• Text smaller
  • Text bigger

Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher, better known during the 2008 presidential campaign as “Joe the Plumber,” has launched a website seeking Americans’ votes to abolish the Internal Revenue Service.

“Are you sick and tired of being forced to file a tax return every year?” asks Wurzelbacher on his IRSvote.com website. “I’m here to ask my fellow Americans to join me to me to make this the last year we ever have to file a tax return. I’m going to give the American people the opportunity to vote the IRS out.”

Instead of the current IRS-run tax system, Wurzelbacher advocates the federal government switch to a proposal commonly called the “FairTax,” a plan that exchanges personal income tax for a national sales tax.

A one-minute video featuring “Joe the Plumber” explaining his new effort can be seen below:

Wurzelbacher became known during the presidential campaign as Joe the Plumber after a videotaped exchange with Barack Obama. Wurzelbacher’s objection to Obama’s desire to “spread the wealth,” calling it socialism, became a major theme for the McCain campaign in its final weeks.

Now, Wurzelbacher is asking Americans to register their votes against the IRS on his website. Respondents can also call or text a vote, but regardless of the method, there is a 99-cent charge for casting a vote, a fee the website explains as necessary to authenticate votes and discourage people from casting multiple votes.

The website also promises a free t-shirt to voters.

The FairTax, a proposal championed by GOP candidate Mike Huckabee during the primary campaign and advocated by Wurzelbacher’s site, would eliminate the personal income tax, and by extension, both the IRS and income tax withholdings from employee paychecks.

Instead, the FairTax would initiate a national sales tax on purchases and offer a “prebate” – a refund issued in advance to offset the sales tax paid on purchases of necessity items – designed to ensure the lowest income earners are still exempted from paying much of the national tax burden.

A FairTax proposal has been introduced in both the U.S. House and Senate. Rep. John Linder, R-Ga., introduced the House version, H.R. 25, which has 51 cosponsors and has been referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means. Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., introduced the Senate version, S. 296, which has three cosponsors and has been referred to the Committee on Finance.


  • Text smaller
  • Text bigger
Note: Read our discussion guidelines before commenting.