Law to exempt Olympians from taxes the wrong answer
I know there are some out there that will say, “hey you were whining the other day about taxing the winnings of Olympians”, weren’t you? And now a politician plans to fix it and you bitch?!”
Yes. Yes, I do. Because this is exactly the wrong way to go about it:
Sen. Marco Rubio introduced a bill Wednesday to eliminate the federal government’s tax on Olympic medals, saying the levy amounted to yet another way the government tries to punish those who succeed.
Athletes who win a gold medal also earn a $25,000 honorarium — and with it an $8,986 tax bill to the IRS, according to Americans for Tax Reform, which crunched the numbers. That covers both the honorarium and the tax on the value of the gold in the medal itself.
The silver medal tax comes to $5,385, and the bronze medal tax is $3,502 — including $2 for the value of the bronze medal itself, and the $10,000 honorarium.
That could leave amateur athletes — in many cases still teenagers — facing stiff tax bills when they return to the U.S.
Mr. Rubio said that shouldn’t happen.
Of course you can make special pleadings for all sorts of types of special interest taxpayers, can’t you?
But isn’t taxation supposed to fund the legitimate functions of government and be fairly applied to everyone?
How does exempting special constituencies because of their, well, “specialness”, do that?
Certainly Olympic level (and other) athletes compete in other competitive venues and it wouldn’t be at all unusual for them to win some sort of honorarium there. So why is that taxable and this isn’t?
Quite simply visibility and outrage.
That’s no way to run a government. There’s nothing rational about this exemption. It is as arbitrary as many of the taxes we suffer under.
Important issue? After the economy is up and running again, it is time to push – and push hard – for a total revamping of the tax structure and code in this country.
We suffer one of the least representative and certainly the least fair or equitable tax codes in the world.
Time to take it apart and start over again. And this time, let’s make it impossible for Congress to fiddle with it in terms of rewarding or punishing special constituencies arbitrarily at its whim