The final US presidential debate has produced a new celebrity, Joe the Plumber.
His real name is Sam J Wurzelbacher and he was mentioned by the candidates more than two dozen times during the recent debate, after questioning Democratic candidate Barack Obama about his tax policy at a rally last week.
"I'm getting ready to buy a company that makes $US250,000 a year. Your new tax plan is going to tax me more, isn't it?" he asked Senator Obama at the time.
Republicans rejoiced, and John McCain made Joe the Plumber a theme of the third and final debate, in an attempt to woo blue collar voters.
Senator Obama has denied that his tax plan would lead to the average tradesman paying more tax. "How many plumbers do you know earning a quarter of a million dollars a year?" he said. (Well I don't know about the US but there would be a few here that earn, or at least 'turn over' that much.) Also, in Australia, self employed people have the opportunity to claim more against their income and thereby reducing their tax way below the PAYG population. Among the items that can be claimed by plumbers are: tools, cars, equipment, guard dogs, home office and contents, electricity, fuel . . .take all that off your tax bill and you're sitting pretty! Me . . I'm on the marginal 45cents in the dollar tax rate! *sob*
Mr Wurzelbacher actually does not earn that much at the moment, which means he could pay lower taxes under an Obama administration
Well actually, whilst both candidates seem completely unembarrassed by 'Joe's' intervention, it turns out that with celebrity comes scrutiny - Mr Wurzelbacher owes back taxes and is not even a licensed plumber.
He has only been in the spotlight for a few hours but already he has held more press conferences than Sarah Palin.
People have started selling Joe t-shirts and web users are flocking to his Facebook page. Google's search engine was clogged with requests Thursday for information about "Joe the Plumber", who is an obscure handyman from Ohio.
Yep, Joe is the, unlicensed, tax avoiding, loud mouthed Friday Fuckwit who 'duped' two presidential candidates and has become an instant celebrity . . I just hope the IRS is paying attention!