Marco Rubio introduces bill to eliminate tax on Olympic medals and honoraria

Apparently, the federal government feels that U.S. Olympic champions “didn’t do it by themselves”, and as such, has decided that the government is entitled to 35% of their honoraria and the value of the metal in the winning medals.  The Washington Times reported that Marco Rubio has introduced legislation to right that indignity.

“We can all agree that these Olympians who dedicate their lives to athletic excellence should not be punished when they achieve it,” Rubio said.

But when you think about it, our Olympic athletes really did do it by themselves.   These athletes get no financial support from the government at any level, instead, to fund their training, they have to get part time jobs, fundraisers, the odd stipend from the USOC, endorsements from sports related companies, and the prizes from the USOC if they win a medal.  Other countries directly support their athletes, such as China, or indirectly, through lottery money in countries such as Great Britain and South Africa.  But the U.S.?  Nada.  Zip.  It should be noted that the International Olympic Committee has restrictive bans on “unofficial” sponsors, i.e. those that have not paid tribute to the IOC, including many that are the sole support for many of our athletes.  I wonder if the Chinese will be forced to take the name CHINA off their competition uniforms, since they are the sole sponsors of their athletes?

Now the other side of the coin is that we can produce such outstanding athletes without the aid of the government, but it does put them at a decided disadvantage compared to most other countries.

It is unimaginable that the IRS taxes the meager winnings of these athletes, particularly given that they are representatives of the country in what is arguably one of the most spectacular international competitions in the world.  The U.S. benefits in prestige and bolsters patriotism in the process, and these athletes ask nothing of the country.  Apparently, the feeling isn’t mutual.

Rubio’s bill should pass the Congress unanimously.  The government will have plenty of opportunities to tax any future income from endorsements and other employment.

Is it really too much to ask?


Rumsfeld details how Bush built up special operations unit. Obama says thank you.

Okay that last part was just to get your attention. But if President Obama were being truthful he’d be giving a big Obama fist pump right now to Bush 43. He knows it. Now you know it. Read more

Defund public TV? Nope, Obama proposes 7% increase for Corporation for Public Broadcasting

The headline probably should read “Cartoon characters hold Capital press conference – beg for lives” or something. I’m not talking about the fuzzy red guy or the big yellow bird.

Read more

Congress robs the military to pay… themselves

Or, at least, their districts…

Senators diverted $2.6 billion in funds in a defense spending bill to pet projects largely at the expense of accounts that pay for fuel, ammunition and training for U.S. troops, including those fighting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to an analysis.

Among the 778 such projects, known as earmarks, packed into the bill: $25 million for a new World War II museum at the University of New Orleans and $20 million to launch an educational institute named after the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, Massachusetts Democrat.

While earmarks are hardly new in Washington, “in 30 years on Capitol Hill, I never saw Congress mangle the defense budget as badly as this year,” said Winslow Wheeler, a former Senate staffer who worked on defense funding and oversight for both Republicans and Democrats. He is now a senior fellow at the Center for Defense Information, an independent research organization.

Mr. Wheeler, who conducted the study, compared the Obama administration’s requests for funds with the $636 billion spending bill that the Senate passed. He discovered that senators added $2.6 billion in pet projects while spending $4 billion less than the administration requested for fiscal 2010, which began Oct. 1.

Of course, the usual suspects were deeply involved in this pick-pocketing of the military…

Money for the Kennedy Institute was inserted by Mr. Inouye and Sen. John Kerry, Massachusetts Democrat. Sen. Mary L. Landrieu, Louisiana Democrat, and Sen. David Vitter, Louisiana Republican, sought the funding for the World War II museum.

Whitney Smith, a spokesman for Mr. Kerry, said the earmark was “a worthy investment.”

Would that be the same inebriated fellow who got his daddy to spring him from the Army two years early?  That Ted Kennedy?  The Ted Kennedy who was willing to sell out the US to the Soviets during the Reagen era for a second shot at being elected President?

Composed in 1983 by Victor Chebrikov, the top man at the KGB, the memorandum was addressed to Yuri Andropov, the top man in the entire USSR. The subject: Sen. Edward Kennedy.

“On 9-10 May of this year,” the May 14 memorandum explained, “Sen. Edward Kennedy’s close friend and trusted confidant [John] Tunney was in Moscow.” (Tunney was Kennedy’s law school roommate and a former Democratic senator from California.) “The senator charged Tunney to convey the following message, through confidential contacts, to the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, Y. Andropov.”

Kennedy’s message was simple. He proposed an unabashed quid pro quo. Kennedy would lend Andropov a hand in dealing with President Reagan. In return, the Soviet leader would lend the Democratic Party a hand in challenging Reagan in the 1984 presidential election. “The only real potential threats to Reagan are problems of war and peace and Soviet-American relations,” the memorandum stated. “These issues, according to the senator, will without a doubt become the most important of the election campaign.”

Kennedy made Andropov a couple of specific offers.

First he offered to visit Moscow. “The main purpose of the meeting, according to the senator, would be to arm Soviet officials with explanations regarding problems of nuclear disarmament so they may be better prepared and more convincing during appearances in the USA.” Kennedy would help the Soviets deal with Reagan by telling them how to brush up their propaganda.

Then he offered to make it possible for Andropov to sit down for a few interviews on American television. “A direct appeal … to the American people will, without a doubt, attract a great deal of attention and interest in the country. … If the proposal is recognized as worthy, then Kennedy and his friends will bring about suitable steps to have representatives of the largest television companies in the USA contact Y.V. Andropov for an invitation to Moscow for the interviews. … The senator underlined the importance that this initiative should be seen as coming from the American side.”

That Ted Kennedy?

I think PJ O’Rourke said it best, when he described the government as a “parliament of whores.”  Maybe that best explains their reverence for Teddy, an all-time champion at “playing the game,” along with their willingness to countenance robbing American soldiers in a time of conflict.  It certainly stinks like a whore-house at low tide.