Do celebs influence tax policy?

Kelly Phillips Erb
Do celebs influence tax policy?
Do celebs influence tax policy?

When Clark Gable famously took off his shirt in the 1934 film, It Happened One Night, to reveal a bare chest, sales of undershirts reportedly dropped. Gable's apparent fashion statement proved the power of celebrity. Ever since, trends inspired by the rich and famous have shaped our lifestyles. If Jennifer Aniston wears it, we rush out to find a knock-off. If Oprah recommends a book, we buy it. But is the same true of politics and taxes? Are we influenced as much by celebrity political and tax trends as we are fashion trends?

Clearly most Americans don't have the resources to imitate the fiscal lifestyles of celebrities. While we may not be structuring our finances to be like Donald Trump, the tax lives of celebrities may get us talking ... about tax.

Consider the the little-touted tanning tax. The 10% excise tax on tanning services was included as part of the recent health care reform bill. Even though the tax was given the thumbs up from the American Academy of Dermatology Association (AADA) and the American Medical Association (AMA), it didn't receive much press until reality TV star Snooki had tongues -- and tweets -- wagging.

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