 97% white.
Joe the Plumber was a “plant”, probably the brainchild of that famous coach of “the shrub”, Karl Rove. I think that Joe the Plumber? More like “Joe The Plant”. It was a predictable tactic.

Posted by Brian W. | Report as abusive

Go Joe! People need to understand that if a small business makes $250,000. most of that income goes to buy materials, vehicles, insurance (health & liability & auto) and employee salaries and payroll taxes and state taxes. Now, how much is Joe the plumber really making? People do not distort the facts. Under Obama’s tax plan small business owners will be forced to pay higher taxes if their sales are over $250,000. How can this help our economy? It will destroy it.

Posted by Diane | Report as abusive

Why do you all assume that Joe the Plumber doesn’t have a degree? The man is a well spoken hard working business man. With or with out the degree, he has earned his success! I heard he is single too- I want to meet Joe the Plumber!

Posted by Colleen form NYC | Report as abusive

okay. well. from reading all these comments from people. i can clearly see that no one was paying attention to the facts. JOE is indeed NOT making 250K a year, the company he works for is. the company he wants to buy. so he is making merely a fraction of what you all are assuming.

but i do agree with Obama. we need to spread the wealth around! our economy is awful and we need ways to fix it. we need to help people get off onto their feet, as americans! so stop being greedy people. this is like our charity to the help the economy. when the markets go back up, we will all be making more money, regardless of taxes. we just need to get it there!

Posted by darling | Report as abusive

Something isn’t right. “Joe the Plumber” invokes images of an average, hard-working American, who might as well have been “Melissa the Teacher”, “Pat the Nurse”, or “John the contruction worker”. He was certainly being used as such by McCain, suggesting that Obama would be hitting the average American harder with taxes. Trouble is, apparently the actual “Joe the Plumber” makes in excess of $250,000! That’s not the salary of an average, hard-working American! I don’t know of any teachers, nurses, constructions workers or, for that matter, plumbers, who make that kind of money. So, lest we get the wrong picture here, we better start referring to this guy as “Joe the Somehow Really Rich Plumber”, which will frame these kinds of issues that McCain and Obama sparred on in quite a different light.

Posted by Bram van Heuveln | Report as abusive

I am with Joe! Obama will mess things up worse than they already are!

Posted by Jessica | Report as abusive

Joe the Plumber is a staunch Republican supporter from the start. Obama could have told him he would cut his taxes completely and Joe the Plumber would have still vote Republican. Joe the Plumber is basically nothing more than a political plant for the sake of campaign rhetoric and suckers who fall for such stunts.

Posted by Fran | Report as abusive

i just gotta say “joe the plumber” is the man! ur an american icon
and i am a mcain supporter.

Posted by josiah | Report as abusive

“joe the plumber” is the man!
an american image

Posted by josiah | Report as abusive

One of the things that bugged me last night, was that no one really addressed cutting health care costs, but more of funding the same situation. As a person with a serious illness, I see so many ways they could cut health costs. One is that they “buff up” the amounts of services so that they will get the maximum amount of reimbursement from insurance and Medicaid. They overstate what they expect to receive, so that they can get the max.

Prescription costs are outrageous. My prescriptions cost before insurance and Medicaid, $1800 a month. One is $650 a month, and another $400 a month. And somebody is not making a profit on those????

Medicaid has stupid rules. I have COBRA health insurance with a Medicaid spend-down. I kept the COBRA because it took the state 4 months to process Medicaid for me. I would have died if I didn’t have insurance. But keeping my COBRA here in Michigan works against me. I wouldn’t have to pay anything if I dropped my COBRA insurance here with the amount of medical bills I have a month. But what is the effect instead, as I value my health? I don’t meet my Medicaid spend-down because COBRA pays my costs. I end up paying more with COBRA to ensure my health. And I save Medicaid thousands of dollars a month.

I have been working with my legislators to try to make it easier for someone with COBRA to keep it on Medicaid with a spend-down when it benefits both the state and the person to do so. Have I gotten anywhere in a year? No. Maybe if the legislators and government people spent more time figuring out how to save money such as in my situation, maybe health care costs could be manageable.

Posted by Laurie | Report as abusive

OK, directly from the Obama website, this should clear a few things up regarding how the $250K is measured:

Q: Do Small Businesses pay taxes on their gross revenues or their net income?

A: As a small business owner who claims small business income on your individual tax return (whether through a sole proprietorship, partnership, or S-corp) you pay individual income taxes only on your net income — or profit — and not on your firm’s gross revenue. Accordingly, when Obama says that he would roll back the Bush tax cuts for all couples earning more than $250,000 a year, these income figures include only net income that a small business owner takes home. Because net income is usually far lower than gross revenue, even if your revenue is above $250,000 you are still likely to get a tax cut under Obama’s tax plan. If you are a small business owner using the tax calculator, you should select your income level based on the net income you claim — your revenues minus your costs — to see how you would fare under each candidate.

So, you are taxed on your NET PROFIT (INCOME) AND NOT GROSS SALES. Therefore, if Joe The Plumber is bringing home $250K/year from a two-guy plumbing business, I find that very hard to believe (or his prices are too high!!!) More likely, J-T-P isn’t going to pay *any* extra taxes.

Posted by Darryl | Report as abusive

joe supports small bussineses, like myslef and my parents. all small bussiness owners are holding this economy up on its feet. and self imployment.

Posted by josiah | Report as abusive

People, Obama’s plan does NOT tax GROSS REVENUE it taxes PROFIT and INCOME. If Joe knows how to have a business that has sales of $250K and show a profit of $250 then he has more to worry about from the IRS than Obama’s tax plan.

Posted by NickV | Report as abusive

I truly am sick of this whole “Joe the six pack drinking plumber” election tactic. let’s not loose sight of the issues facing all of us. The socialist sell off of our wealth, health and happiness, not to mention the country we call home.

Posted by Joe | Report as abusive

Joe the plumber may win the election for McCain. Check out my illustration of Joe

Posted by jamie rushad | Report as abusive

I just listen to an impromptu interview with the now-famed “Joe-the-Plumber,” fresh from this morning (10/16). I don’t know…Is it just me, or can anyone else smell a plant? He was asked one question, and he ranted and rattled through just about every right-wing talking point and anger meme you could possibly imagine…Joe, Joe, Joe…Joe-six-pack, and now Joe-da-plumber.

Posted by Calvin | Report as abusive

I really don’t understand what the new marginal tax rate Obama proposes has to do with Joe purchasing the business he is currently working for.

Will he be paying himself more than $250k or will the taxable earnings of the business put him over the top (Subchapter “S” I would assume)?

What is his income from the business now?

Joe, I think you need to get yourself a good CPA and/or take a class on basic business accounting and finance.

BTW Joe – cash is king!

BTW Diane – a business is taxed on gross income not revenues – see my advise to Joe above.

Posted by I don’t get it | Report as abusive

Why do small butgrowing and Joe the Plumber hate our troops? You do know that 20% of your tax dollars go to pay for military expenditures, right? heets/hist03z1.xls So maybe you can move to country without any military to protect your ability to make money, or courts to enforce you getting paid or laws that prohibit some unlicensed bozo from undercutting your hourly rates and stealing your work? Be sure to let all your friends know when you find such a place where you can also net $250K/yr.

Posted by Ryeoconnor | Report as abusive

It’s funny, but Obama said he’d raise taxes on INDIVIDUALS making over 250k a year.
Never once did he say he’d raise taxes on businesses grossing over 250k a year.

And I’m sorry but an individual grossing a quarter of a million a year is making a ton of cash.

Posted by Dave | Report as abusive

Well, here’s what I think. I’d rather have a president who drank an occasional six-pack and showed a big old butt crack every now and then opposed to Mr. McCain. So, why don’t we all write-in Joe “Six-Pack” the Plumber? I think we’d be WAY better off if Joe “Six-Pack the Plumber was our next president.

Posted by John McCain | Report as abusive

I am sick to death of people saying, “It’s my money. I don’t want to pay taxes.”

If you don’t want to pay taxes, go live someplace else. Don’t ride a bus, don’t use the U.S. mail, don’t use any roads or schools, or any of the services our government provides with your tax dollars. Paying taxes is not only requisite in a civilized society; it’s our patriotic duty.

Such a bunch of whining babies. I’m embarrassed for you.

I live in Obama’s district and he is my senator. The State of Illinois has the highest tax rate of any state in the US. To drive to work every day I pay a $1.80 each way for road up keep that never happens. Our gas price is taxed at 43%. When I want to mail a letter I buy a stamp. When I ride the train I pay the fare. My property taxes are $7000 year for my big 1500 Sq ft mansion. With all of that said why should I be taxed once again??? Wasn’t the revolutionary WAR over taxation without representation?

Wake up people soon we will be in a socialist country (we have already seen it on Wall Street) Get involved and become informed beyond the presidential race.

Posted by Jaymyn | Report as abusive

Hmmm….. er/archive/2008/10/16/joe-the-plumber-re publican-plant-and-relative-of-charles-k eating.aspx

Posted by Fran | Report as abusive

If Joe buys a business GROSSING $250K/year. He will DEFINITELY get a tax cut under Obama’s plan. The $250k that is mentioned by Obama is the PROFIT. In order for a plumbing business to clear $250k/yr PROFIT, it would have GROSS REVENUES in excess of $1M……Joe – by his own words – is looking to buy a business with GROSS of $250k……sadly, Joe is too ignorant of the facts to realize that he would be getting a tax cut under Obama’s plan. He should be the first one in line to vote for Obama’s tax cut proposal………

Posted by BK | Report as abusive

I’ve taught for 30 years because I love being able to help young people become more aware of the world around them. They can then decide what they want to be (e.g., plumber, teacher, etc.) However, I also tell them that some professions, like teaching, usually do not present the same opportunity to benefit from a money aspect, as do most other professions in the private sector where the level of effort you put into it is often rewarded financially (e.g., the harder you are willing to work the more you will potentially make, something that simply will never happen, say, to a first grade teacher). Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, Joe the Plumber, etc. simply would not have the same wealth if they had chosen to become teachers. Do I care? Not really, because I make a comfortable living (not much over $50,000) and have had what I consider one of the best jobs anyone could ever have. Does Joe the Plumber represent me? Absolutely not. Does McCain represent me? Absolutely not. Does Obama represent me? You bet.

Posted by Joe (really) | Report as abusive


Stop posting the same thing in every thread. It’s abuse, and frankly *diotic that you had to cut something from DailyKos and paste it everywhere your cursor led you.

Posted by Matt | Report as abusive

Watch for a send-up of Joe the Plumber and McCain on the next SNL, which is where they both belong. Let’s not shed any tears over Joe and his higher taxes. He’ll be sitting pretty throughout the recession. Hiring a plumber isn’t a discretionary expenditure. If you need one, you’ll hire one regardless of what the economy’s doing. And for all his whining about being penalized for trying to reach the American Dream, Joe’s no poster boy for those who are trying to do the same. Appearing on a talk show this morning, Joe said that when he asked Obama about his taxes, Obama “tap danced” around the issue “like Sammy Davis Jr.” Apparently he thinks an African-American who aspires to the office of the presidency is as laughable as a dancing ape. He may not even be aware that his remark was racist, which is the most frightening part of this sorry episode.

Posted by jill | Report as abusive

Important fact to point out here is Joe the Plumber is in fact not a business owner. He is someone who “wants” to buy a business. Right now Joe the plumber is a plumber. Plumbers in america have an average median income of $45,000. Maybe Joe makes a little more or less than this but at this moment Joe is an employee. I am a small business owner and I understand what my needs are and Joe the Plumber is not representing them correctly.

