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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?

 

London-based think tank – ships defending themselves not a good idea

Roger Middleton, a self-described piracy expert at the left of center Chatham House in London, thinks it’s bad business for American ships to arm themselves to repel pirates. Criminal pirates from Somalia have taken many hostages and in doing so, have found most countries and ship owners willing to pay millions in ransom. Not so much anymore.

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Olympics to … NOT Chicago, but Rio

The International Olympic Committee just voted to give the 2016 Summer Olympics to … still waiting, but Chicago is OUT.

Update: Second round Tokyo is OUT. Madrid and Rio is left, I’m guessing Rio.

Final Update: The 2016 Summer Olympics will be held in either Rio or Madrid. I guess the final announcement will be at 12:30 p.m. ET or right about then.

Rio for Summer 2016.

Michelle Obama – some twisting of her use of the sacrifice word

I read this story earlier today, then I read the transcript of what the first lady actually said. She did not say that her trip was a sacrifice, but she mentioned others said it was a sacrifice. Now that Drudge picked it up, let’s take a quick look. Read more

Chicago 2016 Olympics – in the bag?

Who knows, but some are speculating President Obama’s decision to be present in Copenhagen for the presentation to the Olympic Committee means Chicago has unofficially gotten the nod for Summer 2016. I agree. Read more

China Falls Short of Expectations

Yeah of course, but what the heck did you expect? China was in the running for the Olympics to get world-wide acceptance. Once the International Olympic Committee (IOC) gave it to them, they got what they wanted. Of course, the IOC said China promised that winning the right to host the Olympics would result in improved human rights for everyone in China. I’m not seeing the cause and effect relationship there at all.

Of course, the corporate sponsors saw a huge market, so they wanted to get into China to sell stuff. I’m wondering how they will feel when their corporate sponsorship of the games in Beijing leads to product boycotts. I definitely see that cause and effect relationship. Read more

Lights Out in Paris – Olympic Torch Stumbles Along

Exactly what did the International Olympic Committee think when they chose Beijing as the destination for the 2008 Summer Games? There has been plenty of strange activity in China the past couple of months as the dictator-at-large tries to “clean up” the place.

SI.com is reporting that the Olympic Torch is having quite a tough time today making it through the streets of Paris. As a matter of fact, security gave up quite a few times and just took it onto the bus for a good portion of the route. Read more