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Taxes and Olympic winnings.Follow

#1 Aug 03 2012 at 6:12 PM Rating: Good
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I think it was yesterday the articles started appearing online, and on my drive home there was a bit on NPR about it. I think one article I read had Marco Rubio piping in about how the tax laws are overly complicated and Olympians paying taxes on their winnings was just an example of how stupid they can be.

Maybe I'm just an ass... but what makes them so special that these winnings shouldn't be taxed? They work hard and represent our nation on the international scale. So do many Americans who do various other jobs. It just doesn't make sense to me that this one thing is being selected as an outrage in taxes.
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#2 Aug 03 2012 at 6:19 PM Rating: Excellent
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I disagree that they shouldn't be taxed but it's ultimately a feel good thing with little realistic downside to implement and an obvious political downside to blocking.

Besides, these same guys are the ones saying "What? We were never serious about that!" in regards to the sequester cuts they agreed to so worrying about them handling taxes in any sane manner is a fool's errand.

Edit: The above was in response to some proposed legislation exempting the athletes from taxes on their Olympic swag but it occurs to me that the House just went on a five week recess so by the time they're actually "working" again, no one will care anymore anyway.

Edited, Aug 3rd 2012 7:22pm by Jophiel
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#3 Aug 03 2012 at 6:36 PM Rating: Good
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Jophiel wrote:
with little realistic downside to implement


Ya, I didn't mean to imply that I thought Olympians were walking away with millions untaxed. I know we're only talking a few thousand here. Just the idea that... these people are better than you, so they shouldn't pay taxes on it.

Edited, Aug 3rd 2012 8:39pm by TirithRR
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#4 Aug 03 2012 at 6:46 PM Rating: Excellent
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Obvious next step: No taxes for active military.

Slippery Slope!!
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#5 Aug 03 2012 at 6:57 PM Rating: Excellent
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Then musicians and regular athletes will start calling for tax-exempt status.
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#6 Aug 03 2012 at 6:59 PM Rating: Good
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Shaowstrike the Shady wrote:
Then musicians and regular athletes will start calling for tax-exempt status.


Then big busi... oh, nvm.
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#7 Aug 03 2012 at 7:41 PM Rating: Good
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You people pay your Olympians?
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#8 Aug 03 2012 at 7:59 PM Rating: Good
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Nilatai wrote:
You people pay your Olympians?


...

Olympic winners get prize money along with the Bronze/Silver/Gold medal.

Edited, Aug 3rd 2012 9:59pm by TirithRR
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#9 Aug 03 2012 at 9:18 PM Rating: Default
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Deployed soldiers don't pay taxes, why should "deployed" athletes representing their country be any different? The amount these athletes are "earning" during these 17 days of games is far less than a soldier on a 14 month deployment.

Edited, Aug 3rd 2012 11:18pm by Kastigir
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#10 Aug 03 2012 at 9:51 PM Rating: Excellent
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Rubio jut wants a simplified and uniform tax structure full of special exemptions we can all understand. What's so hard to get about that?
#11 Aug 04 2012 at 3:43 AM Rating: Good
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Kastigir wrote:
Deployed soldiers don't pay taxes, why should "deployed" athletes representing their country be any different? The amount these athletes are "earning" during these 17 days of games is far less than a soldier on a 14 month deployment.


You can't be serious...
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#12 Aug 04 2012 at 8:05 AM Rating: Excellent
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Kastigir wrote:
Deployed soldiers don't pay taxes, why should "deployed" athletes representing their country be any different?

As long as the Olympics are held in Afghanistan and we give the athletes a gun while they're there, I don't see any difference at all.
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#13 Aug 04 2012 at 8:08 AM Rating: Excellent
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I'm pretty sure Nobel Prize money is taxed too, for that matter.
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#14 Aug 04 2012 at 8:22 AM Rating: Excellent
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Give them a gun, too!
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#15 Aug 04 2012 at 8:40 AM Rating: Good
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Amy Van Dyken made $260,000 in the 2000 Olympics for her gold medals.
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#16 Aug 04 2012 at 9:04 AM Rating: Excellent
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lolgaxe wrote:
Amy Van Dyken made $260,000 in the 2000 Olympics for her gold medals.