And since when does Joe the Plumber speak for America. I don’t know him and he certainly doesn’t speak for me. And the truth is he is running around upset about something that doesn’t even exist in his world because again he does not own a business he is just someone who wants to now whether he has the means to actually do that no one knows.

I am tired of Joe the Plumber and Joe Six Pack, I want smart people to run my country.

Posted by Suzanne | Report as abusive

It’s funny, but Obama said he’d raise taxes on INDIVIDUALS making over 250k a year.
Never once did he say he’d raise taxes on businesses grossing over 250k a year.

And I’m sorry but an individual grossing a quarter of a million a year is making a ton of cash.

– Posted by Dave

Dave, do some research, please. 98% of small business owners have to report earnings as individual incomes.

Second, where the h3ll do you get off forcing your opinion about what constitutes a ton of cash on the rest of the public? Maybe if you’re in a rent controlled apartment in your lib NYC enclave it would be a lot, but for families with two working parents paying for transportation, child care, education (yes education, because government run schools are not worth attending for the most part) property taxes, mortgage, food and energy bills, $250,000 is not a lot of money at all. This “ton of cash” is further reduced when people like Joe the Plumber have supplies, wages and rent to pay.

Posted by Matt | Report as abusive

For those calling others idiots you really ought to know how tax policy works. If Joe the Plumber’s small businsess brings in $250,000 before he pays his overhead costs (salaries, rent, utilities, etc.) this is known as his gross income or gross receipts. The business DOES NOT pay tax on gross income or gross receipts. It pays income on net profits (which is gross receipts minus typical operating expenses). So if Joe’s business has $260,000 dollars in gross receipts and he spends $190,000 on overhead and has a net-profit of $70,000 the businsess gets taxed on the $70,000 net the $260,000, meaning that Joe the Small Business Owner actually gets a tax cut under Obama’s plan. If the business’ net profits are really $260,000 then yes Joe will pay $300 more in taxes per year under Obama than he will under McCain (a 3% increase on the 10,000 over 250,000). Now, Joe has given interviews saying that he is currently making significantly less than $250,000. Therefore, if a $300.00 a year tax increase is going to prevent him from buying a business that will give him more than $10,000 a year in additional income, Joe probably wouldn’t be a very good business owner to begin with. Further, if Joe’s business is truly looks like he is going to bring in $260,000 in net profit and he doesn’t want to pay the extra $300 in taxes, then all he needs to do is find a capitol improvement project to do in the 4th quarter that will cost around 11,000 to reduce his net income to 249,000. If he is smart he will pick an improvement that qualifies for a tax credit then he will get his cake and eat it too.

Posted by Mike | Report as abusive


Let me start out by sarcastically stating you’re obviously a brilliant tax accountant. You suggest a capital improvement as a way to get around taxes, but you fail to realize what’s important is that the individual should have the decision to say whether he wants that put into his business, or his pocket, or the d@mn racetrack for all anyone else should care. That he has to maneuver and be sly about it in your example is truly indicative of the liberal mindset.

Second, let’s stop the lies. Every time Obama voted to repeal the Bush tax cuts, he voted to increase taxes on those making $42,000 or more, not 250k. If “repealing the Bush tax cuts” happened twenty years from now would you still call it that? Would you claim that people aren’t going to be paying any higher a rate than they paid 26 years earlier as a justification? Seriously *diotic.

Posted by Matt | Report as abusive

You people are a bunch of whiny losers dreaming about the elitist lifestyle that Obama lives yet are to afraid to go get it for yourself.

You see people who work with thier ‘hands’ as somehow beneath yourself. I Quit my “college degree” “position” years ago, went to work in labor and am now in better health, satisfied with life, and earn more money.

As for “Joe”, he DOES NOT EARN $250,000.OO! Open your brainwashed, little pinhole ears; he said he WILL be in that bracket IF he pursues his dream! Secondly, it will be THE BUSINESS earning that money, Joe will only take a portion–have none of you ever done anything for yourself in your pathetic litlle lives????

Posted by Miitiste H | Report as abusive

I just heard on the news that “Joe the Plumber” is actually a man that the Republican Party planted at the Obama campaign to make Obamas’s Health Plan look bad….YIKES….How far will the McCain campaign go?

Posted by Voting for Obama | Report as abusive

I’m sorry…not his health plan but his tax plan

Posted by Voting for Obama | Report as abusive

I see so many sarcastic responses about Joe’s $250K a year. I don’t know whether that is gross or revenue, but I can tell you as a small business owner, $250K revenue is not that much. I only make $30K by the time all my expenses are paid for. And that is BEFORE the TON of taxes I pay.

Posted by Karen | Report as abusive

Well, I’m Terri the tax lady and I have a comment about Joe the plumbers remark about it not being fair if he made $250,000 to have to pay higher taxes. First of all, I want to say I work long and hard for my company and I hate paying all those taxes. Especially, when I pay Social Security, Medicare, Futa and MESC taxes on top of my own taxes for my employees. But here are the facts. Did you know that as a married couple you are paying 25% on taxable income over $63,700 while the guy making $195,000 is only paying 3% more and the guy making over $350,000 is only paying 10% more than you? Did you also know that we jump 10% once we hit $63,700 while the brackets above us jump 3% at a time maxing currently at 35%? If the middle class people can jump 10% on so little income why shouldn’t it be okay to increase the top bracket by 4%

Posted by Terri | Report as abusive

Wow! Idiots. Joe was asking how come he should be taxed more if he makes more. He is exactly right. Some people are unlucky and hit hard times, some people get lucky and have good times. Most people get exactly what they deserve. The harder you work, the luckier you get. Just because you have a degree doesn’t entitle you to make more. And just because someone makes more than you shouldn’t give you the expectation of him paying more taxes than you. If you think it does, well, you’re a defeatist. Perhaps someday you will find yourself making 250k a year (which is a comfortable living but by no means rich) and if you do – good for you. Should you be punished for this by having the government redistribute your income to someone who won’t, or yes, even can’t earn more? If you think that’s fair, and I don’t mean this as an insult, you are a socialist. One thing about a socialist government is that if you think the problem is scary, wait until you see the solution. Obama has turned “Trickle Down Economics” into “Trickle Up Poverty” and while Obama and the gang have you envying Joe for making 250k a year and Joe blaming you for not working hard enough, they have us all where they want us. And they, not us, remain in power and get richer and richer. See, they give the lower income people programs that make them dependent. That way, you have to vote for them or you will lose your government “help”. Obama knows this, that’s why they point out so called “tax cuts” for the “rich” so often. Its class envy, that keeps them in riches and us in rags. They stage your victimization and ride in on their white government horse to save you. wake up, think, research, then vote.

Posted by Chuck | Report as abusive

The name is Mike, not “Miitiste”.

Mike H

Posted by Mike H | Report as abusive

Thank you Mike, and all other SMART people, for your explanations and comments.


Posted by Abby | Report as abusive

By the Way Mike, in the city of Philadelphia you do pay income taxes on Gross Receipts then you get to deduct and then you pay a Net Profit Tax. I know we are mainly talking federal but this is just another form of creative taxation from a local government standpoint. Which, btw, is governed by liberals and I would not be a bit surprised if this tactic makes its way into the federal income tax statutes.

Posted by Chuck | Report as abusive

Joe is a republican plant. He is related to Keating from the Keating 5.

Posted by E Rafacz | Report as abusive

Funny. Joe doesn’t have a license. He works under someone else’s license. The actual business owner holds the license.
I wonder what license he is planning to use and have HIS employees work under when he buys this business.
Being I work HVAC and know the ins and outs of getting an Administrator’s license that others can work under, ole Joe smells funny to me and something in his story doesn’t wash.

Posted by sillywhabbit | Report as abusive

I make about a quarter million dollars a year in a small business that I have struggled to keep during the past several months. I will continue to work my behind off to make that amount of money. I know that the Obama plan will hurt me more than what McCain would do for me. I am voting for Obama because I believe that sometimes you have to do more than what is best for you; you have to do what’s best, period. Government needs to help people who cannot help themselves, and there has to be an income source for that. I also expect government to protect my constitutional rights, and I do not believe that McCain or Palin with do that. Finally, how much money do we spend on the war every day?? I was pretty much over that four years ago, and it’s still going on. I believe that McCain will continue it for years, and we will continue seeing our troops come back scarred, scared, and violent, if they are lucky enough to come back. So, tax me, just make me feel like it’s worth something.

Posted by Diana | Report as abusive

Ok, joe is considering buying this 250,000 revenue grossing business.
1)He does not yet own this business.
2)he will be taxed on the net profit of this business mot the gross, that is 250K Less materials & supplies, vehicle expenses, building leases, employee payroll, licenses. consider that the average business nets about 20-30 percent of gross revenue he would make about 75K in taxable income.


It’s OK to dream, but worry about the tax bracket when your a little closer to it. Deal with your current situation first!

Posted by Mochips | Report as abusive

I am not sure where you people live, but you try owning a home and supporting a family of 5 in the nyc area or its suburbs on $250k …. rich? that is laughable!

Posted by Christina | Report as abusive

Joe the Plumber IS Joe Six-Pack!

Posted by Enrique | Report as abusive

I would bet any thing that “Joe the plumber” is a McCain plant and will regret the day he let them talk him in pulling this stunt. Ten thousand people are trying to dig up everything in his past while he is swooped up into the Palin rallies as their new darling, to be used and thrown back into the heap of the great unwashed I bet it won’t be pleasant. It is obvious that he hasn’t thought through his right wing views but just swallows the Republican line hook line and sinker.

Posted by Sherran Armstrong | Report as abusive

Can’t you people read? He said he is going to buy a BUSINESS that makes around $250,000 a year. Not him personally. Did you forget all the overhead costs that go with running a business???? Tools, equipment, gas, trucks, salaries……

Posted by Jodi | Report as abusive

Joe claimed that he’s planning to buy a company with a revenue of $250k. Joe doesn’t have to worry about being taxed an additional 3% over the $250k threshold. If his revenue totals $250k, his deductions and expenses would be mostly likely at 40% to 50%. He will end up paying the same tax rate as I do (36%, and am making $92k a year).

Let’s say that he is just a top level executive and makes $250 a year. His tax rate would still remain at 36% because of the standard deductions alone even if he’s single, let alone if he’s got a family of four and owns a house.

Joe doesn’t know the difference between gross income and adjusted taxable income. If he doesn’t know the difference between those two, I suggest that he should fo further research before starting a business.

Furthermore, if I ever make $250k, in Adjusted taxable income, I wouldn’t mind paying a higher tax rate.

I am not a bible thumpin’ christian. In fact, I’m a non-practicing catholic but I do believe that some people in this county who are struggling deserves some help or they can use a littel tax break. There were times when I worked 65 hours a week and, since I’m exempt, I don’t get paid overtime.. but am not complaining.

The teachers, firefighters, policemen, and public health professionals make less than $100k a year. Although they chose those professions knowing that they will not accumulate wealth.. but for the love of public service… it doesn’t mean that they should not be given a break.

I believe in giving back to my community. What really bothers me is so many right wingers boast that they are christians but they are not willing to sacrifice a little to give a little to the needy. They would rather give larger tax cuts to corporations rather than to the middle class.

To the person who said that they make $250k, and with a family of five who lives in New York, and asked if she’s rich.. well, you’re not. Since you make $250k a year.. or let’s even assume it’s $300k a year.. you Adjusted Taxable income would fall below $250 (You have two kids, a mortgage payment, and other deductions). So no, you are not rich and you won’t get taxed 39% either :-) Does that answer your question?

