Some posts of mine from a discussion over at Slashdot.
That wasn't the point of Joe's question. Joe stated he wanted to buy a business and hoped that his hard work would bring in more than 250K. Obama stated that he wanted to take that success and spread it to people that made less than Joe hoped to make with his business acquisition and hard work.
One very, very rarely makes an income of more than a quarter of a million dollars in a year solely through one's own hard work. One usually makes it by leaching, to some degree, off the hard work of others. (The exceptions are mostly matters of dumb luck - a superstar performer getting "discovered", for example.)
And the answer to the GP's question is, yes, Joe (who is not really a plumber, under city of Toledo regulations) would get a tax break even if he owned the business, as will the vast majority of small businesses, assuming an Obama victory and that his plan goes ahead pretty much as stated.
It's one thing to say you want to "tax the rich" to fund the government, it's another when you want to do it to give other people the money, i.e., "Spread the Wealth".
In our capitalist system, the government does a tremendous amount to help those who have wealth, get more. It's so basic to the system we rarely think about it, but how much concentration of wealth would there be without government-issued corporate charters, land and resource deeds, copyrights, and patents? Not to mention a reserve banking system that lets privately owned banks make money out of thin air, and an economic policy that uses the DJIA as a measure of economic success.
These government actions and policies are so successful at concentrating wealth that the top 20 percent own 90% of all financial wealth. And it stays in the family; the U.S. has lower intergenerational mobility than France, Germany, Sweden, Canada, Finland, Norway or Denmark
The small effects of progressive taxation and social spending - spreading around the wealth that other government policies helped concentrate - act as a (small and inadequate) governor on the machinery of state capitalism.
Now, I would rather get rid of that machinery entirely, but I think that unlikely, at least in the near term. If we're going to have it, I'm all for decreasing the power of the government to help the wealthy become wealthier by adding some negative feedback to the system.