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Olympic Gold Medalists Should Not Get A Medal  
User currently offlineALTF4 From United States of America, joined Jul 2010, 1214 posts, RR: 4
Posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 1794 times:

I'm sure most of us here know the names Michael Phelps, Usain Bolt, Muhammad Ali, etc. These athletes prepare for years, spend time training, sacrificing almost every other aspect of their lives, in order to compete in premier sporting events, often culminating in the olympics. Gold medals are obviously the highest prize at the olympics.

Well, I'm here to say the athletes shouldn't get gold medals. Not even silver or bronze. Why? Because they reap the benefits of being in first, second, or third place anyway. TV ads. Contracts. Books. Royalties from merchandise. Speaking engagements. There are countless ways for these athletes to reap the rewards for their hard work. Why give them a medal if they worked so hard and came out on top? Doesn't it just rub it in to those who did not win?

Am I serious? Of course not.

Try this on for size, though: a college student works tirelessly, maintaining a 3.9 GPA, spending a good chunk of money on tuition, fees, and books. Every waking hour is spent working a job, attending class, studying, or doing student assistant work. After an internship with a premier company, the student is hired on even before graduating from college.

Thankfully the federal government realizes the money that is poured into this endeavor, and offers tax breaks or tax credits for the money spent becoming a more educated person, so down the road the student can contribute more to the economy and workforce.

After the student is hired by the company, though, the tax breaks and tax credits stop. Why? Because the company, who values the student, pays a livable amount of money, putting the student above the cap for the tax breaks on education.

Now, I spent just as much time and effort - if not MORE - than my peer students who did not land a job. Yes, I am far better off for having the job - but it looks like the IRS doesn't want to reward me, or recognize the amount of effort and money I put in to my education, even though they continue to give tax breaks to my peers who didn't put the effort I put in. Why doesn't the IRS give 4 years worth of credits, so long as the student is enrolled full time for those four years, regardless of how much he or she earns? Am I not putting in the same effort? The only difference is I "won" and got a job before most of my peers.

Looks like the olympians shouldn't get those medals after all - at least if the IRS had anything to do with the matter.

/rant


The above post is my opinion. Don't like it? Don't read it.
9 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineDarksnowynight From United States of America, joined Jan 2012, 1412 posts, RR: 3
Reply 1, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 1769 times:

Quoting ALTF4 (Thread starter):
Why doesn't the IRS give 4 years worth of credits, so long as the student is enrolled full time for those four years, regardless of how much he or she earns? Am I not putting in the same effort? The only difference is I "won" and got a job before most of my peers.

Part of the problem is how we're looking at it. The IRS is not really in the business of handing out "rewards." And by "not really", I mean not at all.

It's their job to collect revenue, full stop. This is really awkward, because they are actually an agency of the Executive Branch, which does not have the power to levy taxes, but does have the only authority to collect them. Your beef is with Congress, as they are the ones who levy taxes and set the milestones for progressive taxation.

But even there, taxes (or rather, breaks therefrom), are not a reward system. We tax lower income people less because they can't afford it, and for no other reason. In fact, even at a high percentage, their "tax burden" still isn't worth collecting.



And as far as I know, Olympians are in fact taxed on the prize winnings associated with the medals they win, just as an FYI.



Posting without Knowledge is simply Tolerated Vandalism... We are the Vandals.
User currently offlineALTF4 From United States of America, joined Jul 2010, 1214 posts, RR: 4
Reply 2, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 1763 times:

Quoting Darksnowynight (Reply 1):

Yep, you're absolutely right - that is how the system should work. Does it? No. If I'm on the edge of standard deduction vs. itemized deduction, I might be more inclined to donate more, because I feel like I will get more in return for doing so; I have the philosophical rewards of donating, plus I'd have the additional tax break (which, let's face it, even though it is not a reward, you are being taxed less for doing something, which is an incentive, which is really what a reward is) if I were only $5 away from bumping past the standard deduction.

Again, I agree with you in theory - but in practice, it is completely different.

Aren't gay couples fighting for equal treatment as hetero couples, partly because of the tax breaks? The IRS isn't handing out a "congratulations, you got married" award, but they are taking less money, which is an incentive to get married vs just live together, which again I would argue is really what a reward is.