Posted by Ren Car | Report as abusive

Turns out Joe’s and illegal plumber.
He got no license. Says he doesn’t need one.

Turns out Joe’s as big a BS-er as the politicians.

Posted by Joe TwelvePack | Report as abusive

Joe does not make 250k. He was in Good Morning America this morning and he barely makes 45k a year. he doesnt even have a plumbing license. He just works for a small “2-men” company. He would actually benefit from Obama’s tax plan.

Posted by Mina | Report as abusive

Since Joe was the new thing last night I thought I’d play with a few numbers:

Joe the “rich” plumber (S Corp)
Has a taxable income of $250,000.00
Pays Federal income tax $65,000.00
Pays Mass tax approx $15,000.00
Net income after taxes $170,000.00
Sales (Income/Sales = 8% like Exxon) $2,125,000.00
Sales per emplyee = $150,000.00
Number of employees 14
Cost to buy business
1980 era fair price would be 10x earnings or $1,700,000.00
Joe can afford to pay annualy for 20 yrs $100,000.00
This has a present value at 6% of -$1,146,992.12
And Joe takes home $70,000.00

I’ll bet he can do better working for someone else.

Posted by Herb Torberg | Report as abusive

If you and your spouse are both college educated and pulling down only $77,000 annually, shame on you. Seek a better job. Move for more opportunity. But don’t ask me (yes, I DO happen to own 2 businesses & make just over $250,000 … a sheetmetal and a plumbing shop) to give up HALF of what I make to support you or anyone else. I’ll pay my fair share and even contribute extremely charitably. But it will be to people and programs of MY choosing, not Barack Obama’s. Do you realize my income of $250k would (round figures) be cut back, after all self-employment, etc. taxes under Obama’s plan be cut back to about half that amount?? And MY house is on the line for a business note? Get real. I’ll go work 9-5 like most of the public and wonder why other people “get” all the money. Wise up!

Here’s how I put it to my young children: “We all have choices to make. If Daddy offers you work all day with him and you accept, he may at the end of the day offer you a big bag of M & Ms. You have to give part of them back, as ‘snack tax’. But the rest? You can choose to eat them, save them for a rainy day, share with your friends, whatever. Your friend next door who chose NOT to work with his Daddy, instead playing video games & watching TV? He should NOT be rewarded with M & Ms. If Barack Obama becomes president, you’ll have to give MORE of your bag of M & Ms back as ‘snack tax’ and Mr. Obama will spread them around as HE sees fit.” Ages 8,5 & 4. They get it. Why can’t grown adults?

Posted by Laura | Report as abusive

$250,000 is rich, is not rich, is an average small business, is not. None of this matters to the real issue here. When Obama says he wants to share the wealth it will impact everyone. When failure becomes easier than success more and more people will will stop trying and let the Gov’t take care of them. As less and less people decide to move up the economic ladder they will keep moving the “rich” mark lower and lower until the rich are considered anybody that is working. I can hear it now “you are a worker and you deserve to pay

Posted by Joe Lunchpail | Report as abusive


Posted by Linda Ann Nickerson | Report as abusive

Now that Joe the plumber is an overnight “sensation” he will probably get a better job, or an offer for a partnership or some other opportunity that will make hime WAY over $2500000 a year…and you know what? He SHOULD pay taxes on it. Sc##w joe the plumber. I wish I made 250+ a year. I would not complain about paying more taxes. Don;t people realize that after the first $100,000 or so, the percentage of money you make goes to less and less necessities and more to “toys”. People making that much money so get a concience and be willing to help out those less fortunate than themselves. The amount of money some people make in thios country borders on the OBSCENE!

Posted by mike | Report as abusive

I can’t believe you are all still talking about and trying to rationalize anything about this Joe the Plumber, fraud of a person.

McCain and supporters need to learn that you can’t fight a battle of wits with faulty ammunition and just because you believe your own lies doesn’t make you honest or mean that everyone else is going to believe the lies you believe only for the sake of winning something.

Posted by Fran | Report as abusive

If a plumber owns a small business whose GROSS REVENUE exceeds $250K, his personal income is nowhere near $250K. He would not be taxed more. The family with employed professionals at the head, who earn $250 in SALARY would pay more. The small business owner who takes her own salary or draw of $250K would pay more. They may have a complaint here. But Joe? NO.

Posted by Barbara Saunders | Report as abusive

It takes many hours per day to run a business. This is very often past the normal 8 hour work day which includes a lunch break. There is no “overtime pay” & you are always “on call” because you are responsible for the business. If Joe works hard & works the hours needed to run the business, then he deserves the money he makes. Why penalize him? He’s taking the risk & reaching for his dream of owning his own business.

Posted by Jennifer | Report as abusive

I do think it is interesting that Joe “the Plumber” Wurzelbacher just so happens to be the son of Robert Wurzelbacher, the son-in-law of–guess who?–none other than Robert Keating of the KEATING FIVE… unbiased, neutral, “average Joe” indeed…

Posted by exasperated4 | Report as abusive

First off – when Joe buys the business his revenue and income will be taxed before he is able to retain the earnings. Thus, he will have to set aside money for his taxes before he hires any extra help. The set asides can’t be used to expand our economy. If we had investment tax credits or a flat tax then Joe could afford to hire somebody to help which would increase sales taxes and federal revenues. If he hires somebody let’s say at 30,000.0 then we have another 6k for health insurance and then we have the set asides plus any new training and supplies, vehicles etc which could easily translate to almost 100K. This is why Joe is pretty damn smart and the people with masters degrees have some real issues.

Posted by Bruce Johnson | Report as abusive

OMG!!! did you all even pay any attention…You need to know that Joe the plumber asked Obama , that he wanted to buy the company with the company making $280-300 k annually ….
This WAS revenue for the company he wanted to buy . He would then have expenses and employees to pay.
you need to watch the video where the total interview takes place. so you can see it is not him that will making the money but the company revenue…300k there is not that much left for the owner after all expenses AND employees are paid….
Educate yourselves PLEASE!!!

Posted by Texan For McCain | Report as abusive

Watching the debates, I was actually confused when Joe kept coming up in conversation – I thought perhaps I’d missed something from the previous debate.

It became apparent early on that Joe was about to be of more import in the discussions than Palin or Biden. By the time we were 45 minutes in, there were already a good amount of Joe the Plumber t-shirts…

Which put him well ahead of Joe Six Pack designs. Then again, he may be Joe Six Pack. The specific everyman isn’t at odds with the generalized one…

From what I understand, if Joe’s company does make that much, the Obama tax cut would still be greater due to the 250K not being his entire taxable income. Someone correct me if I’m wrong.

In any case, for today Joe the Plumber has impressed me (and I see a LOT of t-shirts) by inspiring the almighty t-shirt in record time.

Way to go, Joe.

Posted by buzzcowboy | Report as abusive

Next year 100K will be wealthy if Obama is elected. Everyone get ready to be patriotic. More taxes for all.

From each from their abliity, to each according to their needs- Marx

Spreading the wealth around is a good thing.- Obama

Paying more taxes is patriotic. – Biden

Posted by REd | Report as abusive


This is a whole bunch of argument for a guy who

a. isn’t registered to vote
b. isn’t a licensed plumber
c. isn’t buying a business
d. isn’t paying his property taxes.

Posted by Kim | Report as abusive

The real question is who gets to say who is wealthy and who is not or who is in need? Obama picks a number out of the air and says these people are undeserving of the treasure they earned. I shall take from them and give to the people. The people whom I deem to be worthy. And they shall fall upon their knees to become a slave to my generosity. Lo to those souls that want to hold to their breast that, that is theirs. They are cruel and racist hate mongers.So we shall take more from them for daring to speak ill of our thievery.

Posted by Wilma | Report as abusive

Joe the plumber is also a hypocrite………he is an unlicensed plumber’s assistant in the state of Ohio and he owes nearly $1200 in property taxes from 2007 according to an article I read. He doesn’t quite make $250K a year, but he is saying what if he buys the company he works for……Obama would destroy the “American Dream” by taxing it to death. He is a clear McCain supporter that is scared that his candidate is losing, and he wants to try to impact the election in the next 3 weeks. I don’t think anything will happen to Obama’s campaign since hypothetically, he’s winning by a landslide. McCain is a loose cannon. Obama has been maintaining his cool and sticking with his campaign messages. It will probably take at least 5 years to get our economy back to where it was a couple of months ago. If McCain gets elected, it might take much longer. One last thing……what is it with McCain and the name “Joe”? At least this whole election process has kept me laughing……

Posted by Jen | Report as abusive

Im glad Joe has come center stage, asking the “tough” questions, the question is does he ask them of himself; and better yet to we as Americans ask them of ourselves? I’ve heard on more than one occasion that statistics indicate that conservatives are greater charitable contributors than liberals, and found it curious until viewing the posted comments. Congratulations to the more righteous of you who make donations to the charity of your choice, perhaps it puts you in a better tax bracket, or perhaps it soothes an ailing concious, or perhaps it altruistic. Regardless of the reason and your contributions, 18% of the citizens of our supremely wealthy nation lack medical insurance. Of that 18%, 71% hold full time employment; that is a problem and all the M&M analogies in the world won’t make it go away. During any time of acute crisis, we hear the media and politicians speak about the generous nature of americans, yet these facts seem to belie those sentiments, perhaps the outcome of this election will show us something new. Oh, and for those of you who wonder where I got my statistics, “The Uninsured, A Primer” Kaiser Family Foundation October 2007. Peace out.

Posted by Rob Sykes | Report as abusive

Joe the Plumber ain’t licensed, etc., etc., etc. Owes back taxes, yada, yada…. Well, looks as if he’s related to the Keating Family of Keating Five fame. Could this whole episode just be another McCain hatchet job on Obama, but without the death threat?

Posted by Rick Alt | Report as abusive

Lib Morons: READ THE STORY befor you open your BIG MOUTHS. The story CLEARLY says that Joe “WANTS” to buy a company that earns about $250K a year. The story does not say that he already earns $250K a year. Then: let’s get this straight: if you are a business owner and YOUR COMPANY makes $250K a year that figure does not account for all the expenses you incur above and beyond that. All you idiots posting “he makes $250K a year and he’s complaining?” are just STUPID and the very reason that Obama is going to dupe your dumba$$es in this electin. You ultra libs are simple, emotional and frankly uneducated about the issues. That’s been made clear over and again – no more so than on this very post! No wonder all you folks want a socialist government – you are too uninformed and “dull” (look that word up) to think and ACT for yourselves.

Posted by Lib Morons | Report as abusive

I absolutely abhor liberals.

Posted by Geez | Report as abusive

I wonder if Joe the Plumber knows Floyd the Barber?

Posted by Libb Morons | Report as abusive

Dear Lib Morons (whoever wrote that comment),

I would READ THE STORY before opening YOUR BIG MOUTH. This article doesn’t even cover it. First of all, the “company” Joe intends to buy has two employees. Him, and his boss. One of them does not have a plumbing license, which is required in Toledo county. Guess which one? Joe the Plumber. Most likely, that company will not be making 250k a year until it expands into something a LOT bigger. In fact, Joe the Plumber would most likely get some huge tax cuts himself! So to make it plain and easy for you conservative morons, he was lying his ass off for the conservative cause. In addition, Joe the Plumber has faced two tax evasions, one for healthcare that has been solved and one for the state of Ohio that has yet to be paid.

Obviously, somebody has been dreaming.

