Plumbing out the Context

As Joe The Plumber enjoys his 15 minutes, would it be too much to ask that some of that time be devoted to fair-minded determinations of how the candidates’ respective tax and health care plans would affect people like Joe? How about to finding out roughly how many Americans are in situations roughly similar to Joe?

And I’m no accountant, but can’t Joe (or any other small business owner) incorporate his plumbing business and thereby only be taxed on the income he draws from the company, rather than its full profits?

Given that personal income tax policy is often cited as having a negative effect on small business job growth—as McCain did last night—I could use an explainer on the way that part of tax law works, how it affects small business owners, and why more don’t take advantage of incorporation.

Or we could just talk about how folksy and authentic Joe is. Whatevs.

UPDATE: I understand that the unsurpassed Megan Garber will have more on the Joe-nomenon soon.

LATER UPDATE: And here’s Megan’s piece.

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Clint Hendler is the managing editor of Mother Jones, and a former deputy editor of CJR.