I havent read all the entire thread..
but I do recall hearing that when people checked into the business -that is has 2 employees (joe & his boss) and sales of about $250,000. Which is enough to support two people anyway after accounting for expenses etc.
In my printing business, its pretty much the rule of thumb that your sales should be at least $125,000 per employee. So if Joe was thinking about buying his bosses business that makes $250,000 he wouldnt even be affected by the tax increase for those who make over $250,000 income.
And its also not impossible for him as an employee to buy the business.
Often the owner will settle for a payment plan over a period of time - when selling to an employee or group of employees.
He was obviously used as a propaganda tool by McCains campaign, on the other hand he got millions worth of free publicity which he can now capitalize on.