In response to those who have attacked Chandler:
Do you know how HARD it is to get a master’s degree? It takes years of very hard work and studying, and a lot of money to pay for the education. I’d bet a million bucks that this amount of work for a degree is equitable, if not harder, than Joe the Plumber’s line of work. So what if someone wants to get a master’s degree in their passion? So what if it doesn’t end up paying as much? Don’t call these people LAZY! What if Chandler is a literature nerd, and wants to get a Master’s in English? What do english majors do? Write books, or teach in a school. Guess how much that pays? But that shouldn’t matter, should it, because Chandler can fulfill his DREAMS, educating young minds about Shakespeare and whatnot. Now I call THAT the real American dream. Working hard for what you love, even if it might not make 250k a year. And the additional tax breaks for Chandler will not only help him continue living comfortably while doing what he loves, it will help him pay off college loans.

Frankly, it scares me how many people say that Chandler’s pursuit of education was a stupid decision and that he should’ve just started a company and become rich. I’m not implying anything negative about business owners- I know that they work tremendously hard to get where they are. But don’t attack someone just because they want to get educated. That’s just wrong.

The Washington Post il/2008/10/16/joe_the_plumber_not_a_lice nsed.html?hpid=topnews

Posted by “Lib Moron” | Report as abusive

I still can’t figure out why people have spent the entire day talking about some fictitious Joe the Plumber instead of the actual content of the debate.

Posted by confused | Report as abusive

To “Lib Morons” – Obama supporters are uneducated?? Facts prove that the most educated support Obama and the least educated support McCain. You want proof? (I’m guessing you don’t, since you’ve just been taking McCain’s word for it during the entire debate). But just to amuse myself and hopefully to amuse others out there, here are the facts: According to the most recent census data, the most educated states (that is, ranked by highest percentage of the population over 25 who have at least earned a bachelor’s degree) are Massachusetts, Colorado, Connecticut, Maryland, Virginia, New Jersey, Vermont, Minnesota, New Hampshire, and Washington in that order. If DC were a state, it would actually rank highest at 44% of its population earning a bachelors or higher. ALL of those state’s polls show Obama in the lead by a landslide. Let’s look at the flip side! The least educated states (and these are the facts) are West Virginia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Arkansas, Nevada, Indiana, Alabama, Louisiana, Tennessee, and Oklahoma, in that order. Can you guess what the polls say?? With the only exception of Nevada (whose polls say 49% support Obama compared to 46% who support McCain) ALL, yes ALL support McCain by a landslide!!! And why does everyone feel SO sorry for this guy…JOE THE PLUMBER!…actually not him, but perhaps someone that actually fits the category, it’s not like he is being robbed of his fortune. The percentage of his taxes merely increases. This has been going on in the US for a while now, people. It’s called tax brackets. You earn more, you pay a higher percentage! You act like this is something invented by Obama himself…get over yourselves seriously.

Posted by Jessica | Report as abusive

I don’t know where a lot of you Americans live but in my neck of the woods here in Western Pennsylvania an annual $250K income would have us sitting pretty on Easy Street. My husband and I raised our kids, each worked full time, and there were times I picked up a few side jobs when times got tough. We had to cosign for our kids’college loans because we couldn’t afford them,so they started their professional lives in great debt. Good students get no college financing unless they are excellent athletes, so my kids had to fund their own educations.

Hell, I’d even be happy with half of that $250K, and would “spread the wealth” of the other half to some other person who has worked like a dog for the last eight years to see it all go down the drain because of the Bush Regime.

By the way, I don’t think McCain would do a bad job, but he lost me when he sold his soul and sold the country out with his choice of Gov. Palin. Statistically, he may not even live out a first term, and that woman scares me.

It’s not that I’m *for* Obama. I am against putting Gov Palin in the position that she may run this great country, and I want my vote to count, so Obama gets my vote.

Posted by Former Middle Class Girl | Report as abusive

It makes no difference what Joe the Plumber wants to do, if he has a license to do it or if he owes back taxes. It’s not even the state of the economy, but the deceitful, conniving and manipulative way the McCain camp usedplanted the guy that’s the problem. They have wasted too much of our time playing these stupid, juvenile games rather than concentrate on anything of genuine substance, so they fully deserve to be in the position they are in. A party that claims it’s for family values etc., doesn’t get to decide when habitual lying and abuse of the right to run for office is okay, while at the same time scold everyone else for their transgressions. If the Republicans are wondering why they appear to be losing this race all they have to do is stop believing their own superficial lies and get honest with themselves and the people they are trying to convince to vote their way. I abhor people who lie to me, but I abhor people who lie to themselves even more.

Posted by Fran | Report as abusive

I would like a bail out to start over fresh like the banks are currently getting and get every time they are in trouble. We end up paying more taxes to bail out our banking system and help the rich increase their stocks investments. Then the government tease the lower class income with rebates that increase our taxes each year. they say this is done to pump up a weak economy. When will those like me with a famliy of six making less than 80,000 a year get a break. We get the highest interest rates and forced into bad loans to provide for our families. I need help before I lose my home. We do need a Change and Obama is the answer.

Posted by Tee | Report as abusive

As an American, I cannot believe we are attacking one of our own for asking a simple question to a running canidate. Isn’t this our right as a voter and an American?? By the way, Joe the plumber does not make $250,000, he asked Obama what would happen “IF” he bought the plumbing business where currently works.

As a business owner I would have asked Obama, what he plans on doing with all the other taxes that small business have to pay today. Payroll taxes, excise taxes on the business, gross receipt taxes, property taxes on the business property, property taxes of office equipment, etc.etc.etc……The tax list is endless when it comes to small business.

It seems no one ever really asks or answers the small detail questions and these are the ones that count in the very end. We get to caught up in the big media and then brain washed.

Posted by Rose | Report as abusive

“SPREAD THE WEALTH, SPREAD THE WEALTH, SPREAD THE WEALTH…sorry, I just wanted to remind everyone of the real reason the Obama campaign is trying to ruin Joe. Joe unknowingly exposed Obama. Obama wasn’t supposed to come right out and say it. But he did. He revealed the true objective of all dems. Take from those hard working folk and spread the wealth to those who cannot be bothered to be successful on their own.

Posted by furious | Report as abusive

Get real if it’s possible.

Nobody attacked Joe the Plumber for asking a question, which is his right, just like it’s everyone else’s right to question the motives behind the whole Joe the Plumber fraud, in order to expose the fact that the guy was nothing more than a rehearsed plant, used to try and set up the Republican opposition. This is no different than McCain’s phony concern about the bail-out vote, when he said he was suspending his campaign to go and help in Washington, when he had no say in anything involved, but only pulled that stunt to try and make himself look more concerned than his opponent. Even the ditsy Sarah Palin pick was only about trying to get the women voters who were supporting Hillary Clinton, which was only an insult to those women’s intelligence, like they were only supporting Hillary Clinton because she is a woman and it would make them feel all fluffy and historical to vote for a woman, while disuniting everything else important.

We don’t need another phony in the White House pretending to be the President, spending all of his time staging things to make himself appear to be a President.

Posted by Fran | Report as abusive

My god! So many ill informed people on this blog.

First of all Joe is no where NEAR making even 200k a year. How many plumber do you know that make 250k??? i didnt think so.

“Joe” (not his real name.) WANTS to BUY the business he works for. Something he is nowhere near able to do. He is simply talking out his mouth with no means of fufilling his claims.

IF Joe was able to buy the company he works for, again he is misinformed. His company makes about a total of 500k in gross sales a year. BUT by the time all peopel were paid, equipment and otehr business expenses were made he would NOT have a TAXABLE income of over 250k. He woudl have a TAXABLE income of anywhere between 100-190k give or take. Making him UNEFFECTED by Obamas proposal.
So he was whining for NOTHING.

In order for him to make 250k or more his business would need a HELL of a lot more a year in sales then 500k.

Peopel who make 250k or more in anual TAXABLE ncome account for 5% of all tax payers. yet they get the biggest tax cuts over 95% of everyone else.

Something is wrong with you if you think that is fair.
The more “I” make the more IM taxed. He should be no exception IF he was making 250k a year, which he is NOT, and most likely NEVER will being a plumber….

Come to find out he is a tax dodger and unlicensed anyway…

Posted by Truthbrigade | Report as abusive

I think this is more about Joe “The Small Business Owner” than Joe the Plumber. It is ashamed that Obama/Bidden and alot of people out there do not know the difference!!! I am glad someone finally asked the question, I wanted to ask Obama myself. There are millions of small business owners whose business do fall into this taxable range. We are not rich people!! We work hard, very long hours and scarifice for the American dream. We also employee alot of people who need jobs! When you insult this guy, you are insulting alot of small business owners.

Posted by DLou | Report as abusive

First of all…I also have my Master’s degree and one class from my Doctoral degree. I do not live in a big city but a small town and that is my decision. With that decision comes a huge pay disadvantage. I am also a Professor at a University an hour from my town. I am a single mother of two children and it is very hard to find a good income to pay the bills. I also worked very hard to even get through college….daddy didn’t pay my way! I worked two and three jobs carrying 18 to 21 credit hours (12 is full time) to try to get out of school. I choose to go to school with the assumption that I would be able to provide a better future for my children.

Alot of people on the site are judging the other two professors and telling them to find different jobs! If teachers, firefighters, police officers, etc. all quit their current jobs to make the BIG BUCKS who is going to educate your children and protect them when they need to be protected away from you. I teach because I love to teach. I am a therapist by trade and I love my occupation. I could be a therapist who charges 300 dollars an hour but I choose not to be a high priced therapist. I choose to help those who need help, not based on the ability to pay for those services. That in turn may not be the best “money making” decision I could make. But it is one that I can lay my head down on a pillow and sleep at night!

I am a very middle-class educated single parent that has been affected by the housing market and many of the tax changes and rebates. I am not one of the lucky ones who gets that 3000 dollar tax return, I actually had to pay into the government last year when I only made 35000! I am a contract therapist which means I can’t fall back on unemployment either.

We all make decisions in our life that are right for us at that time. Telling someone to trade their occupation for money is crazy in my book. I don’t want someone teaching my children because they can make 500000 a year. Please don’t take that wrong I think that teachers are extremly underpaid; I know I am a professor. I want someone who loves to teach for the rewards that are far greater than money teaching my children.

Please remember that we are all americans and we all must make the Election 08 vote on what we feel is important to us; not putting others down to make our argument stronger. America should be about freedom of choice!

I am thankful for all the hardworkers in EVERY area of occupation no matter what that may be….please don’t make assumptions on what others have been through or not been through because of what they make or don’t make.

I think that people need to quit arguing and fighting and come together as a nation or we aren’t going to have a NATION TO FIGHT FOR!!

Posted by Tammy | Report as abusive

Joe would not clear 250K. Joe plumber and his employees would generate 250K of business a year. Owning a business takes risk. The fact that you would want/dream to own a business and take all the risk of payroll, staff, and the liability of it all, is stressful enough. I’ve worked hard at many jobs to collect a paycheck. Also, I would go home and not loose much sleep. The business owner takes all the risks of making a profit and or a loss on every job he/she does. One bad day you could loose your reputation and pride, plus any profit’s needed to pay your employee’s.
I believe that Obama’s tax plan may push a want to be business owner to go find a much easier job. Of course that job’s business owner may not want all the risk/cost associated with ownership also, and he or she may do the same.
If we “Americans” stop dreaming to own our own business, than ultimately we will stop living and start dieing.

