Long Live The ‘Stache

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The Handlebar. The military Chevron. The Fumanchu. Let’s face it: there is something inexplicably perplexing about a man with a mustache. As amusing as they are mysterious, mustached guys are a unique bunch, standing out in crowds with an air of confidence that differentiates them from the clean-shaven.

The mustache has dipped in and out of the mainstream throughout history, but it was in the 1960s and ‘70s when facial hair found itself associated with the counterculture movement of the hippies, thus creating a shift in societal acceptance.

Call it leftover backlash – it never seemed to fully recover, but Northeastern State University tax policy and planning professor Dr. John Yeutter believes that the mustache is making a comeback.

The runner-up of the 2009 American Mustache Institute’s Robert Goulet Mustached American of the Year contest, who colors his mustache bright green for game days, is the mastermind behind a legislative bill that would create a tax provision for all of those who rock the ‘stache.

Based on his paper, “Mustached Americans and The Triple Bottom Line,” the Stimulus To Allow Critical Hair Expenses Act – or ‘Stache Act, as it is best known – would provide up to a $250 annual tax incentive for mustached Americans.

“There are several social benefits to the mustache that provide a service to the economy. Mustached Americans spend substantially more than the average   American on grooming products. There’s a clear link between the growing and maintenance of mustaches and incremental income, so we argue that mustache maintenance costs qualify for and should be considered as a deductible expense,” Yeutter says.

“Facial hair also provides some environmentally important contributions to society. We don’t use excessive amounts of water for shaving, and we use American-made, environmentally friendly grooming products in place of environmentally unfriendly aftershave products.”

Alongside the American Mustache Institute and H&R Block, Yeutter took the ‘Stache Act campaign to Washington on President’s Day earlier this year, leading the Million Mustache March from the White House to the U.S. Capitol.

For every participant of the March, H&R Block contributed to the Millions From One campaign, which provides clean drinking water to those who cannot obtain it.

“Most people have recognized that this is a fun, tongue-in-cheek exercise to bring attention to the value that the mustache plays in society. While the value is something serious, the idea of a mustache tax incentive is also a playful poke at Washington at the same time,” Yeutter explains.

“What would America be like without the contributions of Walt Disney or Martin Luther King or Albert Einstein? It’d be an entirely differently place. We think that part of the creativity and productivity of men like these comes from the power of the mustache. People in sports have known this for years – you always hear about people growing their playoff mustaches or beards for the World Series or Stanley Cup, and there’s even a growing trend in basketball and college sports. There’s just something inspiring about growing out your facial hair.”

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