Should Olympians get a tax break?
By Don Valentine
“Op-Ed’s” are an ancillary tool to stimulate thought and discussion. Let’s focus on a topic that is more benign than a reflection on the “Donald” and the election. Did you know that the Olympic winners pay an earned income tax on their monetary prizes? According to the U.S.A. Today, that meager sum equates to $25,000 for gold, $15,000 for silver and $10,000 for bronze. Just like the lottery winner, you have to pay the tax man. Now challenge your cognitive skills to ponder is this fair?
I will posit that a tax free prize is akin to a politician kissing a baby. Both sides of the aisle bask in the glow of supporting that legislation. At the risk of sounding like the “Grinch”, does N.B.A. All Star Kevin Durant or Michael Phelps need a tax break? Phelps, as reported by National Public Radio, is worth over $55,000,000.
That suggests he can afford that nominal tax bill. The darling of Rio, Simone Biles, has already inked a $100,000 endorsement deal.
Now let’s juxtapose this discussion to giving a tax exemption to another segment of society.
For discourse, I submit if you’re in the military protecting the quality of my family’s life then you pay no tax. Period! If you’re a police officer or fireman you pay no tax. Period! That makes better sense.
These professions are more valuable and less coveted.
The first responders take on a task that most people would not pursue. It’s human nature to run from danger not into it. That tax exemption should go to the people that protect us in dire straits. Any Olympian champion that wants to enjoy endorsement rewards has ample opportunity. When was the last time you saw a police officer endorsing Subway or Buick? Now give that concept some deliberation.