Really? I didn't think they could be pawned for that much.
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#17 Aug 04 2012 at 9:10 AM Rating: Default
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BrownDuck wrote:
Kastigir wrote:
Deployed soldiers don't pay taxes, why should "deployed" athletes representing their country be any different? The amount these athletes are "earning" during these 17 days of games is far less than a soldier on a 14 month deployment.


You can't be serious...

Both are serving their country. Both have made sacrifices to get there. Outside of combat/non-combat, there aren't too many differences between them. Not to mention that 90% of the athletes won't earn medals, whereas 100% of deployed soldiers do earn a paycheck. My guess is that if this has been proposed by a "liberal" member of Congress, you guys would think it a fantastic idea.

Edited, Aug 4th 2012 11:13am by Kastigir
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#18 Aug 04 2012 at 9:24 AM Rating: Excellent
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Working expenses are a tax writeoff for olympic atheletes. That includes equipment costs, training costs, room rentals, travel expendatures, paying an expoensive coach, etc. A Smart medal winner, assuming they don't make anywhere near as much money on endorsements as say your typical Michael Phelps probably won't pay a dime of taxes out of their own pocket simply because training for the olympics is generally really, really expensive unless you are getting everything donated, in which case yeah, you're probably going to pay a bit.
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#19 Aug 04 2012 at 10:17 AM Rating: Excellent
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Kastigir wrote:
Outside of combat/non-combat, there aren't too many differences between them.

"But aside from that, how was the parade, Mrs. Kennedy?"
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My guess is that if this has been proposed by a "liberal" member of Congress, you guys would think it a fantastic idea.

Brilliant analysis, Gbaji.


Edited, Aug 4th 2012 11:19am by Jophiel
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#20 Aug 04 2012 at 2:11 PM Rating: Excellent
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Why should any American working abroad have to pay taxes?

Edited, Aug 4th 2012 5:11pm by Uglysasquatch
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#21 Aug 04 2012 at 2:44 PM Rating: Excellent
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Uglysasquatch wrote:
Why should any American working abroad have to pay taxes?

Edited, Aug 4th 2012 5:11pm by Uglysasquatch


What about the years where the Olympics are held somewhere in the US?
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#22 Aug 04 2012 at 2:56 PM Rating: Good
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Uglysasquatch wrote:
Why should any American working abroad have to pay taxes?

As long as they're still claiming US citizenship and all the benefits that come with it, why shouldn't they?
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#23 Aug 04 2012 at 4:19 PM Rating: Good
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catwho wrote:
As long as they're still claiming US citizenship and all the benefits that come with it, why shouldn't they?


The IRS says they shouldn't be, up to US$95,100. Foreign Earned Income Exclusion

Edit to clarify Many years ago when I worked for NG, my salary was a bit under the level set. I'd have to dig up my old pay sheets, but I think I still had to pay Medicare/aid but no Federal Taxes. A couple guys I know who are currently making more are only taxed on the difference between their annual salary and the cap.

You still have to file though...It kills me to hear idiots try to tell you that since you're not taxed you don't have to file. Smiley: disappointed

And yes, military/DoD civilians/contractors in a combat zone are not taxed on earnings while in said combat zone. Note that you do not actually have to be in combat, just that the area you are deployed to has been designated as part of the combat zone.

Edited, Aug 4th 2012 10:34pm by klausneck
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#24 Aug 04 2012 at 5:23 PM Rating: Good
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TirithRR wrote:
Uglysasquatch wrote:
Why should any American working abroad have to pay taxes?

Edited, Aug 4th 2012 5:11pm by Uglysasquatch


What about the years where the Olympics are held somewhere in the US?
Then they should tax all of the non-Americans who win.

catwho wrote:
Uglysasquatch wrote:
Why should any American working abroad have to pay taxes?

As long as they're still claiming US citizenship and all the benefits that come with it, why shouldn't they?
For whatever reasons we're talking about soldiers and athletes not paying taxes.
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#25 Aug 04 2012 at 8:37 PM Rating: Good
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For soldiers, it seems sort of silly. Their paycheck is already coming from the Department of Defense budget, which is paid for with taxes. So... we're going to take some of their income back and stick it right back in the DoD budget?