Posted by tsi_don | Report as abusive

Go for it Joe the Plumber. You’re my role model:-)

McCain/Palin 2008!!!

Posted by Joe the Plumber 2.0 | Report as abusive

To quote a previous comment:

“If, on the other hand, the net profit after expenses is over $250k, (a/k/a spending money) Joe will have to pay an extra tax of 3%. *** But only on the amount over $250k.*** So if Joe has net profit of say, $280k, he will pay and extra $900 in tax. I don’t think this will cripple his ability to live.”

YES!!! Obama clearly says that in his talk with JoeThePlumber. He’d only be paying $.03 (three pennies) more on the dollar for each dollar netted over $250k.
I can’t believe the amount of people who don’t get that.

Also something else that really needs to be pointed out: Using this example of someone going from $250K to $280K, they’d pay $900 in taxes on that additional $30K, which still leaves them $29,100.00 MORE than they had before, even with the extra tax!
The notion being bandied about that if you make more, you pay more taxes and therefore actually take home less, is BS.
Until there’s a 100% tax, we will always take home more as we make more, regardless of taxes.

Posted by Average Citizen | Report as abusive

Joe the plumber had a car that was a bummer now he will be able to drive a hummer cause obama is dumber.

Posted by tyler | Report as abusive

Let me say….I am not disin’ the business owner! I have been down the road of Business Owner and know all to well the downfalls of the “no business this week” scenerios. My parents owned a small resturant in New Mexico and I waited tables for almost 7 years to help pay my bills throughout college. Being a contract therapist is essentially the same thing as a business owner…I get paid ONLY when I see clients and they actually have the ability to pay or the state reimburses the company for services and contract employees receive 40% of that…black and white..I am a licensed professional who makes around 13.00 dollars an hour in a good week, in a bad week I don’t even clear minimum wage. That was my choice and I am struggling to survive such like the majority of America.

I agree that the American dream does have to live on or we will not have America….

I normally do not even post on these but this post caught my eye over the issue of telling someone to change occupuations. And it is VERY hard to get a college degree. It takes dedication and if you want to get loans you have to keep your GPA to a certain point to qualify.

I just wanted to make it clear that I do agree with the American Dream! AND I DO NOT SUPPORT OBAMA IN NO WAY SHAPE OR FORM. I have my reasons and opinions about why including the money issues, taxes, and many spiritual reasonings. I just read the post after mine and wanted to clarify that I do believe in the American Dream and I SUPPORT MCCAIN 120%!!

Posted by Tammy | Report as abusive

Matt wrote above:

“If my neighbor had a vegetable garden more bountiful than mine, and I decided to take some of his peppers to make us more even, I’d be lucky to not get shot, but would almost definitely wind up in jail if caught. Now, this commie is proposing making it public policy and all of you *diots are supporting it!!”

Matt, that scenerio does not fit at all.

The more accurate scenerio would be:
There is a large charitable organization that both you and your neighbor benefit from. From your garden, you give them 1 pepper; your neighbor, because his garden is larger, gives 2.
Your neighbor is not giving YOU a pepper to make things more even between the two of you – you are BOTH giving to a third party in proportion to your means.

I really don’t why people keep saying we’re stealing Joe’s money and giving it to someone else. Makes no sense. Both JoePlumber and Betty the lower-earning teacher down the street are paying into the same system – a system that benefits them both I remind you – Joe just pays more because he has more to spare. Noone is taking a chunk of Joe’s money and giving it to Betty in order to make things even between them.

Posted by Average Citizen | Report as abusive

Joe the plumber should pay the same % in taxes as the nurse, firefighter, cop, teacher. But if McCain wins good old Joe will get even bigger tax breaks and the middle class nurse will end up bearing a bigger burden than Joe. He takes some risks owning a business and deserves to pay less??? Give me a break. Being a nurse, cop or firefighter sure isn’t risk free. If you make a quarter of a million a year you should pay your fair share of taxes. It’s up to all of us to support the programs we need to get the USA back to it’s former glory. Good schools, great healthcare, renewable energy – why wouldn’t Joe want to pay his fair share????

Posted by A nurse | Report as abusive

obama is for obama, mccain is for you. if you are for obama, you’ll end up living with your mama.

Posted by tyler | Report as abusive

Joe the plumber makes good money because he is skilled labor. He can actually do something, not just talk about it.

A plumber needs training and an apprenticeship before he goes into the field and starts making money. And he must work for himself to make the good money. Did I mention to make good money ($250k) Joe will need to work a lot of hours in a dirty job. Night calls and weekends are golden because the rate goes up.

No one will hand Joe the money, he will work hard for it.

No one will ever spread the wealth to Joe or any other plumber, they will just take and not give back. Amazing how liberal types will throw money at the player or the baby machine, but Joe the plumber is the enemy for working hard.

Want to make good honest money go weld on a rig/platform, thats where the really good money is. If you aren’t much of a man go work on wall street and steal from share holders and investors if you want to make more money. Put those fancy degrees to good use.

College professors and Berkley people don’t make as much because they are a dime a dozen. Funny how white collars like to say that about blue collars, but they are the ones that are a dime a dozen.

If your drain clogs and sewage starts backing up into your house who would you rather call for help?

The college professor who could tell you the theory behind it? Or, the plumber who can fix it?

Joe the plumber is the albatross around Obama’s spread the wealth neck.

Posted by sam | Report as abusive

Joe the Carpenter – that is me. Has been for 14 years. I’ve been a licensed general contractor. I wrote off everything I could – including my socks – prior to paying taxes on my personal net. Self employed people have historically paid significantly less income taxes than employees. I understood that was part of the incentive to make your own way. Today I am seeking executive level pay in construction – and guess what – that really only means about 90,000 to 120,000 with a good 30% earmarked for income tax. As the CEO of a major plumbing company, yes you could make 250,000. Is that what Joe’s would-be company is making? Who would sell something that profitable in today’s economy?

Instead of batting around joe this joe that – visit and take a look at the bottom line. If Joe the Plumber doesn’t know the difference between company gross and personal net – it is probably because most of us don’t. Educate yourself, become self-employed if you can, make as much money as you can. And vote. This website below calculates FICA taxes on $250,000 as only 19,343. I’d love to get away with paying that little. axSelfEmployment.asp

Posted by joe the carpenter | Report as abusive

Get a look at the BIDEN tax returns- he can afford to pay higher taxes because he gives less than $1000 a year to charity every year for the last 10 years- yet makes well over 250 K every year. Think what this means people- he doesn’t feel blessed enough to be giving more away. I do not want the govt to redistribute my hard earned wealth- My husband and I married young and went to college- paid for it ourselves- working 3-4 jobs at a time- We both make quite a bit now- WHY? We work hard and never never wanted a hand out. HAND OUTS are demeaning- handouts say- you can’t make it on your own- BULL. For the past 15 years – my husband and I have given well over 10% to a variety of charities.
With two masters we earn well over 77 K (did that the first year out of school) If you do not earn that- you’re not working that hard or you have a BAD attitude and are hard to employ. I guess the latter- or possibly you just graduated and have little to no experience and need to build up and work hard.
OBAMA – not in my pocket. SOCIALIST- same sruff they feed you in universities- perhaps that is the stuff our little 77k overeducated household buys into. Are you a beggar or what – totally pitiful- When the 18-25 year olds get to 40 – they will be in great pain – because they are shooting their own feet, both of them. So sad. So sad.
Still got money – and I have NO DEBT. Even in this market- and no I am not a plumber

Posted by liza | Report as abusive

Two masters and $77K ? I think that your parents threw their money away on the “History of Rock&Roll” or something like that. Geez, my paperboy does better than that! It just sounds like the typical class envy of someone not willing to get of his dead behind and take responsibility for his life. The same people that Barack is appealing to, and, unfortunately, a growing percentage of Americans.

Posted by Brian Ruic | Report as abusive

I think Joe the Plumber has just proven Obama’s point. If the middle class continue to get taxed more and the upper class continue to get taxed a small amount more or the same as the middle class, The rich will continue to reap the benefits and the middle class will struggle to stay afloat. $250,000. is not the average income of a small business a year. Now if Joe the Plumber bought Roto Rooter, I could see his company making that amount or more.

Posted by James | Report as abusive

guess what if joe works for a plumbing outfit that makes 250k, and has to pay help with that; joe dosent make that much, around 45k per year, and he invested for the last 12 years say 5k per year 12 years with growth 70k and now the fall in the market 45k , can he really buy that company without goverment help and loans.

Posted by BOBO | Report as abusive

How is it even possible that a guy without any education and papers can start a company of his own…
he was not even a student plummer…

is this the mirror image for republicxan incompotence with not knowing this about JTP ?

hes has experience but can not be calles a professional without the papers

Posted by Rtech | Report as abusive

Well at least Joe the Plumber has more experience than that giggly Sarah Palin.

Posted by Fran | Report as abusive

Far be it from me that I screw up McCain’s crucade for Joe the Plumber with facts, but:

– He isn’t a licensed plumber
– The business he wants to buy isn’t for sale
– He has a tax lien he may need to pay before he buys
the business (which isn’t for sale)
– Obama did not “go to his door”. Joe spoke to him
while waiting in line.
– Joe doesn’t make 250,000 a year.

One would think that, after the Sarah Palin farce, McCain’s people would have vetted Joe before making him a poster child for a campaign which is going down the toilet.

I always respected Mr. McCain for his service to our country, but no more. Seeing his spin on Joe the Plumber when the facts clearly state otherwise make me suspect anything he has ever said. What a sad way to end a distinguished career of service.

Posted by Diana | Report as abusive

Funny how Palin/McCain campaign was pushing Joe sixpack in their campaigns and debate to try to relate to the everyday American and then Joe the Plumber confronts Obama and makes national news. Coincidence? I think not. More like a republican plant. But I guess they should have done a better job of vetting him after learning from their mistakes with Palin. He’s not even a real Joe. His name is Samuel J. Wurzelbacher and he’s a registered republican. The fact that he isn’t even a licensed plumber and owes on taxes doesn’t help with his credibility. Now this not not slandering his character. I’m sure he’s probably a nice guy but you have to wonder why someone like Joe who would benefit more financially to be able to provide for his son would support McCain’s policy which would hurt him more unless like McCain joked that he hired him to work on his 7 houses maybe to the sum of over $250,000 in which case Obama’s plan would take more from him. How many plumbers do you know that make over $250,000? And what about the charges of blacks, like Colin Powell, voting for Obama on the grounds that he’s black and making it a race issue. Does that make Joe, who is white, a racist for voting for a white candidate? Does it make every other white person who votes for McCain a racist also following that same logic the republicans are trying to use on anyone who votes for Obama? Colin Powell said it best that what if he was a Muslim? So what? We are all Americans and even Muslims have died for wars for this country. Are we so stuck in the stone age that we fear what we don’t understand? Is ignorance and prejudice what builds the fabric of our society? Is this the type of image we want to the world to see of us as Americans? And Palin says that we should question Obama’s patriotism and character cause he was pallin around with terrorists. What about Palin? Does being married to someone who was an active member of the Alaskan Independence Party, a secessionist movement to have Alaska secede from these United States of America mean she was also palin around with terrorists? If they do not support America and want to secede, does that not make them domestic terrorists also? And did she not just tell the Alaskan Independence Party in her own words “Keep up the good work, and God bless you.” and thus give her support to a terrorist movement? And speaking of support, you republicans keep chanting that if you don’t support the president of the United States of America, you are therefore un-American and a terrorist. If Obama does get elected president of the United States of America, and if you don’t support the president at that time, are you also un-American and a terrorist or does that double standard only apply if McCain gets elected?

