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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.


Michael Phelps....

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Comment Preferences

  •  Michael Phelps... (6+ / 0-)

    Do you really think he needs a tax break?

  •  I'll agree to that when they make soldier pay (11+ / 0-)

    tax free.

    "Mitt Romney looks like the CEO who fires you, then goes to the Country Club and laughs about it with his friends." ~ Thomas Roberts MSNBC

    by second gen on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 11:52:57 AM PDT

  •  Oh that's a stupid idea (6+ / 0-)

    I love the Olympics and respect the athletes, but Rubio is an idiot.

    Kiss my ass--this a holy site

    by chicago minx on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 11:57:35 AM PDT

  •  i'm sure he swam in (5+ / 0-)

    an awful lot of municipal pools throughout his career-as well as university pools.

    hope springs eternal and DAMN is she getting tired!

    by alguien on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 12:12:37 PM PDT

  •  How does a dancing horse get $70,000 and (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Food Gas Lodging, Gooserock, raster44

    Michael Phelps get nothing?

    . . . from Julie, Julia. "Oh, well. Boo-hoo. Now what?"

    by 88kathy on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 12:16:08 PM PDT

  •  If Michael Phelps really asked (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pistolSO, raster44

    for a tax break on his medals, then I might vote for that.  He's great.  However, since it's just Rubio capitalizing on the work of someone else, then forget it.

    I will vote for Obama, and every Democrat I can vote for, in 2012.

    by Food Gas Lodging on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 12:16:27 PM PDT

    •  Let's not confuse the medals with the prize money. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I don't care if the medals aren't taxed -- the metal itself isn't worth THAT much.

      Prize money is income.
      Tax it. Fully.

      For people who don't have any other income because they've been training for 3-4 yrs., they won't owe much Federal or state tax.

      For stars like Phelps, welcome to the 1%.  I'm sure he can afford lawyers/accountants to make HIS tax bill next to nothing, just like the rest of the 1%.

      "I think in America, the opposite of poverty is justice." Bryan Stevenson

      by gfre on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 02:15:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Anything and Everything to Make Tax Cutting As (6+ / 0-)

    appealing and sympathetic as possible.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 12:29:00 PM PDT

  •  Don't worry. Now that Gabby and other black (3+ / 0-)

    athletes are winning medal and lucrative endorsement deals, the GOP will probably drop any notion that Olympians should get to avoid taxes...

  •  You misunderstand the language of the bill. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    coffeetalk, Food Gas Lodging, voroki

    This does not exempt the athlete's endorsement money from being included in his AGI. Just the value of the "prize or award".

  •  Misleading (0+ / 0-)

    Using Michael Phelps to argue that this shouldn't pass is pretty much on par with those people using the few firefighters or police that log a lot of overtime in their last few years to bump up their pension to argue that firefighters and police are overpaid.

    Phelps is one of the best swimmers in history in one of the most prominent olympic sports.  Of course he's getting a lot of money.  But if you look at what athletes in less prominent sports like fencing or weightlifting pull down, they're getting something like 10-20k from the endorsements and prizes.  They probably make some money from a regular day job but probably not much since they're training 20+ hours a week and traveling a lot.  Add in expenses for travel and equipment (for example, an olympic fencer would probably spend around 20k a year for equipment, travel, and other related expenses) and most Olympians are probably just scrapping by.

    Yes the bill is pandering but all in all it probably makes a difference of at most 100k in taxes every four years.  I really don't understand the outrage and vitriol.  Did Michael Phelps run over your dog or something?

    •  Talking about Phelps helps frame the issue (0+ / 0-)

      And I am talking about the stars that will be making a lot of money off winning.  I can Phelps easily getting five figures to do motivational speeches for the rest of his life and over the course of a year, I see him making over six figures(over 100k) by doing those kinds of speeches.

      Phelps still has a lot of income potential even if he never swims again.

      And if Olympians have lots of equipment and other necessary expenses, then I don't want to make it harder for them.  But I can see room for stars like Phelps and Lochte to pay more in taxes since they look like they'll be 1%ers for a long while.

  •  i cheer on all the olympic athletes, and respect (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    them for the tremendous amount of hard work and dedication to their sport, most of which are pretty much ignored for the 4 years in between each olympiad. that said, by comparison to teachers, police, firefighters, emt's, etc., they have about a fly's worth of affect on the population at large. michael phelps, for all his prowess in the pool, isn't the guy you're going to call, if you have an accident. the same is true for ms. douglas and mr. lochte. they may yet become one of those people (they are all young), but they aren't as yet.

    rubio has provided no coherent rationale for his proposal. this is marco rubio, so coherence and rationality aren't really expected.  this is simply a publicity ploy on his part, since he knows (or should know) it has no chance of passage. pretty pitiful actually, attempting to steal the spotlite away from those who only get it once every 4 years. the guy is such a freakin' gonif.

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