Marco Rubio Wants To Stop Taxing Olympic Medal Winners

Categories: Politicks
Marco Rubio, gold medal winner in election year ploys
Marco Rubio has been studying the American tax code, and at last he's discovered the scourge that's been dragging down the U.S. economy. No, it's not Obama's higher taxes on the top-one percent, and it's not Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthy.

It's Uncle Sam's tax on Olympic medalists, who, yeah, apparently get cash bonuses for bringing hardware home from London. Rubio filed a bill in Congress yesterday to stop taxing the prizes given for Olympic glory.

It's rarely discussed, but it turns out the U.S. Olympic Committee attaches prize money to medals, handing out $25,000 to gold medalists, $15,000 to silver and $10,000 to bronze winners like our own hometown hero Danell Leyva.

That money counts as income, meaning it's taxed at the usual rate by the IRS. Rubio's bill would add an exemption, making such prizes tax-free.

"Athletes representing our nation overseas in the Olympics shouldn't have to worry about an extra tax bill waiting for them back home," Rubio says of the bill.

Really, you have to give Rubio credit for doing what Mitt Romney couldn't: scoring political points off the Olympics. (Not that Mittens didn't try on his recent trip abroad; Romney ended up with his foot in his mouth after claiming London wasn't as prepared for the games as Salt Lake City had been when he ran the show.)

It will be pretty tough for anyone to openly slam Rubio's bill.

(Cue the ominous music on the next attack ad: "Why does Bill Nelson HATE AMERICA'S OLYMPIC CHAMPIONS?" Cue dramatic photos of weeping gymnasts.)

Of course at a logical level, the plan doesn't make a ton of sense. Rubio's statement slams the "complicated and burdensome" tax code, yet, as the L.A. Times points out, his bill would make it even more complicated by adding a whole new exemption to the books.

But "logic" isn't really the point. Score one for Rubio on Romney's new "Who's going to be my VP" ap.

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drakemallard topcommenter

why don't you introduce something more important? like a job bill?


But won't these athletes recoup their tax losses when they start getting fat checks for product endorsements: "Even before Phelps won his 19th medal, his previous 18 were earning him a nice living: Forbes magazine says his endorsements for Speedo, Visa, Under Armour and others pay him $7 million a year


I've been paying taxes on my income since I got my first paycheck. This is not news, it's class warfare propaganda.


In the U.S., gold medal winners get $25,000, $15,000 for silver and $10,000 for bronze. This is not government money, its paid by the U.S. Olympic Committee.



it time to recall this clown!




drakemallard topcommenter

Senate Republicans block Democrats' jobs bill


This is nonsense. No medalist pays significant taxes on this type of winning. The medals themselves are pretty much worthless (the values of the precious medal in them is approx $650 for the gold, $350 for the silver and a whopping $4.70 for bronze.) The cash prize tax is easily offset by expenses such as flying to or training for the games.

Nice try Rubio but no one thinks you care.

Will Iam
Will Iam

I say let's all share their wealth because they didn't do it on their own so we all get a piece of their hard earned work!


Lame politics.  Do some real work Rubio.


You know what would make sense?  A flat tax for everyone.


 @drakemallard You know what would be awesome?  Something that gets rid of the work requirement from the welfare reform law.  Oh wait...

drakemallard topcommenter

 @danh72 Public officials lie to us, nothing new.   When we lie to a 'public official' we get slandered for life and possibly go to jail.

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