Athletes salaries don't come from taxpayer money to begin with.
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#26 Aug 04 2012 at 10:35 PM Rating: Good
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BrownDuck wrote:
Kastigir wrote:
Deployed soldiers don't pay taxes, why should "deployed" athletes representing their country be any different? The amount these athletes are "earning" during these 17 days of games is far less than a soldier on a 14 month deployment.


You can't be serious...

Both are serving their country. Both have made sacrifices to get there. Outside of combat/non-combat, there aren't too many differences between them. Not to mention that 90% of the athletes won't earn medals, whereas 100% of deployed soldiers do earn a paycheck. My guess is that if this has been proposed by a "liberal" member of Congress, you guys would think it a fantastic idea.

Edited, Aug 4th 2012 11:13am by Kastigir


How many of our returning troops will be offered multi-million dollar endorsement offers?
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#27 Aug 04 2012 at 11:46 PM Rating: Excellent
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Technogeek wrote:
Kastigir wrote:
BrownDuck wrote:
Kastigir wrote:
Deployed soldiers don't pay taxes, why should "deployed" athletes representing their country be any different? The amount these athletes are "earning" during these 17 days of games is far less than a soldier on a 14 month deployment.


You can't be serious...

Both are serving their country. Both have made sacrifices to get there. Outside of combat/non-combat, there aren't too many differences between them. Not to mention that 90% of the athletes won't earn medals, whereas 100% of deployed soldiers do earn a paycheck. My guess is that if this has been proposed by a "liberal" member of Congress, you guys would think it a fantastic idea.

Edited, Aug 4th 2012 11:13am by Kastigir


How many of our returning troops will be offered multi-million dollar endorsement offers?


Counting Pat Tillman, negative one.
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#28 Aug 04 2012 at 11:47 PM Rating: Good
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How many of our returning troops will be offered multi-million dollar endorsement offers?
I hear ieatmice is shooting an "Secret" commercial.

EDIT:

Timelordwho wrote:
Counting Pat Tillman, negative one.
Too soon?


Edited, Aug 4th 2012 11:48pm by Bijou
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#29 Aug 06 2012 at 7:44 AM Rating: Excellent
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Technogeek wrote:
How many of our returning troops will be offered multi-million dollar endorsement offers?
Do we count the ones that go on the talk show circuits, or ones that retire and start being "experts" on all the 24 Hour news networks?
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#30 Aug 06 2012 at 12:55 PM Rating: Good
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Timelordwho wrote:
Technogeek wrote:
Kastigir wrote:
BrownDuck wrote:
Kastigir wrote:
Deployed soldiers don't pay taxes, why should "deployed" athletes representing their country be any different? The amount these athletes are "earning" during these 17 days of games is far less than a soldier on a 14 month deployment.


You can't be serious...

Both are serving their country. Both have made sacrifices to get there. Outside of combat/non-combat, there aren't too many differences between them. Not to mention that 90% of the athletes won't earn medals, whereas 100% of deployed soldiers do earn a paycheck. My guess is that if this has been proposed by a "liberal" member of Congress, you guys would think it a fantastic idea.

Edited, Aug 4th 2012 11:13am by Kastigir


How many of our returning troops will be offered multi-million dollar endorsement offers?


Counting Pat Tillman, negative one.


Err, maybe Brian Stann can get 'em back to even?
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#31 Aug 07 2012 at 8:08 AM Rating: Good
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He's not really getting them for the service though.
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#32 Aug 07 2012 at 5:34 PM Rating: Decent
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lolgaxe wrote:
Technogeek wrote:
How many of our returning troops will be offered multi-million dollar endorsement offers?
Do we count the ones that go on the talk show circuits, or ones that retire and start being "experts" on all the 24 Hour news networks?

Or a movie consultant, like George Clooney in Three Kings?
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#33 Aug 07 2012 at 5:53 PM Rating: Decent
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Dread Lörd Kaolian wrote:
Working expenses are a tax writeoff for olympic atheletes. That includes equipment costs, training costs, room rentals, travel expendatures, paying an expoensive coach, etc. A Smart medal winner, assuming they don't make anywhere near as much money on endorsements as say your typical Michael Phelps probably won't pay a dime of taxes out of their own pocket simply because training for the olympics is generally really, really expensive unless you are getting everything donated, in which case yeah, you're probably going to pay a bit.


