Joe Wurzelbacher became a celebrity of sorts after presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain made "Joe the Plumber" the lynchpin of their debate on taxes and an icon of the working man.
Joe Wurzelbacher isn't a licensed plumber. And, he said Oct.
16, he doesn't need a license, either.
Wurzelbacher became a celebrity of sorts
after presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain made "Joe the
Plumber" the lynchpin of their debate on taxes and an icon of the working
Wurzelbacher said he works for Newell
Plumbing and Heating in Holland, Ohio ― a small residential plumbing company ― and,
because he's an employee, he doesn't need to have a license.
Joe's newfound celebrity has generated a
bit of a stir in the plumbing industry. The morning after the debates in which
both candidate spoke both about and to "Joe" about their tax schemes,
the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors―National Association said it had
fielded, "many" calls from the general media. PHCC-NA spokeswoman
Charlotte Perham said at least some of the questions from the consumer media
centered on the average taxable income of small contractors.
The flurry of media attention for
Wurzelbacher was set into motion last weekend when on Oct. 12 he told Obama he
had designs on purchasing Newell Plumbing and Heating, a business that
reportedly earns more than $250,000 annually. He asked Obama whether the
candidate's new plan would increase his taxes.
During the presidential debate Oct. 15,
McCain used Wurzelbacher as an example of someone who wants to buy a business
but whose chance may be hurt by Obama's tax plans. Obama said that his tax
proposal would keep tax rates on any amount less than $250,000 the same, but
dollar amounts above that level would be subject to a 39 percent tax rate
instead of the 36 percent in place now.
Neither candidate, however, bothered to
spend any time as they sparred on the issue to clarify whether the magic
$250,000 "income" figure represents gross or net business income or
whether it represents gross or adjusted personal wage income. But a new icon of
the American working class and budding entrepreneurship was born and stands
ready to take his place alongside good old "Joe Sixpack," and their
much older sister, "Rosie the Riveter" in the halls of American
Wurzelbacher said he just wishes the
whole hubbub would go away and that his 15 minutes of personal fame are about
over: "I wished they had talked more about issues that are important to
Americans," he said, adding the experience has been overwhelming.
Media Attention For 'Joe the Plumber'
October 17, 2008