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  • Joe the Plumber's $10K Tax Hike

    Barack the Plumber by William Warren

    Courtesy of William Warren, Americans for Limited Government

    Americans for Tax Reform has run the numbers for Joe Wurzelbacher. Under the tax plan offered by Barack Obama, the country’s most famous plumber would pay $10,000 more in taxes. Here’s the breakdown:

    Current Law: Under current law, Joe faces a self-employment tax of $20,768 and an income tax of $49,908 for a total tax liability of $70,676

    Obama Tax Hike: Joe’s self-employment tax his risen to $24,488 since he’s paying the full rate after $250,000 of SE tax. His income tax liability has risen to $56,090. This gives him a total tax liability of $80,578

    So, Joe can expect to pay almost $10,000 more under the Obama tax hike under a worst case scenario.

    Americans for Tax Reform provides the complete methodology on its blog. And while Heritage’s Center for Data Analysis didn’t single out Joe the Plumber when crunching the numbers, it has produced its own exhaustive analysis of the McCain and Obama tax plans.

    UPDATE — 7:42 p.m.: Wonder how Joe the Plumber would fare under McCain’s plan? Americans for Tax Reform says not much would change. Because Joe is a sole proprietor, he pays business taxes on his 1040. It’s the marginal tax rate changes proposed by Obama that make all the difference.

    Posted in Scribe [slideshow_deploy]

    32 Responses to Joe the Plumber's $10K Tax Hike

    1. John Hewitt says:

      Perhaps you haven't heard yet, but Joe actually makes about $40,000 a year.

    2. RG Robins, Tokyo says:

      How so, since "Joe the Plumber" isn't a licensed plumber at all, makes nowhere near $250K (divorce court records show $40K in 2006), owes back taxes, and even in the unlikely case that he could actually buy the business he works for, would still not have to report a net income above $250K.

      It's looking more and more like he's a fraudulent tax-cheat being used by team McCain to deceive the American people. McCain apparently decided to build a campaign theme around him after vetting him about as carefully as he vetted Sarah Palin.

    3. ess, Virginia says:

      What difference does it make if Joes taxes go up when he has had tax leins against him which tells me he doesn't always pay his taxes anyway…

      Just a thought…

    4. Ray, Middle of the P says:

      Has any one considered Joe can not afford to pay his Taxes at the current rate? Maybe we should consider lowering taxes on everyone. If we really wanted to bring about "Equality" through taxation, it may be more prudent to simplify the tax code so everyone pays an equal share removing all loopholes the government has imposed as a means to waste our hard earned money. Also it may not be a bad thing if the government had to operate within a fixed budget, this would help them prioritize and actually make decisions that will positively affect people.

    5. Mark, New York says:

      The math works for all small business owners with $250k+ which makes up a significant portion of middle class Americans. The facts are the same, if this Joe doesn't meet the criteria, there are millions of others that do.

    6. W. P. Lulias, St. Jo says:

      All of a sudden everyone is an expert on taxes and the economy. Seems that happens every four years. My concern is more national government regulating something they should not and the spreading the wealth scheme goes against the principles that built our great nation. Seems funny everyone is concerned about the "rich" until they or their children are "rich" whatever that means. The travesty is we, the people, allowed the national government to control everything stripping our local and state elected officials of the voice and promise insured by our founding fathers. What the heck, let's just spread the wealth and throw some money at whatever problem arises. I'm sure ACORN could muster some voters for that.

    7. Jay, Michigan says:

      With 10% of potential tax payers paying 70% of the tax and 32% of potential tax payers paying zero tax, the 'socialism' of America began many years ago. Although this 'Joe' has issues, there are many other 'Joe's' tired of being part of the 10%, me included!

    8. Michael, Denver Colo says:

      Joe the plumber as RG Robbins pointed out,he works in a hardware store I believe.He has gripes alright but dont we all?

    9. Richard, Texas says:

      RG in Tokyo seems to forget that Obama was the one who sniffed out Joe the Plumber.

    10. Pingback: Joe the Plumber’s $10K Tax Hike - Jason’s Blog

    11. John, Fullerton cali says:

      People it does not matter if Joe is a real person or not. You are missing the point of how the tax system is going to be applied to the citizens who are paying taxes, and those who are not. This web site provides a very good idea of what the two diffrent canidates are planing for our futures when it comes to being taxed. Go to
      and make an educated comment on what it is all about, not just a cynical comments on what you have been told is the truth. read it for yourselves.

    12. Dennis waldrop-Patte says:

      Im noy tryin to bag on any of the candidates but McCain has had more experience with federal/government and this is why i think that McCain should become president no offense to obama lovers and yes obama is from ill and i live in ill but that doesnt change my mind

    13. Barb MN says:

      Joe opened our eyes and ears. What he is or isn't is irrelevant. Anyone can have a similar question. Now we heard it from the lips themselves. No more planning a prosperous future. Your money is going to the people who aren't willed to do for themselves because of their deep dependency on government(other peoples money).

