GOPWOT stands for GOP Wasting Our Time(hat tip to Rev. Al Sharpton).
Let's be honest with ourselves, Michael Phelps does not need another tax break. But according to ThinkProgess, Senator Marco Rubio (R- Florida) wants to do exactly that. More specifically, he wants to exempt Olympic winnings from taxation. There are two problems with this: One, Olympic medals are already not subject to taxes and two, I'll let the quote from TaxTV lay it out:
Senator Rubio’s bill, if passed, would fully exempt “any prize or award won by the taxpayer in athletic competition in the Olympic Games.” Any agent worth his/her salt would ensure that most, if not all, endorsement contracts for an Olympian include hefty bonuses for medals. For Phelps, this would include bonuses from Subway, Hilton, Omega, Speedo, Visa, Proctor and Gamble and Under Armour, and at least three others. Lochte would receive bonuses from Sprint, Gatorage, Gillette, Nissan, Speedo, AT&T, Proctor and Gamble, Mutual of Omaha and Ralph Lauren. Assuming each of Phelps’ and Lochte’s endorsers match the USOC’s medal bonuses of $25,000, Phelps could receive $300,000 tax-free from the USOC and his eleven endorsers for each gold he wins (two as of this publication) and Lochte could receive $250,000 for each of his two golds. Lochte and Phelps also have two silvers each and Lochte a bronze and each will receive bonuses from the USOC and likely from endorsers for those.Emphasis was added by ThinkProgress.
Our country cannot afford such give-aways of tax-free money, and frankly, Olympians like Michael Phelps ought to pay more taxes, not less. Michael Phelps will likely be in the Top 2% if not the Top 1% of income earners this year thanks to his incredible talent in the pool, and I don't see why Michael Phelps ought to get a break when across the country, we're stiffing firemen, teachers and police officers due to budget cuts. How many firemen have to lose their jobs so Michael Phelps gets to pay less on his taxes?
All of us love to see a talented athlete representing our country do well. I congratulate Michael Phelps for winning more medals than any other Olympian in history. I hope that he invests wisely in his winnings so that he can live comfortably for the rest of his life. But I want to see him pay more in taxes this year because no doubt somewhere something in the infrastructure in the country helped him. A teacher or someone else in our education system had to have inspired him, and Michael Phelps paying a little more in taxes is good way for him to pay it forward. Maybe Phelps will say that he doesn't need a tax break and that we ought to prioritize teachers over tax cuts and thereby win the gold medal for tax policy too. Likely, he'll stay silent and that will be fine by me.
Shame on Senator Rubio for looking out for Michael Phelps rather the Floridians that he is supposed to serve. Hopefully, the media will pick up on this, and expose it as more GOP Wasting Our Time.