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house Bill H.R. 2628

Should American Olympians Get a Tax Exemption for Medals and Prizes They Win?

Argument in favor

Most U.S. Olympians don’t earn the eye-popping salaries that their counterparts in major sports leagues make. Exempting them from being taxed for their medals and prize money will enable them to enjoy more of the rewards of their labor and further their careers. Besides, they’re competing for America!

Owura's Opinion
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08/05/2016
Contrary to what some may think, there are a surprising number of athletes who pay thousands out of their own pockets (and don't make very much in return) to compete. Earning a medal especially under these circumstances should be a thing that is rewarded by allowing them to keep all of their winnings
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Josh's Opinion
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08/05/2016
Athletes that go to the Olympics are representing our country and if they win they are bringing honor and respect to it. Then they get home after the Olympics, and realize that Uncle Sam (the government) is taxing their prize that they won for him. It is not right. They won the medal for national honor, and for the government to think that they can tax that is wrong. Let the athletes keep their medals, as they won it for the country. They don't have to sacrifice their blood, sweat and tears for the USA. They wanted to do it so they could represent the USA and bring honor to it. Let them keep their medals, Uncle Sam.
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Loraki's Opinion
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08/07/2016
Are these athletes the same as professional athletes who are paid enormous salaries for entertaining the public? They represent our country and they work their derrières off to bring glory not only to themselves, but also to their country. Then Uncle Sam wants to repay them by taxing their MEDALS?! Does the government tax our soldiers' medals??? I have to admit that I'm ignorant about how the Olympic athletes are supported or whether or not they work at other jobs to earn a living. I'm not a huge sports fan. You would expect earnings that are not Olympic prizes to be taxed, but the idea of taxing their prizes just seems mean-spirited to me. I look forward to reading other people's opinions on this issue.
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Argument opposed

This bill tries to prove that the tax code is too complex and contains absurd loophole by creating a new exemption that adds even more complexity. U.S. Olympians should be applauded for their performance and commitment to representing America on the international stage, but they don’t need a tax break.

