Joe the Plumber: Obama Tax Plan 'Infuriates Me'

ABC News' Teddy Davis and Hope Ditto report:

John McCain may have found a blue-collar face to help him argue that no American -- not even the richest 5 percent -- should pay higher taxes.

Joe the Plumber has weighed in on Wednesday's presidential debate and says that Barack Obama's tax plan "infuriates me."

"To be honest with you, that infuriates me," plumber Joe Wurzelbacher told "Nightline's" Terry Moran. "It's not right for someone to decide you made too much -- that you've done too good and now we're going to take some of it back."

"That's just completely wrong," he added.

Wurzelbacher told "Nightline" he heard some "scuttlebutt" that he might be raised at Wednesday's debate. He added, however, that he was not formally told by the McCain campaign of the senator's plans.

The plumber's brush with fame began on Sunday when he confronted Barack Obama outside of Toledo, Ohio. Wurzelbacher challenged the Democratic candidate on his plan to raise taxes on the top 5 percent of earners -- a policy which would, by the Obama campaign's own estimation, mean higher taxes for 184,000 small businesses.

"I'm getting ready to buy a company that makes 250 to 280 thousand dollars a year," Wurzelbacher told Obama. "Your new tax plan is going to tax me more, isn't it?"

Under Obama's plan, individuals making more than $200,000 per year, or couples making more than $250,000 per year, would pay higher taxes on income, capital gains, and dividends. Starting ten years from now, Obama supports an additional 2-4 percent tax on individual income above $250,000 per year to help shore up the Social Security system.

To evaluate how Wurzelbacher and his wife would fare under Obama, one would need to know his wife's income (if any) plus what the plumber meant when he told Obama that the company he is getting ready to buy "makes" $250,000 - $280,000 per year.

Was Wurzelbacher referring to gross revenue or net profits?

Obama's higher taxes on small businesses would be leveled against those whose net profits exceed $250,000 per year, according to Obama's campaign.

While at least 184,000 small businesses would face higher taxes under Obama, the Illinois Democrat is also proposing a series of tax credits that could aid small businesses.

Obama has proposed a $3,000 tax credit for every new job that companies create in the United States over the next two years, a small business health tax credit on up to 50 percent of employee premiums paid by employers, and elimination of capital gains taxes on investments in small and start-up businesses. 

Regardless of how Wurzelbacher would personally fare under the candidates' plans, he suggested to ABC News' Nightline that he is against all forms of progressive taxation.

During his telephone interview with ABC News, the Ohio plumber argued that the government should not tax some Americans at a higher percentage than others and argued that this principle should extend not only to taxpayers at his income-level but also to the world's richest man.

"I don't like it," said Wurzelbacher. "You know, me or -- you know, Bill Gates, I don't care who you are. If you worked for it, if it was your idea, and you implemented it, it's not right for someone to decide you made too much."

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