Monday, November 30, 2009

Do you have a pet? Get a tax break and boost the economy too. Support the "HAPPY" Act! 

Animal shelters across the country have reported a sharp surge in abandoned animals... Now, Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R., Mich.) has introduced a bill that would use the federal tax code to help.

The Humanity and Pets Partnered Through the Years (HAPPY) Act would allow pet owners to deduct the cost of food, veterinary care, and other pet-related expenses from their income taxes up to $3500 per year. McCotter says the bill would provide tax relief for pet owners while at the same time strengthening "the human-animal bond."

Leo Grillo, an animal-rights activist, says a tax break for the 60% of Americans who own pets will help keep pets in the home, where they contribute to the emotional well-being of families. "If Americans are happy and emotionally stable, they are going to be more productive, and that helps the economy," he says... [Parade]
OK, this sounds absurd. But really, it's not any more so than many of the other things we'd been doing lately. Have the government give $14 billion of cash to people just because they are over 65 years old (in lieu of a Social Security cost-of-living increase, when the cost of living has fallen) ... or have it give cash to people because they own pets. Not so different.