While most Americans are bemoaning the end of the two-year payroll tax cut—which means those earning $50,000 a year now have to pay an additional $1,000 in taxes—"Patriotic Millionaire" Rick Steves is glibly celebrating the tax package Congress passed to avoid the so-called Fiscal Cliff.
In a statement sent via the Patriotic Millionaires, a group of wealthy Americans who lobbied for higher taxes on millionaires, Steves said he feels "joy" about his tax increase:
"I start this year with a substantial bump in my taxes. In fact, the over-night increase in my taxes is itself more than the annual income of almost anyone I know. It won't impact my lifestyle or outlook or enthusiasm for employing people a bit. In fact, the very thought of this brings me joy.
Looking out my window as I type, seeing trees, mountains, the Puget Sound, shipping, church spires, the bustle of a classic small American town starting up a new year on a frosty morning, my spirit is buoyed by the thought that business men like me are being called upon to put a little more back into the community and economy that enabled us not only to produce what we have produced so far but that gives me a stable and enjoyable world in which to enjoy the fruits of my hard labor.
I celebrate the opportunity to empower our society through progressive taxation."
Steves made his wealth as a travel TV personality and founder of a European tour guide company that charges about $4,000 for an average 14-day European tour.