[Edited 2013-01-25 17:31:33]


The above post is my opinion. Don't like it? Don't read it.
User currently offlineAesma From France, joined Nov 2009, 6920 posts, RR: 12
Reply 3, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 1629 times:

Well the medals are taxed !

Aside from that, if you're not from a first world country and even then if you're not in a popular sport then the benefits of winning can be pretty slim.



New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
User currently offlinefr8mech From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 5648 posts, RR: 15
Reply 4, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 1594 times:

Quoting Darksnowynight (Reply 1):
We tax lower income people less because they can't afford it, and for no other reason.

No we don't. We tax lower income people less because The Congress has decided that less is their fair share.

But, I agree, the IRS is not in the business of handing out rewards...The Congress is.


Quoting Darksnowynight (Reply 1):
But even there, taxes (or rather, breaks therefrom), are not a reward system

Of course tax breaks are a reward. The IRS Code simply says: if you behave the way we want you to behave (have kids, give to charity, buy a house, get married, drill for oil, buy a hybrid, invest in triple-pane energy efficient windows, install solar panels, etc.) we will reward you with a lower tax burden.

The is one of the problems with our tax system...it is a reward system. Instead of having the tax code do what it is supposed to do (raise revenue for the essential functions of government) The Congress uses it to shape society, after a fashion.



When seconds count...the police are minutes away.
User currently offlineDarksnowynight From United States of America, joined Jan 2012, 1412 posts, RR: 3
Reply 5, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 1573 times:

Quoting fr8mech (Reply 4):
We tax lower income people less because The Congress has decided that less is their fair share.

But the problem, as ALTF4 is seeing, is that we have to draw the line somewhere. This is the source of considerable debate, but that's really up to Congress. The IRS, being executive, has to have all its incentivization approved at the legislative level, since that's the only group that actually has the power to levy taxes...

Quoting fr8mech (Reply 4):
The is one of the problems with our tax system...it is a reward system.

It's easy to see it that way. But changing this will never happen from the IRS itself. This has to be voted on elsewhere. Like almost everyone else, yes, there are things I'd like to see changed. I don't know what the OP makes, but it's probably fair to say that he doesn't need a big ole' kick in the butt right out of school like that. But again, that's a question of where do we draw the line...

Quoting fr8mech (Reply 4):
if you behave the way we want you to behave (have kids, give to charity, buy a house, get married, drill for oil, buy a hybrid, invest in triple-pane energy efficient windows, install solar panels, etc.) we will reward you with a lower tax burden.

Yup. Those things are nice & all, but they should be self rewarding. The problem isn't so much the social engineering bit (until we're promoting genetic specification, I'm really not bothered by incentivizing progress), but the fact that Congress is voluntarily denying itself revenue while at the same time going to histrionics about things like the "debt ceiling". This is undeniably schizophrenic and moronic behavior...



Posting without Knowledge is simply Tolerated Vandalism... We are the Vandals.
User currently offlineAesma From France, joined Nov 2009, 6920 posts, RR: 12
Reply 6, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 1560 times:

That's why the simpler way to get people to buy fuel efficient cars is to tax fuel. It's then both a revenue and an incentive. We also have a 5000€ voucher if you buy an electric car, paid by a tax on gas guzzlers. In fact the bonus-malus scheme kind of backfired since more people than anticipated bought efficient cars so the end result was a dent in revenue, but that has been adjusted.


New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
User currently offlinebongodog1964 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2006, 3681 posts, RR: 3
Reply 7, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 1405 times:

The simple fact is that "fairness" doesn't come into the equation, in order to meet their social costs first world economies need to tax on the basis of the ability to pay. As an example I left school at 16 and combined work and study for the next 5 years, meanwhile some of my peers stayed in full time education and I contributed both to their education and mine.

Probably unfair, but thats the way it is.


User currently offlineDelboy From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2001, 725 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 1276 times:

Answers simple; don't go to college, become an athlete.......problem solved.

User currently onlineFlighty From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 8760 posts, RR: 3
Reply 9, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 1267 times:

Quoting Delboy (Reply 8):
Answers simple; don't go to college, become an athlete.......problem solved.

And, don't be a W-2 worker. Unless you are an MD, a lawyer or a major league athlete, becoming wealthy in this country is generally not about W-2 income. It is about starting a business and writing off most expenses. Paying very little in taxes.

Knowing how to avoid expenditures and taxes is just as important as making money.


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