Just when you thought it could not get any more ridiculous, as we are locked in the midsts of a mindboggling boondoggle over health care reform, along comes Rep. Thaddeus McCotter. The Michigan Republican has introduced H.R. 3501 to create a tax break for pet care.
You read that right. The Republicans are perfectly willing to play petulant child when it comes to get much of anything done in government, but at the same time, they want to show their...solidarity?...with the pet owners of America? Did I seriously freakin' miss something?
Owners of qualified pets, which H.R. 3501 defines as "legally owned, domesticated, and live animals," would receive up to $3,500 deductible on their tax returns per year for the care of those pets. The bill itself is rather vague, saying qualified care would include veterinary care, while not really going into what all that entails.
What though, you ask, if you own animals for business purposes, such as sheep dogs or whatever Michael Vick used to do in his free time? Then you, much like Vick's dogs, are thoroughly fucked. The Republicans do not want to give business owners a tax break? Did I seriously freakin' miss something?
I guess this was just a matter of time before it came to this. The pets of America have gained their own vitamin water, their own anti-obesity drug, and now, apparently, their own official Pocket Congressman (patent pending). How the hell, I gotta ask, did the pets of America get their own lobbyist? Will the Democrats go after PETA like the Republicans go after ACORN? And what of the "business animals?" Will the TV pets band together with their agents and petition SAG for veterinary coverage? Not to mention watching Congressmen and Senators suffer through town hall meetings that would smell like an animal shelter in August. That would be some good YouTube right there.
I'm not saying we're all going to the dogs just yet, nor that I for one welcome our new housepet overlords, although they seem to have claimed Rep. McCotter (guess one of the family pets got sick). Oddly enough, McCotter is the chairman of the Republican House Policy Committee, which his website touts as "a leadership position once held by former Vice-President Dick Cheney." Even more disturbing is McCotter's seat on the House Financial Services Committee. Is a guy who is more interested in the health of the pet over the health of the family a guy we need on the House Financial Services Committee?
I'm not necessarily saying Congress should take this bill out back and put a bullet to it, but they should at least crack a window for it until they can get health care for the opposeable thumb crowd straightened out first.
Click here for more on U.S. Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI)
Click here for H.R. 3501