Olympians’ Medals Taxed

By Emily Thompson

In my previous blog, Olympinomics I discussed the possible economic benefits of the London Olympics. However, I’ve now come across a possible costs of the Olympics specifically to American medalists. Upon coming back from London with many successes, our many decorated Olympians will be assessed taxes on their medals (each medal is individually taxed.) Yes, that’s the thanks they get for proudly representing our country in the Olympics. I can’t be the only person who finds this a bit ridiculous. For example, a gold medalist is taxed $8,896, a silver medalist owes Uncle Sam $5,385, and a bronze medalist is taxed $3,502. Allison Schmitt, who anchored the American 4×200 freestyle relay to a gold medal, now owes the government $26,679. That’s because she has already won two gold medals, a silver medal, and a bronze medal. Just imagine how much money in medal taxes Michael Phelps has paid the federal government through the years.

Being conservative, I’m always in favor of cutting taxes, and I think these taxes should not only be cut, but also eliminated. If you agree, don’t worry: Senator Marco Rubio introduced a bill on Wednesday proposing the elimination of these taxes. Basically, these taxes are taxing athletes for being talented. How in the world is that justified through the tax code? It’d be just like taxing the smartest or the prettiest people in America, instead we’re just taxing the most talented athletes.

Although the bill is one more step towards eliminating this policy, the more it’s known the more controversy it should cause. America shouldn’t be punishing its Olympians for representing our country with pride by winning medals; we should instead encourage our Olympians (and eliminate their taxes on medals.)

Emily Thompson is the author of the economically focused SouthernStyleMusings, where this article was originally posted. To read more of her “musings” go to http://southernstylemusings.wordpress.com

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