Woof. Why not give people a tax break for pet care? The novel idea has made it onto the floor of the House, courtesy of Rep. Thaddeus McCotter. The Michigan Republican recently introduced HR 3501, the Humanity and Pets Partnered through the Years (HAPPY) Act, which would allow millions of loving pet owners to deduct up to $3,500 in pet care and veterinary services a year. The reasoning: Easing the tax burden among the nation’s 80 million pet-owning households — they spend $41 billion a year on pet food alone — could ultimately better the economy.
The legislation has its roots in Hollywood — specifically, with proverbial tough-guy actor and film director Robert Davi of “Die Hard” and “License to Kill” fame. Mr. Davi, a dog person with family ties to a large animal-rescue facility, has long cogitated on the greater benefits of pet ownership and wrote about his emerging ideas earlier this year in The Washington Times.
“Dogs and cats bring down blood pressure, they lift spirits, they’re family. They teach us about affection and accountability. There’s proven medical and spiritual value in responsible pet ownership, and we should reinforce and support it,” Mr. Davi tells Inside the Beltway, pointing out that we get tax breaks for other eco-minded acts, like buying a hybrid car.
“So, why not pets? Giving pet owners a tax break is fiscally smart. It supports positive behavior and those health benefits. It’s also a different way of thinking about helping the economy. We need uncommon solutions. It’s like asymmetrical warfare, and thinking outside the box,” Mr. Davi continues. “But I’m telling you, the Beltway types don’t do that. They’re just so myopic about certain things. This legislation could really help.”
The actor — who owns one giant dog named Stella and four assorted doglets — has organized a public petition for the legislation, and a Web site (www.petexemption.com). less intelligent than the Founders were, but rather that the system bequeathed to us requires a far more demanding exercise of political wisdom in order to work.”
Not helicoptering over Nakatomi Plaza anymore: Tough-guy actor-director Rober t Davi is campaigning for tax breaks for pet owners, arguing that it would stimulate the economy if all the nation’s 80 million pet-owning households par ticipated.