      Obama hides too much and covers-up. He doesn't speak kindly of America. Or American businesses. Hmm. Or the freedom to become what you want with hard work etc.Hmm. He wants what is most unproductive, unless of course he is deliberately weakening America. Hmm… His policies aren't by any means, progress under the principles and values of American standard. It's government greed.

      McCain is an honest man who believes in America. Who believes with faith, in the strength of all people of America. He wants every American to experience equal opportunity for their own right to success and prosperity. I'm glad senator Obama knocked on Joe's door and Joe, a tax payer asked him a simple question at the spur of the moment…

    14. John, Fullerton cali says:

      Thanks Barb NM

      You hit the nail on the head with this one.

    15. Peggy McGilligan, Al says:

      Its not that I want to punish your success, it's just that while you're out working hard, we've got millions of people … who don't have any money. Now, if you take 16, and divide it by 32, add 9, and square it by the sum of the hypotenuse, ah you’ll pay less with my tax plan. Don't quote me on that though, um you might pay a little more; that is unless of course you divide by 6, add 8, and subtract 3. Now ten years ago, if you’d been paying under my plan, is it hot out here? Some hard working people over there, you know, can barely make ends meet. Say, I've got to get out of here. I've got a debate to prepare for. Hey, I respect what you do. What is past is prologue: http://theseedsof9-11.com

    16. Kevin Freeman, Color says:

      Here's an idea: Let's all quit working so hard to make good money and just kick back on the Obama easy ride tax plan. I mean, who wants to slave away for 80+ hours a week just to make a bunch of money that liberals and wannabes will resent me for anyway? I think it's a great idea that the people driving our economy should lose more of their money to big government and every non taxpayer with a vote. That'll create more jobs, right? And encourage entrepreneurship too! We can even change our name from the United States of America to the United Socialists of America. It'd be great, and we wouldn't even have to change the acronym!

    17. Anton, Charlottesvil says:

      "The math works for all small business owners with $250k+"

      $250k+ in what? Turnover? Net profit after expenses? C-Corps or S-Corps or Sched Cs reporters? If Heritage is going to argue facts and numbers, then specifics matter.

      Last time I checked, neither McCain nor Obama is taxing the money you earn in your dreams, and if Joe The Plumber does end up with a cool extra $200k, he'll be able to deduct what he pays his CPA.

    18. UnaffiliatedIndie, C says:

      Forget the character attacks, however deserved or not. Let’s deal with the actual issue that was raised. Here’s a relevant excerpt from the (very) conservative Wall Street Journal’s article of OCTOBER 17, 2008, 'As Joe the Plumber Grows Famous, the Politics Get Murkier':

      "To reach a level that would be affected by Sen. Obama’s proposed tax increase, Mr. Smither said, a mom-and-pop plumbing company like Newell would have to clear $5 million in annual sales. [Joe’s company actually reports only $100,000 in sales.]

      Even if Mr. Wurzelbacher reaped taxable income from his business of $280,000 a

      year, he'd pay only about $900 more a year in taxes under Sen. Obama's plan, which

      would raise the tax rate on the income between $250,000 and $280,000 to 36%

      from 33%.


      If Mr. Wurzelbacher earns the wages of a typical Ohio plumber, $40,600, and holds a $90,000 mortgage, he would see a TAX CUT (emphasis added) under Sen. Obama's plan of more than $1,000, compared with no tax reduction under Sen. McCain's.

      If he succeeds in buying the plumbing business where he works, he could see even more tax benefits, including Sen. Obama's proposed elimination of capital-gains taxes for small-business investment, a 50% tax credit to purchase health insurance for employees and a $3,000 tax credit for every new hire over the next two years."

      Other issues and ‘things we wish were true’ aside, better to acknowledge facts and deal with them objectively.

    19. wstander British Col says:

      Mark from New York, says that people earning $250,000 a year are "middle class".

      Now there is a distorted view of reality, even before the last few weeks. At the rate things are going, $250,000 may be the new "super rich"

    20. Alan in SF says:

      This is the kind of careful research and intellectual acumen that makes Heritage Foundation what it is…a shameless joke of a propaganda outfit with zero credibility.

      Yep, Joe really opened our eyes. He pretended that Obama was going to raise his taxes, just like McCain's is pretending that Obama is going to raise Joe's taxes. McCain is an honest man who believes in lying, while that awful Obama person just wants to give Joe and Barb a tax cut.

    21. Alan in SF says:

      Mark, small business owners with income over $250,000 are a tiny percentage of all small businesses, not a significant proportion. And Jay, those 10% of the people who pay 70% of the tax EARN (if that's the word) 95% of the income. So they're not even paying their fair share.

    22. Patti, Daphne says:

      WRONG AGAIN. Joe the Plumber sought Obama out-not the other way around. He stated that he ran across the street to talk to Obama because the other people were not asking him hard enough questions.

    23. Debra, Southern AZ says:

      Why is it that many in this country have turned to dissecting the wrong people, issues, and comments? I am more concerned with Senator Obama's response to "Joe the plumber", which is socialism to it's core, not Joe's history. Senator Obama's bottom line "plan" is wealth redistribution. Our household, being of very modest means, does not hold to the belief that the rich should forced to throw us scraps to keep us dependent on the government. We work for what we own, and appreciate what we do have all the more. We live in a country that offers opportunity to reach whatever goals one desires…by working for it. What incentive will there be for those wanting to get ahead if government continues to siphon the fruits of the American Dream? This is the land of opportunity, not hand outs. Though I'm afraid it's turning into the latter.

      For those needing a reminder of it's meaning…

      Webster's definition of socialism:

      "a stage of society in Marxist theory transitional between capitalism and communism and distinguished by unequal distribution of goods and pay according to work done"

    24. Will l.,Denton, Texa says:

      Richard from TEXAS & John from california are right on the money on their individual comments.

      Barrack was on his own campaign seeking out opinions from regular folks and he asked Joe to speak with him. Now if Joe has issues with bills to pay and he is owes the IRS back taxes,well that does not take away the meat that Obama dished out for every working american to hear on national television and evaluate.

      many divorced men end up taking the brunt of the financial hit when they are in divorce court.I have and thousands of other men have. It is a tax hike and wealth distribution no matter how Obama says it.

    25. Pingback: so set ‘em up, Joe | PoliticsMuch.com

    26. Pingback: so set ‘em up, Joe | PoliticsMuch.com

    27. James Wolbert, Garf says:

      Here is the crux of the matter about "JOE": He was attacked by the media for asking a question. I agree he represents the American Dream, the desire to achieve more for you and your family. But King Obama says "NO Joe, if you want to get ahead I will penalize you and give it to someone else." I think that is an outrage. The only change we will have is the change in your pocket after we are forced to feed an ever growing government.

    28. Barb MN says:

      Who cares who sought who out? The question remains and the answer was loud and clear. This man has no positive substance.

      If this were an election on who has the prettier skin color, I would vote for Obama. Electing a man for presidency in a country of freedom has NOTHING to do with skin color or (race). Yet, because it wasn’t brought up, Obama, along with his supporters emphasizes it. People need to take out their dictionaries and absorb the definition. Obama believes in “Black” theology. Talk about racist! Supporters threaten violence if Obama doesn’t win. So don’t tell me the dfl isn’t despicable, idiotic, and immature.

      He is negative on America. Obama has supporters around the world. We are hated around the world. He wants to ban guns to law abiding citizens, he wants to censor free speech, Lord knows he does not want the truth known. He wants punishment to those that are against his unamerican stance, socialize the country, indoctrinate kids from 3 through college, blah, blah, blah. He wants this country defenseless and vulnerable. Kool-aid drinkers, watch your blood sugar level, it will distort your thinking patterns. NO Allen, if there’s a benefit from a tax cut it will not happen! NO TRUST!

    29. Zurina VA says:

      Joe works for a licensed and insured employer. He doesn't need a license nor he is seeking one for now.

      The dogs say he can't ever have a business of his own. The brain dead is only capable of thinking Joe will earn $40,000 a year for the rest of his life.

      Who is the congress man who currently owes tax money? How come he is still drawing my tax money as salary? None of you scums pay Joe his salary.

      Yea, Joe was hired by McCain just as Mohammed Atta was hired by Bush on 9/11 to give him excuse to go to war. What else more hell-bound liars?

    30. Zurina VA says:

      "Obama has supporters around the world. We are hated around the world."

      How ignorant, check the most current statistics in the survey in the Business Week. Most people favor America and look up to America as leader.

      "Obama has supporters around the world." The survey found that one single most important reason given why foreigners like Obama is:

      "Obama is the least American among the four presidential candiates."

      Don't kid yourself, check out the numbers. We don't need Americans who are against EVERYTHING what America stands for.

      Please name yourself Obamaan, the rest of the world will love you to death.

    31. Cliff, St Petersburg says:

      Check your facts Alan in SF, you might start with latest IRS publication with income and tax distribution tables through 2005; if you don't trust Heritage. In 2005, at lower tax rates, top 10% of income earners earned 46% of total AGI (not 95%) and paid 70% of all income taxes. At higher tax rates in 1986, top 10% income earners earned only 35% of total AGI, but also paid only 54.7% of all taxes. What does this tell us about tax increases?

    32. Plumber Banning says:

      10k?!!?!? WOW MAYBE I SHOULD go read this again. Im must have not fully understood what u meant

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