Thursday, October 16, 2008

Joe the Plumber... Bummer

It's such typical McCain-campaign rush to gimmickry without vetting the facts.

When the media checked out the peg on which John McCain hung Wednesday's debate.... Joe the Plumber.... well, he didn't. Check out, that is.

Turns out Joe is Sam.... Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher of Springfield Township, Ohio. He is a registered Republican. Joe isn't licensed or registered as a plumber anywhere in Ohio, so.... he isn't a plumber.

Joe doesn't own a plumbing business, and it doesn't seem like he might any time soon since his divorce papers show he earned $40,000 in 2006 according to an article in today's Toledo Blade.

So, how did the myth that is Joe the Plumber come about?

Joe was playing football in his front yard with his son, Joey, on Sunday afternoon when Barack Obama made an unscheduled stop to go door to door greeting voters and asking for their support.

In his conversation with Joe, Obama tried explained his plan for tax breaks to 95 percent of Americans while raising taxes on incomes above $250,000.

Obama said his plan would improve the economy for people trying to get a start in small business, and "spread the wealth".... meaning to give a break to the middle class for a change, not those at the top of the heap like the GOP's trickle-down Reaganomics benefited.

The "spread the wealth" phrase was quickly picked up by conservative bloggers, commentators and then the McCain campaign... and, McCain seized on Joe the Plumber as his debate catch-phrase, gleefully accusing Obama in their debate of wanting to "redistribute" Joe's wealth.

It seems Joe doesn't worry too much about sharing the tax load anyway, there is a lien of $1,183 on his modest home for nonpayment of personal property taxes.

While Joe didn't say who he was going to vote for in November, he did say he liked McCain's other unvetted campaign gimmick, Sarah Palin.

Note to McCain: Someone in your campaign needs to learn how to Google-check basic facts before launch.

Note to Joe: You're exactly the type of middle-class American that Obama's tax policies would benefit. Think about it.

Note to voters: November 4!

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