Tax Break for Mustached Americans

As many of us have come to dread, April 15 on the American calendar has typically stood for not just after parties for the Easter Bunny's birthday. No, it's indelibly also come to stand for taxes.

And just last week on tax day 2010, the American Mustache Institute (AMI) and a respected tax-policy professor announced that they hoped to add a new level of flavor-saving to tax day by working to reimburse people of Mustached American decent for their unacknowledged sacrifices to the U.S. economy and culture.

Indeed, AMI and Dr. John Yeutter, Associate Professor of Accounting and Tax Policy at Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Okla., believe that the social and environmental benefits to mustache growth and maintenance provide a service to the U.S. economy. The coalition proposes the "Stimulus To Allow Critical Hair Expenses Act," or the "STACHE Act," the details of which can be read on AMI's tax-policy page.

It would provide a $250 annual deduction for expenditures for mustache-maintenance supplies in the determination of one's adjusted gross income.

"Given the clear link between the growing and maintenance of mustaches and incremental income, it appears clear that mustache-maintenance costs qualify for and should be considered as a deductible expense related to the production of income under Internal Revenue Code Section 212," wrote Dr. Yeutter in a white paper titled "Mustached Americans and the Triple Bottom Line."

According to "Triple Bottom Line," mustache-maintenance supplies can include, but are not limited to:

• Mustache- and beard-trimming instruments;
• Weightless conditioning agents and mustache wax;
• Facial-hair-coloring products (for men and women over 43 years of age);
• Bacon;
• Mustache combs and mirrors;
• Condoms;
• Mustache insurance (now required by law in Alabama, Oregon, Maine, New Mexico and Puerto Rico); and,
• Burt Reynolds wallet-size photos.

"In 1965, at a time of great ugliness in America, the U.S. government asked the American Mustache Institute to help increase good looks by 22 percent," said Dr. Aaron Perlut, chairman of the American Mustache Institute. "We kept our part of the bargain, increasing American good looks by 38 percent, one freshly minted Mustached American at a time. Those good looks come at a price -- in the form of purchasing mustache trimmers, wax, Just for Men coloring products, and bacon. Now it's the government's turn to support our economic needs."

Dr. Yeutter's research suggests that if the incentive causes only 5 percent of the more than 50,000,000 households with no male adult with facial hair to adopt and maintain a mustache, earnings by these households should increase by more than $6.8 billion. With a conservative estimate of a 25 percent federal income tax on this incremental income, federal tax collections would increase by $1.7 billion. In contrast, the cost of this incentive, by the approximately 20 million Mustached American households, cannot exceed $1.4 billion per year.

And the argument raises a good point. Congress has previously provided tax incentives for specific societal segments whose efforts enhance economic growth, such as 2002's "Job Creation and Worker Assistance Act of 20026" which recognized the contributions of educators to the American economy. This bill sited the corresponding necessary and unreimbursed expenditures to produce contributions made by educators, allowing a special deduction for classroom teaching supplies.

Who's to say. A Libertarian? Well, possibly a Mustached American Libertarian perhaps.