Posted by The Real Joe | Report as abusive

Joe would only be taxed higher on his take home pay above $250,000 a year. So his argument that it will slow down his business growth is not true. Once he makes over $250,000 of take home business pay he has two options either reinvest any money over $250,000 100% tax free back into his business OR pay 4% more taxes on that money if he wants to take it home. So if anything it will encourage him to reinvest the money above $250k back into his business to hire more employees or make capital investments. But who are we kidding, this Joe guy lives in a make believe world where he earns $250k. What a joke.

Posted by Jason | Report as abusive

Matt, that scenerio does not fit at all.

The more accurate scenerio would be:
There is a large charitable organization that both you and your neighbor benefit from. From your garden, you give them 1 pepper; your neighbor, because his garden is larger, gives 2.
Your neighbor is not giving YOU a pepper to make things more even between the two of you – you are BOTH giving to a third party in proportion to your means.

I really don’t why people keep saying we’re stealing Joe’s money and giving it to someone else. Makes no sense. Both JoePlumber and Betty the lower-earning teacher down the street are paying into the same system – a system that benefits them both I remind you – Joe just pays more because he has more to spare. Noone is taking a chunk of Joe’s money and giving it to Betty in order to make things even between them.

– Posted by Average Citizen

Truly insane. Who is this large charitable organization? The US government? Last I checked there wasn’t a single charitable organization that had the ability to arrest you at gunpoint and throw you in jail for not contributing your fair share to their charity. What an *diotic comparison.

Even in your justification, you give away Obama’s and other liberals’ intent. I’m giving “in proportion to my means.” I’ll decide what I’m able to give, nobody else should have that say.

So, if I’m giving one pepper and my neighbor is giving two, but nobody is “getting” anything from either of us, what the h3ll is happening to the peppers and why do they need to be confiscated?

Posted by Matt | Report as abusive

** I’m giving “in proportion to my means.” I’ll decide what I’m able to give, nobody else should have that say.**

Sooo, you just make up a number that suits you on your 1040s?
Doesn’t matter whether someone’s making $50K or $250K, the individual does not get to decide how much they want to “give” to the gov.

Posted by Average Citizen | Report as abusive

No, unlike Bill Ayers, Acorn and Tony Rezko, I don’t break the law.

What I’m saying is your analogy was asinine and nonsensical. You, AC, don’t get to determine that it’s “okay” to ORDER me to give up a little more because some lazy @ss liberal doesn’t work as hard as me but wants more than they have.

Since you bring up “making up numbers that suit us,” what is this $250,000 based on? Save your breath. It’s something that Obama and his advisors decided would sound like the salary of rich person, and as always in communist redistribution schemes, they had to play class warfare. Apparently it’s succeeded on you.

By the way, it’s spelled s-c-e-n-a-r-i-o.

Posted by Matt | Report as abusive

OK. So you don’t want Joe to pay more taxes than he already does?
If Joe the Plumber owns a business that grosses $250000, who says he will fall into that higher tax bracket?
IF his company grosses $250000, he will pay expenses.
All of those expenses will be deductions. Once those deductions are made, his business will fall considerably under the $250000 cut off.
Under Obama’s plan, he will pay LESS taxes.
Under McCain’s plan, he will pya MORE taxes.
This is simple math.

Taxes are not intended to be used to give to others as welfare. Taxes are a necessary evil in order for us to build roads, bridges, locks and dams, schools, pay our elected and appointed officials, and pay our MILITARY.

How about making sure that in the wealthiest nation on earth we do not have VETERANS, the mentally ill, and families that do not have adequate living conditions, health care, or food. Obama’s plan aims to bring some of those people up to a level where then CAN pay some taxes, but not at the same percentage that people who make greater thatn $250000 a year.

I am a democrat and I work as hard as any republican. I have a good and stable job and had to make many sacrifices to get and keep it.

Get out of the stone age, just because someone has some liberal views, it doesn’t mean that he is a lazy @ss.

Posted by Annie | Report as abusive

My husband owns a small business that bills over $250,000.00 per year but what some people fail to realize is that the EXPENSES of running a business eat up alot of that. Where as if you work for someone else and make $77,000.00 per year that money is all yours, we have to pay other employees, advertising, maintain equipment, etc. We are spreading the wealth around all ready by employing other people and helping to support their households.

Posted by Becky | Report as abusive

Look, a small business making 250,000 a year, is an established business, small or not. He said it himself, he’s buying the company he’s been working for all these years. I am college educated, as is my husband, and we are upper middle class for where we live. I’ve worked my whole life, and the more money I’ve made over the years, the more taxes I’ve had to pay. We don’t have children, my friends with children, who’ve made far less than us over the years, get far more back at income tax return time than we do. I think that’s fair. We can afford to give more, so we do. Struggling new businesses will hopefully not be affected by the tax increases. But, an established business making over 250,000 a year should pay more taxes. I give credit to Joe, and anyone else who has worked hard to achieve success in their own business. It’s tough. But I worked hard to achieve my dream, too. I’m a nurse, and I get to help people every day. I certainly didn’t get into it for the money. But I think that if my boss makes more than me, she should pay more taxes. And so should anyone else. Not everyone’s dream is to make money, some of us just want to do a good job and take care of our families.

Posted by middleclass | Report as abusive

What we need to hear from these knuckleheads in Washington is how they’re planning to CUT their spending. They are way out of control. Doesn’t anyone up there know you can’t spend money you don’t have?

Posted by Sooz in nv | Report as abusive

Are you serious in thinking that you deserve some of the money that Joe is making? It’s his money, he worked for it end of story. All you voting for Obama will be sorry when you get taxed as well. He has no loyalty to the U.S. Obama reads muslim books, burned our flag, and smoked weed. You want change? Vote for change and see what happens. Yes, if Obama wins we will all learn a valuable lesson.

Posted by Andrea | Report as abusive

I am originally from Ohio and just want Joe to know that I am very proud of him. He represents many of us who have worked our whole lives for our families and don’t feel that we did that to give it to SOMEONE who didn’t work at all.

Posted by Susie | Report as abusive

Good for Joe, some one need to ask some questions?

Posted by carlene | Report as abusive

In case you want one of those Joe the Plumber, Toilet Tattoos, you can get them on

Posted by Porcelaingoddess | Report as abusive

All this leftist cr*p makes me sick.
Why shouldn’t I be allowed to make as much as I desire, and allowed to reward myself for all my hard work with whatever I choose to buy, without someone saying you make too much money, give half of what you earn to the lazy bums who don’t want to make anything of there lives?
I work for ME and my FAMILY, so we could live comfortable lives. Not ‘ditch digging Dave’ who only has the mental capacity to do that job. Work 2 jobs like I did in tough times if need be to get by.

Posted by MIke in Pa | Report as abusive

The problem with America is that too many people compare themselves with someone else they think may have it better or have more than they do. Comparison always leads to discontent!!! If I’m Joe the plumber, I should choose what I give away, not the Government. The Government has wasted our tax dollars giving to programs that don’t work! Organizations like Habitat for Humanity work because they are efficient. Our Government is anything but efficient. Government is too big in this country. Giving them more of our Tax dollars will simply make it bigger!

Posted by Charlie | Report as abusive

I am so tired of hearing about Joe the plumber and his $250K a year business. I worked with Joe at Global Crossing in Phoenix, AZ several years ago and he is a super nice guy and shouldn’t be scrutinized this much. BUT, BUT…here is what I want to hear about…I want to hear about what is going to be done to HELP my best friend and her husband who have lost their home because they can’t find work. BOTH of my parents who have been laid off and have their retirement tied up in the stock market which goes down every day…the fact that I am a college student working 3 jobs (oh, wait…make that 1 job…I lost 2 of them last week). WHAT is going to be done to help us? I’m glad that Joe is going so well…lucky Joe. When I graduate college next semester with my degree, am I going to be able to find a job? Or will I be bartending for the rest of my life?

I don’t know about Joe and his $250K per year, but I know about my $2.90 per hour and the fact that my tips get worse every single weekend. I know that between working and school I don’t have enough time for sleep. I know that I worry about my parents who are out of work and several friends who can’t support their families.

Let’s STOP focusing on the ONE person John McCain has found to swing around by his puppet strings and start focusing on those of us who make FAR less than $250 a year, and there are a lot. Those Americans who are losing their homes, their families, their jobs…let’s focus on the worst recession since the great depression. Let’s focus on AMERICA!! And let’s do what we have to in order to get back to being able to live comfortably! Obama is offering us the chance to do just this. But what do I know? I’m not a plumber.

Posted by shaylin White | Report as abusive

50% tax?! What kind of nonsense are you talking? This country has been a PROGRESSIVE TAX STRUCTURE for MANY YEARS! The more you make, the higher percentage you are taxed. It’s for “the benefit of the country as a whole.” It doesn’t have anything to do with LAZY! There are a lot of people who – for MANY REASONS – cannot get high paying jobs. They work 2-3-4 jobs to make a living. That isn’t LAZINESS! Congratulations to you and your husband for making TONS of money. If you don’t want to help the country, then maybe you need to live somewhere else. AND KEEP IN MIND, there are MANY countries who’s income taxes are MUCH higher than ours.

AND – by the way… I am a college graduate. I graduated MAGNA CUM LAUDE and had a 4.0 within my major field of study – banking and finance. I have spent the last 12 years working in financial research. Now, because financial research is a dying profession and the financial markets are in shambles, I can’t even FIND WORK that would come even remotely close to what I deserve or expect to get paid, in my career.

Am I lazy?

Posted by DJ Jayito | Report as abusive

I see many posts accusing Joe of being an above average american making a quarter of a million dollars a year. If you read the article it says he plans to purchase a business that makes this amount. This does not mean that his take home after salaries and business expenses will be even close to this amount.

Aside from this I have to wonder from where your sense of entitlement stems. What makes you think it’s ok to use the government to take what someone else has worked for? If you are not happy with your current financial situation find a way to improve it that does not force others to work for your luxuries.

Posted by Jay Pops | Report as abusive

Not an Obama fan. Not a fan of people who believe that those who have worked hard for what they have should be spreading their wealth even further. I took out loans for college, found good jobs, paid them off. I have worked for corporate america and have owned my own business. Husband has worked very hard and went to college on the GI Bill. We have been moderately successful. We bought houses, fixed them up, sold them for profit and did it again. The American way. Life has not been golf, sailing and yearly vacations to foreign lands. I am retired and plan to enjoy it. He will continue to work for a few more years. We go to church and believe in minimum 10% tithing knowing that portions of that money will go to food banks, farm workers, seniors and much, much more. I work in community ministries helping to teach children to read, be respectful, be able to make good decisions and have responsibility. I am not alone in this. Their are thousands of us living in communities throughout this county who believe in giving back. The Obamas believe in giving back, giving back other people’s money. Go to the internet and look up what they have given in charity. They did give $72,650 to charity. The money was linked back to convicted real estate developer Antoin Rezko as campaign contributions given to the Obama campaign by Rezko’s relatives. As for themselves, I read that they gave, before running for President, 1% of their income. Funny how a presidential campaign can disclose who the stingy ones are. Stingy with their earned income and generously giving with money made by others.

