The $77,000 Question: A Horse Tale of Mitt, Ann, and Rafalca

A non-musical diversion today, because it tangentially relates to the big stage production I’m putting together at CalArts this fall. I was asked about the $77,000 tax credit Mitt Romney received for his “pet horse”, and discovered the issue was a bit of a rabbit hole. Turns out Mitt Romney’s wife has MS, which is often treated in part by horse riding or hippotherapy. Sufferers often can’t regain muscle control fully, but they can work up to riding a horse, plus it helps with psychological recovery. So the Romneys bought dressage horses, and it helped Ann Romney recover.

It gets weird because they filed the horse as a “hobby with income potential”, so they reported $77,000 dollars in losses related to Rafalca, for things including health insurance (valued above the average American individual). Which means they’ll get a possible future tax credit in case the “hobby” pays off. Since the horse did just qualify to compete in the dressage event in the Olympic Games (with another rider), it’s now actually a chance he’ll get that money if the horse does well, and may already considering the horse qualified in the first place.

It speaks a lot more about the current policy of deductions as opposed to a lower flat rate. It’s no secret Mitt Romney has more money than God, but this kind of stuff has nothing to do with bolstering the economy, creating jobs, or the cyclically lauded trickle-down nonsense. We need a flat rate in this country so guys with enough money to work every loophole don’t get out of paying taxes based on bogus deductions, then turn around and point fingers at the lower brackets for being “lazy”. In conclusion, Mitt Romney is America’s greatest champion for populism.

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