RisingCons3rvative's Opinion
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08/05/2016
Is this a joke? Every American must pay taxes, regardless of occupation.
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08/05/2016
An Olympic Medal? Congratulations and a job well done. Now, pay your taxes.
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Elinor's Opinion
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08/05/2016
Yea for athletes. I love sports. These athletes work hard to develop skills to perform at their respective sports. And they win medals that, from the athletes' actions, seem to be edible. However, the rest of us work hard to perform at our jobs and aren't exempted from taxes. Among us are working poor who are not exempt due to economic status. Prize winners on game shows and in other contests must pay a tax on the stuff they take home. Why the double standard based on fame? UNTIL THE HORRIBLE EXISTING TAX CODE IS ELIMINATED (and please, let that be soon!), there is no reason that fame should result in an exemption.
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    Contrary to what some may think, there are a surprising number of athletes who pay thousands out of their own pockets (and don't make very much in return) to compete. Earning a medal especially under these circumstances should be a thing that is rewarded by allowing them to keep all of their winnings
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    Is this a joke? Every American must pay taxes, regardless of occupation.
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    This is pretty vague though. They shouldn't be taxed on the value of their medal unless they sell it. Prize money maybe should be taxed. A lot of the naysayers here seem to think this means they won't have to pay income tax on the money they make through endorsements or their professional careers, which I don't think is being proposed at all.
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    An Olympic Medal? Congratulations and a job well done. Now, pay your taxes.
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    Yea for athletes. I love sports. These athletes work hard to develop skills to perform at their respective sports. And they win medals that, from the athletes' actions, seem to be edible. However, the rest of us work hard to perform at our jobs and aren't exempted from taxes. Among us are working poor who are not exempt due to economic status. Prize winners on game shows and in other contests must pay a tax on the stuff they take home. Why the double standard based on fame? UNTIL THE HORRIBLE EXISTING TAX CODE IS ELIMINATED (and please, let that be soon!), there is no reason that fame should result in an exemption.
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    Athletes that go to the Olympics are representing our country and if they win they are bringing honor and respect to it. Then they get home after the Olympics, and realize that Uncle Sam (the government) is taxing their prize that they won for him. It is not right. They won the medal for national honor, and for the government to think that they can tax that is wrong. Let the athletes keep their medals, as they won it for the country. They don't have to sacrifice their blood, sweat and tears for the USA. They wanted to do it so they could represent the USA and bring honor to it. Let them keep their medals, Uncle Sam.
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    Are these athletes the same as professional athletes who are paid enormous salaries for entertaining the public? They represent our country and they work their derrières off to bring glory not only to themselves, but also to their country. Then Uncle Sam wants to repay them by taxing their MEDALS?! Does the government tax our soldiers' medals??? I have to admit that I'm ignorant about how the Olympic athletes are supported or whether or not they work at other jobs to earn a living. I'm not a huge sports fan. You would expect earnings that are not Olympic prizes to be taxed, but the idea of taxing their prizes just seems mean-spirited to me. I look forward to reading other people's opinions on this issue.
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    Our Olympians perform a public service representing some of our best and putting it on display for the world. They are ambassadors of good will and when they succeed the whole country succeeds with them, I think we can afford to exempt their medals from being taxed. Tax their earnings from the endorsement deals but leave the medals alone.
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    Olympians, especially younger athletes, have dedicated their whole lives to their sport, no matter what kind of background they come from. They are competing on behalf of America, and it only happens every four years (for the athletes at least). There are other people who can be taxed. Or even, tax the income Olympians make from endorsements. But the prize money/medals? Seems so harsh.
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    It's awesome that they won and we don't want to detract from their success. But this is income and there's no justification to make it tax-exempt.
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    There are only 500 Olympians this year out of a population of 320 million. We can afford to give them a tax break in exchange for their service in sport for the USA.
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    This is ridiculous, the athletes mostly perform at the top level and by doing so many of them have many sponsorships and perfessional careers. They make enough money and should not receive tax breaks for representing their country and making money off of it, let alone sponsorships and further income made by elite performance
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    You see if this relatively fair implementation were to occur for the sake of alleviating the unfortunate financial circumstances of a large majority of lumped athletes for temporary assistance than it may be a beacon of light to stabilizing the principals of not only our taxes, but income distribution, funding in various perspectives, and a plethora of more as well. Although, the argument being accurately justified as i glance at the community comments/opinions that this proposal exemplifies incompetence and a non-equitable manner in the aspect of taxes can arguably a sufficient remark. However, us tax payers in this scenario have to take into account that this is indeed a proposal that is "EQUITABLE" for the souls currently participating in the Rio Olympics. Honestly to tell you all the truth "the proof is in the pooding". The reasoning is: by glancing at the details columns of this bill you will evidently stumble across a descriptive Washington Post article that vehemently articulates the significance in some cases why a large cluster of these athletes may be DESPERATE. In quotes stated by the Washington Post or specifically on the behalf of the IOC: "To an increasingly vocal and active group of current and former Olympic athletes in the United States, however, the Movement is a vast, global bureaucracy that treats athletes like replaceable cogs, restricting their income without fear of reprisal from a workforce unable, or unwilling, to unionize." In other words, you could possibly be thinking to yourself right when reading this proposal that it's harshly unfair/unconstitutional/ or un-equitable due to the inside dirty work of bureaucracies and executives. Now without a doubt, these Olympic athletes when being completed with their activities will clearly return to a warm welcoming atmosphere safe and sound away from the flourishing Zika Virus in a cosy cruise ship (most particularly MBA players) or sanitary hotel while the middle class fans below them are exploited by risk of catching this devastating illness due to the contingency of contaminated waters, environmental