We are just a few weeks out of the patriotic euphoria of our Olympic team’s domination. Are you still feeling the pride? The House of Reps certainly is seeing as they just voted to approved a bill, previously approved by the Senate, that would give U.S. Olympic and Paralympic medal winners tax breaks. That vote was 415 to 1. The lone holdout? Our very own Jim Himes.
Now, before you accuse him of being a commie ask yourself, why would he be the lone vote? Does he harbor resentment for failing to make the national team in rowing so many years ago? It doesn’t seem like it. Peel away the layer of easy patriotism displayed by those who voted “Yes” and take a look at why Himes didn’t.
His main argument is that there is no reason for this tax break. Many of the Olympians don’t have regular income and keeping whatever they can would certainly help them BUT they would already benefit from a lighter tax burden because of their financial status. Meanwhile, this tax relief would benefit bigger athletes, like Michael Phelps, who roll in the dough of endorsement deals. The rich get richer, eh?
Himes also points out that there are plenty of other achievers out there who still pay their taxes. And if these athletes need money maybe the Olympic Committee can start throwing some of the billions they make off the Games their way.
Jim Himes may have fought a losing battle on this one but I applaud him. It is tough to stand against all those Fairweather Patriots who made a “feel good” vote.