Thursday, October 16, 2008

Joe The 'Not Registered' Plumber Owes Back Taxes

HOLLAND, Ohio (CBS) Republican John McCain said Thursday that 'Joe the Plumber,' whose questions about Democrat Barack Obama's tax policy became a centerpiece of the final presidential debate, was the real winner of the televised forum.

But it turns out that 'Joe The Plummer' doesn't have a plumbing license, owes back taxes, makes less than $250,000 a year and is a registered Republican, according to television, newspaper and wire service reports Thursday.

Joe Wurzelbacher, 34, of Holland, Ohio was cited by McCain in Wednesday evening's debate as an example of someone who wants to buy a plumbing business but would be hurt by Barack Obama's tax plans.

But the county Wurzelbacher and his currently employer live in, Lucas County, requires plumbers to have licenses. And neither Wurzelbacher nor his employer are licensed there, said Cheryl Schimming of Lucas County Building Regulations, which handles plumber licenses in parts of the county outside Toledo.

Wurzelbacher also owes the state of Ohio almost $1,200 in back income taxes, according to Bloomberg News.

Records on file with the Lucas County Court of Common Pleas show that the state filed a tax lien against Samuel Joesph Wurzelbacher (Joe's full legal name) for $1,182.98 on Jan. 26, 2007, and it remains in effect.

Despite portraying himself in some media accounts as an independent or undecided voter, it appears that 'Joe the Plumber' is a longtime, registered Republican.

Wurzelbacher's hometown newspaper, The Toledo Blade, said that Lucas County Board of Elections records show he's been on the voter rolls since 1992 and is a registered Republican. He most recently voted in Ohio's March 2008 GOP primary.

Ironically, Democratic vice presidential candidate Joe Biden began his day Thursday on the morning network news programs questioning whether 'Joe the Plumber' was "real."

"John [McCain] continues to cling to the notion of this guy Joe the plumber," Biden said according to Politico. "I don't have any Joe the plumbers in my neighborhood that make $250,000 a year."

It seems Biden was right. CNN reported Thursday that Wurzelbacher acknowledged he makes a lot less than $250,000 and knows that he wouldn't be impacted by Obama's tax plan.

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