Obama favors cutting Olympians' tax bill
August 6th, 2012
04:23 PM ET
11 years ago

Obama favors cutting Olympians' tax bill

(CNN) – When the U.S. Olympic team adds to its medal count, it’s not just the fans and Olympians who celebrate. So does the IRS.

That’s because the U.S. Olympic Committee awards each medalist with a cash prize – $25,000 for gold, $15,000 for silver, and 10,000 for bronze – money that the U.S. government has always considered taxable income.


Filed under: Olympics • President Obama
soundoff (30 Responses)

    Willard will love this if Rafalca wins in the Olympics. Heck! Rafalca's already a $77,000 write-off. That's a man who doesn't turn down a tax cut. Let's see if he agrees with the President on this one.

    August 6, 2012 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  2. love344@tiscali.it

    its funny how this was not brought up at the last Olympics...

    August 6, 2012 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  3. love344@tiscali.it

    its funny how this was not brought up at the last Olympics...during other presidencies..

    August 6, 2012 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  4. Myviewis


    its funny how this was not brought up at the last Olympics...during other presidencies..

    I agree, why didn't Senator Obama back then bring this up? At least now that Senator Obama is President Obama he agrees with Senator Marco Rubio on this tax issue.

    August 6, 2012 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  5. Four and The Door

    That's fine. But do understand he is talking about giving another tax break to several millionaires. Not that I am complaining about this, but see how our tax code is created? Politics. And right now it is politically convenient to cut these athletes a break on their winnings income.

    August 6, 2012 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  6. Woman In California


    its funny how this was not brought up at the last Olympics...

    I agree. They are looking for anything to derail this president. Here's notice: IT WON'T WORK.

    Obama in 2012 for continued sanity and progress.

    August 6, 2012 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  7. GI Joe

    Finally – something the money-hungry republicans will agree to.

    August 6, 2012 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  8. bb

    Love 344 it was, Rommey mentioned it at the Olymps he made a profit for the U.S. on Your boy OBLUNDER as usual is not working on the economy he is out campaigning instead of doing his job. Rubio has been for this for years. Hey heres an idea, have OBLUNDER distract more from the real issues like what atotal failure he is. Solydyne was great leadership example, as well as U didnt build it, if u are an Oblameo fan i hate to dissapoint u, he cant carry rommeys jock!!!

    August 6, 2012 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  9. where your nightmares end WILLARD begins

    it was said that Sen Marco Rubio was going to propose such a bill, but now seeing that President Obama favors it I guess Rubio and the GOP will be against it.

    August 6, 2012 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  10. jesse james. take them to street and shoot them like the dogs they are

    Give the tax cuts to them. They derserve it. You people horse tax them.

    August 6, 2012 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  11. "If you've got a business, you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen." --B. Obama

    They didn't actually earn those medals. Somebody else made that happen.

    August 6, 2012 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  12. Tax Free Riders, PAY YOUR FAIR SHARE

    No, I disagree. Everybody needs to pay taxes. EVERYBODY. We can't afford all the tax free riders we have now. We shouldn't be creating more. I know it is peanuts but this stupidity has to stop somewhere. NO MORE TAX FREE RIDERS.

    August 6, 2012 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  13. Rick

    For 4 years obama refuses to give us a Budget that even one democrat will support. – NOT ONE Will.
    Now he says: I feel for those who must pay tax, that his party put on them.

    August 6, 2012 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  14. Zechariah14 third mishkan

    WOW PRESIDENT OBAMA YOU ARE doing what's called a TZEDAKAH I am very proud
    Of you Mr President Obama you understand the American people and you are Truely President Brotherhood

    August 6, 2012 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  15. Justin

    If they can get a tax break on awards they work for, could I get a tax break for being excellent at the custodial arts (chapelle style)? If there were awards for scrubbing or mopping maybe I would get a gold medal. It is cool that they represent the United States in the Olympics but many people are upset with how sports dominate many university campuses but now we demand olympians make thousands of dollas tax free. NFL players are millionaires too. Set the example, consider it income. They are working for the gold, they earn an income. Why not pay it as income tax?

    August 6, 2012 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  16. PJ

    "They didn't actually earn those medals. Somebody else made that happen".
    Right! "...you didn't get here solely on your own power....all Olympians stand on the shoulders of those who
    lifted them............." etc etc etc – Mitt Romney- 2002 Olympics.
    If you wait long enough, you can find Romney quotes contradicting other Romney quotes at every turn.

    August 6, 2012 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  17. lwhall99

    If they are going to be taxed on their winnings they should be able to write-off their training expenses.

    August 6, 2012 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  18. Edmond X. Ramirez Sr.

    Certainly this is a political ploy...but aside from that, it is ridiculous that these Olympians pay and have paid taxes on there metal money. They strive for years, they and their families struggle TO REPRESENT OUR COUNTRY, TO PROVIDE NATIONAL PRIDE and here comes the IRS – the IRS will get plenty from their endorsement money, but taxing the medal money is outrageous. Oh! And by the way IRS give back all the medal money you have taken...with interest...

    August 6, 2012 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  19. Common sense grandma

    This is a silly political ploy. Do we need to exempt Nobel prize winners? Pulitzer prize winners? Miss America? They all represent the USA. I strongly suspect their write-offs more than offset the taxes. Romney already took a $77,000 write-off for his horse for just one year. Do we also exempt the money they make from endorsements? How about our soldiers? They certainly represent the USA.

    August 6, 2012 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  20. Thomas

    I thought Romney's horse was a 70.000 diduction ?

    August 6, 2012 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  21. Name

    Even any thing won.

    August 6, 2012 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  22. Quark Hadron

    Oh holy crap, no!

    Don't get me wrong. I'm all for the athletes getting and exception. But it would require a law change. Do we really want to bring it up in Congress? They can't get anything done as it is and don't need this kind of distraction to give then yet another excuse for not getting anything important done.

    August 6, 2012 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  23. John Lacher

    NO damit. I have to pay taxes.So should every U.S. Olympic team member. The free ride to London, free hotel, and free food is enough.

    August 6, 2012 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  24. Brenam

    He usually just wants to give money to the non producers and blood suckers of society. Banks and Solar energy companies that can't make it on their own are his next favorite. We would think that the "Food Stamp" President would realize his agenda of taxing those who work more and then giving it to those who don't work is a surefire recipe for less work, less output and more unemployment. As a pure idealogue though we aren't going to see any changes from Obama unless its something like our Olympians he can campaign on.

    August 6, 2012 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  25. Lisa P

    "If you've got a business, you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen." –B. Obama

    They didn't actually earn those medals. Somebody else made that happen.
    August 6, 2012 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm

    Well, that *is* what most of the medal winners say. No one denies that they put in a lot of hard work and sacrifice, but it takes good coaches, good facilities, organized sports federations, supportive schools or places of employment, and very supportive (and understanding) friends and families - not to mention fellow athletes - to turn all that training into an Olympic medal, or even just a starting spot. I have yet to hear an athlete say, "I got here by myself." It's like the Oscars - the winners know darn well how much help it took to get there. Who are you to deny it?

    August 6, 2012 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
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