Purcell: Just Say No To Unaffordable Spending | Chroniclers

I would love to have a change of mind, but I still can’t stand it.

In 2009, long before I had my beloved 11 month old puppy, Thurber, I criticized a federal bill that called for tax deductions for pet owners.

According to the Washington Times, Robert Davi, a badass Hollywood actor, and then Rep. Thaddeus McCotter, R-Mich., Attempted something that tough guys and conservative Republicans don’t often do at the time.

They collaborated to get a bill – the Humanity and Associated Pets Over the Years Act (HAPPY) – to the United States House Procuratorate that called for an annual tax deduction of $ 3,500 for pet expenses.

Certainly, animal care has become expensive.

People magazine reports that the average pet owner spends $ 4,500 per year just to meet their pet’s basic needs.

That doesn’t cover a lot of unforeseen costs, like the two pairs of prescription glasses, two pairs of leather shoes, and two really nice wool rugs that Thurber chewed up (he blew up the blue ink in a pen on a carpet and just ate a hole in The Other).

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He’s performed much better over the months, but I’m constantly exposed to the “Labrosecond” challenge, the time it takes for anything I accidentally drop to end up in his jaws.

I am in the process of purchasing health insurance for Thurber – yes you read that right. Pet owners like me get it for a good reason.

Labs are notorious for eating whole socks, which require surgical removal, costing over $ 5,000.

I love my dog. And if he has a serious health emergency, I will do all I can, no matter the cost, to restore him to excellent health.

In 2009, Davi argued that since pets are good for us – they lower our blood pressure and cheer us up – a tax deduction for their care would be good for everyone.

He argued that the deduction would be good for the economy, as people would spend more on their pets and fewer people would have to donate their pets to animal shelters during recessions.

I argued in 2009 that our federal tax code is an incredible mess precisely because well-meaning people like Davi got special breaks added by members of Congress.

Our emotions, skillfully harnessed by politicians, have brought us all kinds of government social programs that have inflated the budget and exploded the deficit.

I argued a dozen years ago that we needed to get our spending and debt back in order, but since then our reckless government – Republicans and Democrats – has more than doubled our debt from 12,000 billion dollars to just under $ 29 trillion.

Now that pet ownership has skyrocketed during the COVID pandemic, spending on pets has hit an all-time high.

The HAPPY law did not come into effect in 2009, however, as Forbes reports, certain tax deductions are available for certain pet owners, such as those who have emotional support animals or earn income from animals. bearing names like Lassie.

But as much as I would love to have a sweet $ 3,500 tax deduction to offset the costs of caring for my best friend, Thurber, I still could never support the idea.

If current lawmakers keep pushing well-meaning and heartwarming ideas onto our bloated budget, someone should topple them with a rolled up newspaper.

Tom Purcell is an author and humorous columnist for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Email him at [email protected]

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