Higher taxes for Joe the Plumber?

Joe Wurzelbacher, AKA Joe the Plumber, is the most famous plumber in America today. He’s been highlighted in the news. A picture of him with Barack Obama has been all over television and the Internet. And most importantly, he was the subject of a lengthy exchange between Obama and John McCain during Wednesday night’s presidential debate.

Wurzelbacher, the 34-year-old plumber from Ohio, admits he is surprised by all the attention. But he hasn’t backed away from his comments that Obama’s tax policy could end up harming Wurzelbacher’s plans to purchase a plumbing business.

Wurzelbacher is hoping to buy a company whose earnings top $250,000 annually. He is worried that Obama’s economic plan — which would increase taxes on families making more than $250,000 a year — could make it too costly for him to operate the business.

Obama’s response to Wurzelbacher’s concern was, “I think that when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.”

Who should pay more taxes is always a subject for robust debate. But we have to side with Wurzelbacher. Spreading the wealth may be a wonderful idea. But if higher taxes prevent a young entrepreneur from buying and perhaps growing a business — adding more jobs and purchasing more materials — that doesn’t spread the wealth. It harms everyone.


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