'Patriotic Millionaire' Rick Steves Is Really, Really Excited About His Tax Increase

Steves says he's excited about increase in taxes that is "more than the annual income of almost anyone I know."

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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.

[ENJOY: Political Cartoons on the 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.

Travel guide Rick Steves, second right, is tickled pink that his taxes are going up.
Travel guide Rick Steves, second right, is tickled pink that his taxes are going up.

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.

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  • Elizabeth Flock is a staff writer for U.S. News & World Report. You can follow her on Twitter or Facebook or reach her at eflock@usnews.com.