Pretty much this. It's a non issue IMO. We tax prizes and awards. It's not like someone singled out Olympic athletes or anything. And, as Kao correctly points out, they can deduct all the costs for their training from the value of any prize they win. For most of them, the costs outweigh the dollar reward, so there's no real tax involved. For those who do get major sponsorships and endorsement deals, the tax on their medals relative to the money they'll make because of them, is a really small amount.
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#34 Aug 08 2012 at 4:28 AM Rating: Excellent
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It's not like someone singled out Olympic athletes or anything.


That's actually exactly what Rubio did.

Did you not know or are you lying on purpose?
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#35 Aug 08 2012 at 4:30 AM Rating: Good
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Omegavegeta wrote:
Gbaji wrote:
It's not like someone singled out Olympic athletes or anything.


That's actually exactly what Rubio did.

Did you not know or are you lying on purpose?


Gbaji means that no one targeted Olympians specifically for the taxes, not for the lack of taxes. Everyone gets their winnings taxed as income.
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#36 Aug 08 2012 at 7:28 AM Rating: Good
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I should only be taxed on the five bucks I spent on lottery tickets, not the two-hundred fifty million I won. Smiley: motz
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#37 Aug 08 2012 at 8:49 AM Rating: Good
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We don't tax lottery winnings in Canada. Of course, we also don't have $250million draws.
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#38 Aug 08 2012 at 9:29 AM Rating: Decent
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Our lotteries aren't taxed because they are all for charity and charitable causes aren't taxed in Canada.
#39 Aug 08 2012 at 11:13 AM Rating: Good
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I had no idea that the crown operated lottery corporations gave all of that money to charities...
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#40 Aug 08 2012 at 1:29 PM Rating: Decent
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Yep

That is the Ontario regulatory body for all gaming and lotteries. (other provinces have their own setups)

Basically it's all a non-profit venture and all proceeds are intended for the betterment of society. The exception being reserve casinos which are a bit of a grey area but basically squeak by because we consider reserves to be a kind of charity for the sake of taxes.

That of course is an obviously biased link. Frankly I'm not invested enough to track down other links. It's effectively illegal to run a cash lottery in Canada without it being for some sort of charitable or at least non-profit cause since all lottery and gaming activities have to run through the respective province's gaming commission and said commissions distribute the revenue to various non-profits. Of course, nobody is going to hassle you for running a 50/50 draw in your office since it's not exactly a capital offense but if you're making any real money at it (say you make your own lottery tickets and sell them out of a store) they'll shut you down pretty quick.

Edited, Aug 8th 2012 3:29pm by Yodabunny
#41 Aug 08 2012 at 1:51 PM Rating: Good
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Your link doesn't say what you think it says. Matter of fact, it flat out states that $2 billion went to the government of which $1.8billion was used for hospitals, other health related programs and other provincial priorities.

Some of it goes to charities, but the largest chunk goes back to the government itself. Or is the government a charity now?
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#42 Aug 09 2012 at 7:20 AM Rating: Good
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Uglysasquatch wrote:
Or is the government a charity now?
"For only a percentage of your earnings, you can keep these talentless and skill-less individuals living a lifestyle they're accustomed to."
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#43 Aug 09 2012 at 7:57 AM Rating: Decent
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Uglysasquatch wrote:
Matter of fact, it flat out states that $2 billion went to the government of which $1.8billion was used for hospitals, other health related programs and other provincial priorities.

Some of it goes to charities, but the largest chunk goes back to the government itself. Or is the government a charity now?


Provincial portion from the link:
$120 million – Gaming proceeds made available to the Ontario Trillium Foundation for local and provincial charities
$10 million – Support for amateur athletes through the QUEST FOR GOLD program
$1.8 billion – Hospitals, health-related programs and other provincial priorities


Hospitals are non-profits in Canada. This effectively makes most of the lottery profits a donation to hospitals. