The final US presidential debate has given millions of Americans the chance to get to know ‘Joe the Plumber’. First, Barack Obama did on the campaign trail in Ohio. Then the whole of America did when John McCain repeated his name more than a dozen times in the televised debate.
When one Joe Wurzelbacher challenged Obama on his taxation plan, under which he’d pay 39 per cent tax instead of 36 per cent, he never expected to become a McCain case study.
“I was astounded to hear my name on national television, you know, spoken by a presidential candidate. I mean it just floored me. If Obama wins I’ll be, you know, a footnote, maybe, at the most, but I won’t be recognised again. And that’ll be fine with me,” said Joe.
McCain chose white, middle-class Joe from Ohio to illustrate his point that Obama wants to raise taxes, or as he put it “fine” those earning more than 250,000 dollars a year. Obama answered that the tax rise would affect only five percent of Americans, while the rest earning less than 250,000 dollars would have their taxes cut.
As for Joe, now America’s most famous and in-demand plumber, his tax bill could be even higher than he bargained for if he cashes in on his fame.