I didn't think so. But Congressman McCotter from Michigan
seems to be implying that you would consider such a thing if you couldn't list them as dependents on your income tax.
Congressman McCotter introduced a bill called the HAPPY Act
. This bill, if made into law, would allow Michigan residents to list pets as dependents on their income tax forms, receiving up to $3,500 in deductions. I have nothing at all against this bill (partly because I also don't live in Michigan), but the reasoning behind it is off.
I've read a number of articles on this bill and many of them point out that there is great concern that many pets will be abandoned in this recession due to the costs of caring for a pet. Apparently the main reason for Congress McCotter pushing to get this bill passed is to prevent such a terrible trend, and, after all, many families look on their pets as a real, living, breathing members of the family. Here is a quote from the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council
, who is in full support of this bill:
"Providing pet owners the opportunity to deduct pet care expenses is an important step toward ensuring that pet owners provide adequate veterinary and other necessary pet care. It encourages responsible pet ownership and will hopefully reduce the abandonment of pets by people struggling as a result of the economic downturn."
So, wait. He's worried about people abandoning pets because of the cost. So he wants people to be able to list pets as dependents, equal to the way you can already list your children as dependents.
That doesn't make sense. If families hold their pets in such high regard, why would they abandon them?
Would these same families also abandon their children
if they couldn't list them as dependents?
Sounds like doublespeak to me. Just be honest. He's putting forth a bill that is pro-pets so that anyone who opposes it will be positioned as anti-pets, and nobody wants to be positioned like that.
(I should be careful. This post is suspiciously close to being actual content. Can't have any of that around here!)