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McCain and Obama on Taxes for Small Business Owners

Whose tax policies are better for small business owners? That’s a question that continued to be raised in last night’s final presidential debate, with both candidates using the example of Joe Wurzelbacher, a 34-year-old Ohio plumber to explain their positions.

Here’s a piece from today’s New York Times that shows how Wurzelbacher found himself in the spotlight, and then goes on to try to answer the tax question:

Over the weekend, Mr. Obama was campaigning near Toledo when Mr. Wurzelbacher, a burly, bald man with a goatee, approached the candidate to confront him with the ultimate bread-and-butter question.

“I’m getting ready to buy a company that makes $250,000 to $280,000 a year,” he told Mr. Obama. “Your new tax plan is going to tax me more, isn’t it?”

Mr. Obama acknowledged that might turn out to be the case. He talked about the tax credits he plans to offer if elected, listened respectfully as Mr. Wurzelbacher offered the notion of a flat tax, but ended up defending his own position before shaking Mr. Wurzelbacher’s hand and wishing him well.

Mr. McCain seized on that encounter in Wednesday night’s debate, citing “Joe the Plumber” as a symbol of how Mr. Obama’s tax policies would hurt small businesses.

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