Update: "Joe in the Spotlight" at the NY Times. It, like many articles, points out what I would have liked to have seen mentioned in the debate -- the difference between gross income and taxable income.
Update 2: "Joe the Bumbler." Celtic Diva has gathered information from ABC, CBS, and other news sources, including the following:
Joe Wurzelbacher is employed by Newell Plumbing owned by Al Newell. They live in the city of Holland in Lucas County, Ohio, near Toledo. . . . [Joe] The Plumber acknowledged that he wants to purchase the plumbing business for $250-280,000, not that he would net that much in profits. He would make much less, he said, according to ABC News.See also the updated report from CBS News, which indicates that Joe doesn't have any concrete plans to buy out his boss's business and that he owes more than $1,000 in back income taxes.
In other words, Joe The Plumber would not be subject to the 3% tax increase, from 36% to 39%, which Obama plans to impose on those making more than $200,000 per person, or $250,000 per family. In fact, Joe The Plumber would be eligible for an Obama tax cut. Newell Plumbing would also be able to take advantage of tax savings from the new federal health care system planned by Barack Obama.