I was going to let Joe the Plumber fall quietly off my radar, but he keeps sending out blips and making the most of his 15 minutes, so fair game!

The initial story caught my attention as another example of the weird twist in the American psyche as compared to that of my fellow Canucks; The peculiar delusion (or perhaps aspiration?) held by some average Americans that they are amongst the highest income brackets. I once read an article (which I’m unable to find now – anyone?) discussing this tendency to assert itself whenever federal taxes on the highest-income earners are debated in the US. Seems everyone who wants to be part of that group insists on speaking out before they’ve managed the club.

Samuel the Unlicenced Plumber certainly seems to be one of these aspirants: In his statements to Obama, he planned to buy a quarter-million plumbing business. The fact that he’s in debt and doesn’t hold a plumbing licence doesn’t dissuade him in the least. If he’s managed to convince himself of his abilities, it’s easy to see how he could buy McCain and Palin as Presidential ambassadors who will keep the US strong and safe from harm.

Joe the Plumber’s story sprang a few leaks Thursday. Turns out that the man who was held up by John McCain as the typical, hard-working American taxpayer isn’t really a licensed plumber. And court documents show he owes nearly $1,200 in back taxes.

“Joe,” whose name is Samuel J. Wurzelbacher, was cited repeatedly in Wednesday night’s final presidential debate by McCain for questioning Barack Obama’s tax policy…

The burly, bald man acknowledged he doesn’t have a plumber’s license, but said he didn’t need one because he works for someone else at a company that does residential work.

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