Posted by Joan | Report as abusive

After reading through most of the posts on this page many things are obviously being misconstrued, thus I agree with the very small amount of people stating that questions do need to be asked. One main question that needs to be clarified is the $250,000 question. For the few that may have taken the time to do a bit of research, granted, I did brief research, Obama states that individuals making over $250,000.00 would see a tax increase, so the question is how would that apply to a small business owner? The business, though run by an entrepenuer, is not the persons personal earnings, and with all of the assistance available to small business owners, especially new owners, there should be enough breaks in there to negate the possible tax increase effect. But again, the plan states for individuals and not businesses. So then the question becomes, does that mean if I work for Company A and make that amount or does that mean if I own a company with 3 employees and that company grosses $255,000/yr that I will see an increase?

One thing some people recognize is that the middle class are the ones with this country on their backbone. There’s far more people in the middle class facing higher taxes IN OUR PRESENT state of things then there has been in history. The economy has done nothing but decline under Bush and more evident the mortgage crisis in which big oil companies sought they still wanted their billion dolar profits and continued to raise oil prices. Even though gas in on a decline, it has no reason being that high in the first place and now that the economy is on lego building blocks, it’s funny how all of a sudden oil prices plummet and theres no talk anymore of the weakening dollar and how they had to raise prices to compensate…all of that was just food for thought, now back to the blog topic.

Oh wait, part of the topic has evolved around an economy where even someone with a PhD cant even find work. As for Joe, if he’s smart enough, he should buy the business if he’s done enough research to seek the right assistance. Most of the problem is that people don’t know where to look or expect it to fall in their lap. He obviously should know what he’s doing as a plumber if he has saved enough to buy the business or qualify for the loan to purchase it, so its just a matter of what happens on his end. But then again, under McCain, he wouldnt necessarily get a tax break either, unless Joe found a way to grow mushroom his plumbing business to qualify for McCains big business tax breaks to those who really dont need it. What good does it do to give tax breaks to big businesses that claim to create jobs if they had a break, yet those jobs never reach American soil? At least Obama states that he would encourage big businesses that create jobs in America by offering them breaks…Big Difference.

As for the government, it is out of control and something needs to be done about it. Honestly and truthfully, this Country is supposed to be run by the people, someone in transgression we have gotten away from that to the point where a few hundred men sit in a room and decide things that effect billions if not trillions of people. Their spending money like someone broke Hoover Dam and left the faucet on. Last time I checked, I didnt agree with the War in Iraq, I agreed that something needed to be done about the attacks here in the US, and last I heard, they weren’t in Iraq.

Posted by Talk Too Much | Report as abusive

As we saw from later reports, Joe the plumber is the average American with debts and dreams and not a $250,000 a year income.
What troubles me and should trouble all Americans concerning Joe and the Obama campaign is that the people conected with Obama went after Joe like a pack of hungry sharks. They sought to discredit him and ruin him and it appears that Obama did nothing to stop this. Is this how Barak Obama intends to help the middle class? Is this how Barak Obama will respond to questions concerning his policies if he becomes president?

Posted by bookdiva | Report as abusive

You’ve made a good point, Maxwells, one I also tried to make in this song:

Joe the Plumber
words and music by Dr BLT copyright 2008

a new mix of the song should be up at my website, from the album, Lipstick, soon:

Posted by Bruce | Report as abusive

I would like to see equal PERCENTAGES paid in taxes. Yes I chose to be a teacher, a profession where I will never be rich, because of my love for children and desire to make a positive impact on the world. My problem is that I notice people making more than me paying a smaller percentage of their earnings than I do. If I, a lowly teacher, am expected to survive off a certain percentage than surely Joe and the rest of the hardworking 6figure earning population should be able to do the same.

Posted by DeMoCool | Report as abusive

He doesn’t make 250,000 dollars a year, his BUSINESS makes 250,000 dollars a year, a lot of which is going to go into paying employees and other business expenses. That’s not how much he gets paid.

Posted by Robert Farland | Report as abusive

To James Behlke. No disrespect but do you really know what senators make? Not in their salary but from all the perks they have? And if Obama and his wife only make $77,000.00 per year what are thier college educations in? That makes it $38,500.00 for each. I went to college, got a degree, left the field I studied and ended up making close to $100,000.00 per year because of hard work, willingness to work, and the opportunity to better myself but not at the expense of the American people. If you think there is economic turmoil now, if Obama is elected you haven’t seen anything. Better pull your money out of the bank and put it under your mattress.

Posted by Bill Michaelson | Report as abusive

here is the thing that puzzles me…percentage-wise I am payin way more in taxes than that of those who make more than 250,000.00 per year. so, the question is, WHY?? Wht would someone who could afford to pay the same tax rate as me more easily getting the breaks. Look, fair is fair, I pay my taxes and I get benefits from it and I appreciate those benefits. However, i am single with no children and i am getting HAMMERED at like 14%!!! tack on the state tax and SS and medicare it comes out over 20% of my pay going to taxes. I am TIRED of towing the line!!! I want a freakin’ break!! I’m sick of being penalized for not having had children!!!!!

I simply cannot listen to someone making 3 times more money than me whine about losing tax breaks!!! they can freakin’ afford to pay!! I know, because I pay my taxes and i have a pretty good life despite that.

It’s all good when the cutoff goes the other way and people making under 250k are paying a higher rate than you… Kiss my butt!!!

It’s simple pay your EFFing taxes JOE!!!

Posted by Danny the Plumber | Report as abusive

Get real,Joe the plumber? How about Jane the Fashion Model? 150K on clothes,I havent spent that much on my entire wardrobe over my lifetime. Hypocrisy run rampant.Im middle class and I wouldnt have Sara the valley girl represent me under any circumstance.

Posted by rick righi | Report as abusive

A lot of people posting here seem to think that a business is taxed on gross income — the total amount it brings in. It’s not. It’s taxed on its profits — that’s after all the bills and the employees are all paid. The idea that lots of successful small businesses will have their taxes raised under Obama’s plan is a lie, no more, no less. 95% of small businesses would see their taxes lowered under Obama’s plan. Look at the figures, ask a financial analyst. Obama’s plan will lower taxes on small businesses and is better for this country.

Posted by Alice Carli | Report as abusive


Let’s revolt for a FLAT TAX system. No one could EVER claim that isn’t fair for them. It’s completely EQUAL TO ALL!

YOU SHOULD ALREADY HAVE YOUR MONEY UNDER A MATTRESS. First… Interest rates are nearly at all time lows. Then, secondly… Banks are failing left and right and will continue to do so as RISKY mortgages fail and housing builders who took out HUGE loans can’t sell enough homes to cover these loans.

McCain / Obama… NO ONE can fix this problem, near-term. It’s all about CYCLES… The EXTREME high in the housing market must be met with an EXTREME low in the housing market. UNLESS OF COURSE you bail out the hugh corporations. What does that end up accomplishing? The stock market plummets 2000 points in mere weeks as the majority of america is FURIOUS and SCARED as to what the government has just done. Would they bail you out, if you made bad business decisions?

Now… What happens when you can buy a BRAND NEW home from a building company – the exact same home / same model / same lot / same community – as the one down the block (which was bought a 1/2 year – year ago (or so) for 50,000-100,000 less than your new neighbor… SOMETHING IS WRONG… and it will only get worse. It will get worse when half those homes sold a year ago are under foreclosure. This is happening ALL OVER my neighborhood in Davenport, FL. An entire block – just about – in a 3 year old neighborhood – is abandoned. I am NOT kidding. Jocelyn Drive – Davenport, FL… Awful. Big beautiful new homes. VACANT! You can buy a “short sale” home for 1/2 the price they were bought at – not even 3 years ago.

On another note… I still am bothered by the “if you work HARD, you will make a lot of money,” thought. I think this was the case during Reagan and Clinton (perhaps). And yes, in most cases, you HAVE to work hard to make a lot of money, but in a LOT of cases – in today’s economy – hard work is the work you are doing TRYING TO FIND A JOB THAT EQUATES TO YOUR SKILLSET! What do you do? For those of you who don’t have a clue… In order to pay your mortgage, you will get a job at BESTBUY or APPLEBEES or even WALMART just to make JUST ENOUGH money to keep the house. Your $100,000 / year has just become $10 / hour. And – on top of that – those who didn’t go to college – let’s say 5 years ago and got that hourly wage job at BESTBUY – and stayed there – are likely to be manager now and making 50,000+ / year. FUNNY HOW THINGS REVERSE!

I’d like to see some of the “rich” people in this thread – and what they would have to say – if by some horrible chance things reversed for them. Let’s say for instance, to the person who was talking about how she and her husband bought homes – and sold them for a profit. What if you bought at the peak? OOPS! You’d still OWN all those houses and you’d be praying for goverment assistant, at that point.

Posted by DJ Jayito | Report as abusive

Let’s not forget the millions Joe the Plumber is likely making right now through McCain endorsements.

Posted by DJ Jayito | Report as abusive

Joe the Plumber is a hero.

The point is not whether he “is an average American” or not.

The point is you are being taxed to death, and Joe the Plumber is being character-assassinated and attacked for speaking up and voicing an opinion – as though there were something wrong with that.

Obama and his cronies, including those who vote Democrat, would like more of that.

Punish the successful and hate and degrade those who oppose their creeping Marxism.

Posted by Big Paul | Report as abusive

Again… Let’s just move to a FLAT TAX – let’s say 20%.

Posted by DJ Jayito | Report as abusive

I am so tired of McCain’s reference to Joe the plumber. All I do now is turn off the TV or change the channel. This Joe the Plumber is driving me crazy!!!!!

Posted by Eugene Diaz | Report as abusive

Joe the “Plumber”? He should vote for McCain and he probably voted for Bush twice and GHW Bush as well. It’s a phoney macho persona that Republican’s are “more tough” on evey issue and are out to protect his right not to pay taxes.
What this sockhead does not get is the fact that the GOP went crazy over the last 8 years spending money we just don’t have, but he and his children will someday have to repay. These are not conservative ideas or actions – on the contrary. They are perverted flaming liberal socialist ideas that spend tax dollars and imorally tranfer (spread the debt)equally to every man woman and child in the country.
If Joe thinks McCain and VP wannabe Barbie will help him or anyone like him step up, he’s just a bullet headed dope he appears to be.
He’s a lier (goes with the territory of being a phoney conservative)and a tax dodging leach. Anyone who is middle class and votes for McCain/McBarbie is either not paying attention on purpose, or is just plain stupid.

Look, if Obama screws up, I’ll be the first to vote him out. As far as voting for a ticket who wants to give the same tax cuts to everyone (do the math on a 1% cut on $200,000 worth of income v $40,000) has got to be kidding. Unless Joe the Plumber is really Joe Sixpack in which case, he can buy a sixpack with the tax break these two are claiming to deliever.
That tax cut will be funded by more debt which (like buying groceries with a credit card) will eventually make this country a bananna republic we are heading for if things don’t change soon.

Go ahead Joe, pull the lever. When people can’t pay for a plumber, maybe you’ll start to vote for your own interests.


Posted by T | Report as abusive

Joe seems like a nice fellow however this question he raised makes me wonder if he came up with it on his own. Working as a plumbers assistant, how on earth would Joe get the money to consider buying a business with a profit (or even gross income)of $250,000-$270,000 per year. Interestingly, Joe quoted the exact numbers that would place him in the “higher” tax bracket proposed by Senator Obama. This would suggest he has done his homework in some detail before raising the question with Senator Obama. Since he has the exact income details, surely he must know that if he wants to buy such a business he must expect a purchase price of several multiples of the annual income. Where would this money come from? Is he independently wealthy? Would a bank loan such an amount to an unlicensed plumber? Sorry Joe…good try but I don’t buy it!

Posted by Rita | Report as abusive

Hey Guys,

Thought I’d post to this because I noticed that most of the comments were mentioning that Joe is making 250$K at year, that’s not exactly what it’s saying, it said “…Joe is about to buy a plumbing company that is currently making about 250$K a year.” C’mon guys, cut the man some slack! If he wants the company I say Kudos to him! Everyone else is jealous that they’re not gonna make that much!

Posted by Sylken | Report as abusive

Geeeeeez. If Joe wants to have no taxes, do what I do: work forty-two hours a week for eight dollars and hour. Then he’ll make less than $20,000 a year and he will have to pay minimum taxes. OR he could butch up, and do what I am on track with doing: go to school, get a job that pays better, eventually own my own business, and pay taxes like every other company that exists. If Joe can’t buy his business this year, or next year, maybe he should just wait another couple of years. Plenty of businesses, including plumbing businesses, make it by regardless of what the taxes are. If taxes go up, do you think ALL plumbing businesses will fall off the planet? NO. And instead of dragging myself down with more taxes while I’m 20 years old, getting no help from my parents financially, and attempting to pay for college, doesn’t it make more sense to tax the guy who’s already well-established? Look at what the McCain stickers are on: Mercedes, Lexus, etc. Obama? Dodges, Kias, etc. Are the poor guys jealous? Yes. But sometimes they can’t drag themselves out of the pit of despair because the richie riches need to get more tax breaks for that new pool or vacation in Tahiti. Sometimes welfare goes to the wrong people. Sometimes food stamps go to the wrong people. But, I’m 20, intelligent, fit… but I wasn’t born into the right family. My parents aren’t paying for any part of my education. My mom drives a bus, my dad fixes cars at the shop him and his brother run (and they are their only employees).
Who “deserves” a tax break? Those who work hard to get where they are at. Those who are trying to succeed. Those who need to just get by until the next paycheck. Joe might deserve less taxes. But where’s the cut-off point? 20 thousand dollars earned a year? Forty? Two hundred and fifty? Two million? I am not an economist, but no broad plan is going to make everybody happy.

Sorry about the rant. Over.

Posted by Jared | Report as abusive

The answer to your question is that Joe the Plumber should be taxed more because our country needs the money and he can afford to contribute more than a teacher, firefighter, etc. He will still be making a boat load of money paying an extra 3%. Let me ask you this — no one (Republicans) wants to pay taxes and contribute to our society so what should our society run on? Should we just print some extra money at the mint so all the rich people can just keep all of their money and keep getting richer? This year my family will bring in less than half of what we brought in last year because of this economy and the crash of the real estate and new home industry. We could lose everything we worked hard for the past 15 years. However, I still know that I have to contribute what I can afford to contribute because we’re not in this alone.

Posted by Jamie | Report as abusive

If I were to tell you that raising taxes would, without a doubt, hurt our economy, would you still vote to increase taxes? Well, unfortunately most people don’t realize the back lash of this. If taxes are raised, the owners of companies will not cut their income, they will just pass on the increase to the consumer, or cut jobs – so you and I will end up paying more. Again, the lower income and middle class will feel it the most. We will just be hurting ourselves if taxes are increased. I still don’t understand why it is so difficult to grasp the significance?

I do understand people wanting to make more money, but are unsure how to do it.

Also, government isn’t suppose to be a business. I was born in a communist country, and I can tell you that you do not want more government involvement.

Posted by Chris | Report as abusive

Just because a business makes $250.000.00 does not mean the owner takes home $250.000.00. Out of that comes salaries, business insurance, equipment, property taxes, income taxes, retirement plans, personal health insurance…Geez, you’d think Joe was able to live on 5th Avenue the way many of you are talking. Do you get this critical with pro athletes, celebrities and movie stars? By the way, many of the above don’t work 12 hour days, only to be mocked for being “just a plumber” to make a decent living. And please, don’t get me started on the salaries of politicians. After “serving” in congress for so many years they spend the rest of their lives receiving free health care and a risk free pension the rest of us could only dream about. Most of the time that is fine with me, because I figure if I wanted the same for myself, I would run for office. I don’t want to, so thats that. But don’t begrudge people who make money, THEY are the workers and most of us can still make choices! What a blessing! Rewarding hard work is the American Way! It creates ingenuity! Yea!

Posted by donna reichenbach | Report as abusive

This post is for Jamie (posted on the 26th).

Jamie, If someone makes more money than you, do you feel that they use more than you? For example, do they drive on the road more than you, or use the public school system more than you? Of course not. What we should have is a flat tax and get rid of any government run organization that is wasteful.

I’m pretty sure that we are all happy to pay our taxes, but not to fund things that are unnecessary.

Posted by chris | Report as abusive

Thinking is good. But you have to be objective and not just let pop thoughts drift off the top of your heads. Joe the plumber presently makes about $40,000 a year, and would benefit from Obama’s tax plan now. Joe has a dream and a vision, not based on reality, of one day owning a business that could possibly be making at least $250,000. Under Obama’s tax initiatives, Joe would benefit from the rest of the 95% of Americans having the ability to get enough of a tax break to be a customer of Joe the Plumber. Plus Joe would get tax breaks for hiring people to work for him. But back to reality Joe, you don’t like the fact that you have to be taxed for anything in America. Is that why you owe about $11,000 in back taxes? As long as you have your 2 guns and a dog, you’re cool.Keep dreaming the American dream Joe.

Posted by ruffwizard | Report as abusive

[…] Obama’s famed encounter with Joe the Plumber has reignited accusations of socialism. When asked about his burdening tax increases, Obama […]

Posted by The Audcaity of Socialism: Obama’s “Robin Hood” economics « Ain’t Nobody Understand Us | Report as abusive

My God what has happened to my GOP. This is what we get for nominating such a rouge republican

Posted by Craig the Engineer | Report as abusive

You people are not seeing the real world here. Have you HIRED a plumber lately? Or a mechanic? or a painter? Would you think a horse shoer could make $250,000 a year? NO? Well, I pay my shoer $150 to shoe a horse, which takes him about 45 minutes. He can shoe 8-10-12 horses a day. And with a helper, he could do even more. Go figure it out, My Friends.

Posted by Nancy | Report as abusive

Joe’s $250K is the gross income of the business and he is concerned that Obama will tax him so that he doesn’t have enough money to pay his wages, buy equipment, and even hire more help. This shows Obama’s tax plan hurts small businesses while taking money away from Joe to grow his business, it’s that simple. Obama is that used car salesperson you better be careful in dealing. While we have Joe the Plumber we have Barack the Used Care Salesperson..

Posted by Jon Bridgewater NJ USA | Report as abusive

Do any of us “employed” people work for a business, corporation, etc., with a gross income LESS than $250K?

Hello!!!! It’s the businesses, corporations, etc., that have the $$ that employ us!!!!

Posted by Kathy True | Report as abusive

All I know is that we started out with Joe Six Pack and then evolved to Joe the Plumber. This is surreal. I cannot believe that this is how we are framing our political discourse for such an important election. And then I saw this video this morning: 670/thomas-haden-church-vs-joe-the-plumb er-from-thomas-haden-church

And I think that really highlights how absurd this dialog is!

Posted by Thomas | Report as abusive


Posted by peter barton | Report as abusive

Good grief, so many of you are having fits over “Joe the
Plumber”, but he isn’t running for president and besides
all he did really was pose a decent hypothetical question
of Sen.Obama.

Admit it, Obama slipped up in answering by revealing his true plan for taxing! No help from his handlers, debate
coaches or handlers that time to obfuscate the truth!

We already have welfare and now a bigger piece is to be
taken from those who work hard and be given to others.
Suggestion: Do what many of us are already doing and
give to a favorite charity or personally help out someone!

Senator Obama how much money personally, have you spared to spread to help the wealth around?

McCain/Palin ’08

Posted by littleleers | Report as abusive

Is Joe the Plumber coming to campaign in Charlotte, NC anytime soon? I’d like to hear him speak and ask his opinion on the Fed’s Open Market Account and his take the Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations. I also hope that he’s being well remunerated for his campaign appearances. A man on plumber’s wages can’t afford to take too many breaks from his regular job.

Posted by Carlos Navarro | Report as abusive

I don’t give a rat’s behind about Joe. Here’s what I do care about… ending war… a decent economy… jobs staying in the USA (I HATE talking to foreign customer service centers!) and keeping Sarah Palin as far away from the White House as possible.

Posted by Vicki | Report as abusive

Hey Jon Bridgewater (oct 29), what kind of dumbed up logic are using? Joe is concerned that Obama is going to tax his “make believe” business which will negatively affect his ability to hire “make believe” employees. How does that show that Obama tax plan hurts small businesses? Pretty sure that is the most illogical statement on this long list of uninformed responses. I’m worried that my insurance company won’t cover my surgery, which shows that we should do away with insurance, Presto. Doesn’t work that way.

One more thing, from all the people that were bagging on the couple that had master’s degrees and only made around 77K. You guys ever think that just maybe they chose to enter a field that has better benefits than money, for themselves and us. Check out the average salary for a teacher. I know here in the midwest, the “real America” according to your boy McCain, teachers with advanced degrees still average around 30-40K a year. Not everybody is motivated solely by the green.

Posted by dan | Report as abusive

Sam the Gas Station Guy……….sam is sammer issa anabi. rawa is his wife. very wealthy and not voting for obama because of profit in gas prices. This article was a sham.

C.A.R. Enterprises owns 60 facilities that offer combinations of fuel, C-store, and car washing services in California. Sam Anabi, president of C.A.R.

Posted by dsmr | Report as abusive

I am so sick of hearing about Joe”The Not Really A Plumber”. This guy doesn’t even have a plumbing license and doesn’t make anywhere near $250,000 a year. Not sure why he wants to jump on the McCain bandwagon. McCain needs to find a real small business owner that Obama’s plans would affect. The whole Joe Six Pack, come on, you have to be kidding me. I think I’ll go with Obama/Biden. Seeing as how Joe really is a Biden.

Posted by Nani | Report as abusive

To litteleers:

Obama is willing to increase his own taxes, so he can lower taxes for those of us who don’t make $250,000. Looks to me like he is willing to personally spread the wealth. What is McCain willing to personally contribute from his own pocket?

Posted by Nani | Report as abusive

Joe the plumber is not license? If true I would not do business with him. I am so sick of hearing about, Joe the Plumber! Mccain must be desperate for the low IQ votes.

Posted by Bob the Plumber | Report as abusive


*** What troubles me and should trouble all Americans concerning Joe and the Obama campaign is that the people conected with Obama went after Joe like a pack of hungry sharks. They sought to discredit him and ruin him and it appears that Obama did nothing to stop this. ***

No. The media dug in to JtP’s life and reported on it, same as they do with anyone who ends up in the spotlight. The fact that what turned up made Joe and McCain look like fools is noone’s fault but Joe’s And McCain’s.

Posted by Average Citizen | Report as abusive

How is it right to highly tax people below $250,000 who are trying to succeed and make it in life, but it’s completely wrong to highly tax people who are already well off? America will not grow if the middle class can barely earn enough money to live while the “rich” class continues to gain more and more money. It almost looks as if the “rich” class is trying to step all over the middle class just because they have more money.

Posted by nyuk nyuk nyuk | Report as abusive

WHAT ABOUT JOE THE UNION CARPENTER THE REAL MIDDLE CLASS!!!!!! OBAMA BACKS ME 100% John McCain HATES US,joe the plumber has his own buss. hes not middle class why doesnt n e one see this ,

Posted by joe brocato | Report as abusive

what are everyones thoughts on this joe the plumber business one year on?

Posted by karl | Report as abusive