Meet Joe

JoeThe world can’t get enough of Joe, a guy John McCain met on the campaign trail who was thrust into celebrity status when McCain and Obama mentioned him by name over twenty times in [last night’s debate](http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DvdfO0lq4rQ&eurl=http://video.google.com/videosearch?hl=en&client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&hs=Hbw&resnumiurl=http://i1.ytimg.com/vi/DvdfO0lq4rQ/default.jpg). Joe was concerned that if he purchased his boss’ business which he said grosses between $250,000 and $280,000 annually that he would be forced into a higher tax bracket. A reasonable concern for anyone considering a purchase of that magnitude at a time like this.
So in an effort to keep things straight, let’s get to know Joe and understand more precisely this new poster child for the Republicans would be affected by Obama’s tax plan. You might be surprised.
1. Let’s assume for a moment that Joe purchased his boss’ company and in 2009 made over $280,000. Under Obama’s plan, all income under $200,000 would be taxed at a lower rate than individuals are currently paying, income between $200,000 and $250,000 would not be taxed differently and income over $250,000 would be taxed at a higher rate. Under the current progressive tax law that means that only $30,000 (the amount over $250,000) would be taxed at a higher rate, and **the bulk of Joe’s income ($200,000) would be taxed at a lower rate**. Here is how it would shake out in the books:
> Analysts calculated that the extra tax would amount to $900, which would likely be more than offset by separate provisions of Obama’s plan: a 50 percent tax credit for health care and elimination of the capital gains tax for small businesses. — source: [MSNBC](http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/27221645/)
2. However, Joe’s *gross* income is different than Joe’s *taxable* income. Once you actually deducted from the $280,000 any business expenses, wages, and other deductibles, Joe’s *taxable* income would certainly fall below $250,000 meaning that **Joe’s taxes would actually *go down***.
But the above is based upon the assumption that Joe’s boss’ business makes that much, which it doesn’t. As it turns out, the business’ annual *revenue* is about $100,000, further cementing that Joe would **not be adversely affected by Obama’s tax plan *at all***. Other failed assumptions about Joe that John McCain has made:
* Joe could get a loan in the first place. He can’t right now as credit markets are frozen.
* Joe is a plumber. He is in fact not licensed and thanks to this recent publicity he may actually be sanctioned by the city as a result (oops).
Sorry for the politics, but I can’t help myself. If there is one thing I hope people hear is what Obama has been saying over and over and over again, and after every time John McCain insists that under Obama’s plan, people’s taxes would go up:

95% of American individuals and small business’ taxes will go DOWN.

That includes mine. But you know what? If Obama asked me to pay more than I do today, I would. Why? For starters, while I could certainly use the extra income, there are others out there who could use it more. Plus, I want to live in world where neighbors and citizens extend to each other a helping hand when times are tough, and not turn our backs on them based on a procrustean “every man for himself” ideology. God forbid that one day, due to forces outside of my control I find myself in need — only to find that there is no one there to help, and no safety net to fall back on.

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4 Comments on “Meet Joe”

  1. Seth Mason says:

    Thanks for this. I was pretty much wondering the same thing regarding the tax implications for Joe.
    One thing though, all the articles I have read said it was Obama who met him first on a campaign stop in Ohio. But it was McCain who was calling him “my dear friend” by the end of the debate.

  2. Coming from Norway, a country where the mean income was $52.677 in 2004 (I couldn’t dig up more current values), I can’t help to think that whoever earns $250.000 or more should indeed be taxed more for it. In Norway, anything above $76.000 is considered a high wage. When you make well over three times this amount, you’re stinking rich.
    People earning this much and at the same time complaining about being taxed something like 27% should clearly receive a public beating and be kicked out of the country. My wage is something like $65.000, I’m currently taxed 43% and I’m not complaining. It’s the least I could do. We have one of the world’s best welfare systems in Norway and I will certainly reap from it when I grow older. I have already reaped from it through 12 years of free and good education and I continue to reap from it through cheap and insurance-free health care whenever I am in need of it.

  3. Byrne says:

    This is a mentality that is lost on most American unfortunately. Americans like to think of government as a giant insurance policy – a system they pay into and are therefore entitled to an equal or greater return. What most Americans don’t realize is that government does not serve the individual, Government serves society.

  4. Then I guess the whole “society” concept is lost on most Americans as well? I know “The American Dream” doesn’t include anything but yourself and your loved ones, but we aren’t living in caves anymore and it’s not enough wealth to share in this world for everyone to become filthy rich.
    So either we share everything as a society or most of us will fail and not fulfill either of our dreams — ever. That does not mean I’m promoting communism, it’s just that I’m so tired of seeing the endless amount of negative effects this ego-centric “I, Me, Mine” mentality brings to not only the egoistic ones, but everyone around them as well.


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