conditions surrounding them, and citizens/residents being exposed to insects initiating the virus (specifically harmful mosquitos). So yes you may be clicking the "Nay" Vote in a heartbeat because your senses are telling you that it's a big bureaucratic scam that continues to signify that Athletes are entitled to not pay their mandatory taxes. But by reading in a more narrative prospective you are met with a more reasonable request due to the results of these poor athletes. I justify this claim because the Washington Post additionally was stating that quote: "There is no comprehensive data on U.S. Olympic athlete pay, but information collected by a nonprofit last year from 150 track and field athletes ranked in the top 10 in the country in their events found an average income of $16,553". Also, stated that even though it seems that a majority of these athletes may seem wealthy are in reality just as financially equal as the working class Americans (American People). I say this because the Washington post incorporated several aspects of how these athletes were desperate for parental guide or finical aiding as well! So as I see in addition to this thick and evident analysis that is presented in these articles then most certainly should some of these desperate iconic and heroic athletes that are fighting and sweating tears for our nations nationalism and sporting advancement/influence should most certainly receive temporary assistance when it comes to miniature bracket or break in taxes! Furthermore, as stated participating delegates in the olympics receiving quote "The U.S. Olympic Committee’s prizes for medalists are $25,000 for gold medal winners, $15,000 for silver medalists, and $10,000 for winners of a bronze medal. According to Americans for Tax Reform, that leaves medalists with a $9,900 tax bill for gold medals, $5,940 for silver, and $3,960 for bronze" here displays the layout: 1.Gold medals = $565.62 2.Silver medals = $315 3.Bronze medals = $2.38 Credit: To the countable description section of this bill. So In a more general explanation when being provided with significant achievements/trophies you are met with a bombardment of taxes deducting your finical earnings from outstanding performance during an international sensational competition for all individuals! FOLKS THIS IS WRONG! Before I provide you with primary source documents and accurate analysis to make justifications that indeed these athletes deserve a slight (at the least tax break) I would like to reiterate by stating that these iconic athletes out there in Rio, Brazil are currently some of the most imperative souls representing our nation. The Olympics may not seem like such as huge deal or just a forgotten day in our society but coming from a proud American IT SURE IS A VERY URGENT PERIOD OF TIME! We must honor our heroic athletes by honoring their commitments to fight in sports to redeem the United States of America as being the worlds greatest nation in the face of the planet and that we will never settle for any nonsense, Win gracefully, patriotically, humbly, and prosperously due to hard work, and lose with dignity, integrity, hard work, and gracefully! The olympics ladies and gentlemen is a day in society in which all individuals in the world (a majority if you prefer to be politically correct) unite to spectate their nations competitive diligence in thriving to claim achievements for their nation! THE OLYMPICS REMEMBER IS A VERY SIGNIFICANT DAY THAN YOU THOUGHT IT WAS! In conclusion, implementing this proposal would highly exemplify the matter of the United being gracious to honor the patriotic,iconic and heroic athletes representing us with a slight break in taxation. Although, our federal government should only be granting this manner for only temporary time period until the athletes can alleviate their financial requirements and this IMPLEMENTATION SHALL NOT BE ABUSED UNDER THE HANDS OF BUREAUCRACIES AS WELL AND THE WEALTHIEST CLASS. Passing this reasonable implementation mark my words would transfer our nation in a bright path back to economic golden ages! Here are some imperative sources for this claims justifications Source 1: https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/olympics/olympic-executives-cash-in-on-a-movement-that-keeps-athletes-poor/2016/07/30/ed18c206-5346-11e6-88eb-7dda4e2f2aec_story.html. General Description- The personal financial breakdown of the athletes Source 2: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/07/sports/olympics/rio-2016-basketball-united-states-cruise-ship.html. General description- New York Times article on how athletes are residing during the olympics Source 3: http://journalistsresource.org/studies/society/culture/economic-and-cultural-benefits-of-the-olympics-research-roundup. General description- a finical impact result of the Rio olympics. Source 4: http://www.businessinsider.com/economic-benefits-of-hosting-olympics-2014-10. General Description- Finical impact of Rio Olympics. Please bear with me. I can go on and on with justifications to prove that is implementation is the wise path but I would rather keep it concise for your sake and time. I hope you have truly comprehended my reasonings and justifications of supporting this implementation and how it provide future prosperity to alleviate our economy as well. I highly recommend to do further research for more crucial information. SPREAD THE WORDS FOLKS! Because this is what our founding fathers would of wanted as well! Thank you very much for your time.
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    I know it has become a foundational principle of U.S. tax policy to impoverish students with debt & destroy any hope of them entering the middle class as adults. Why is this an issue? If we send these athletes off to be ambassadors of American exceptionalism, why do we then think it an appropriate American value to tax their success? The con argument might hold water if anyone in Congress had the b***s to restructure the IRS. All Congress is willing to do is demonize bureaucrats who attempt to enforce the needlessly cumbersome & confusing tax code. But to institute tax reform that would benefit ordinary citizens, our elected weenies would have to actually tax businesses at Eisenhower era levels! No way in hell do we have anyone brave enough to do that! Other than Bernie Sanders & Elizabeth Warren.
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    They have worked for years and are representing our nation in one of the most positive ways possible, why punish them by taxing the achievement of a nation.
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    If you read the 'Why Vote Nay' it talks about how this is a bill to make a statement about how inefficient our tax system is. I agree that our tax system is inefficient, but I think it is a disgrace that our elected officials waste time on theatrics to try and make a point, rather than to work to actually fix the issues.
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    Like any tax payer, taxes can be seen as excessive at times. However, it is important to understand that they have a purpose. These programs that are funded by the taxes collected and are used to help people like the athletes and the communities they live in. While the athletes do great things for this country that shouldn't exclude them from taxes.
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    Sports are bad
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    I get the sentiment, but putting in this exemption actually makes the tax code more complex rather than simpler. They earned income. They should pay tax on it just like everyone else.
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    Why? If the work Olympian winners do grants tax exemption, how many more successful events from other people should be exempt? Should the president be exempt from taxes for winning the election?
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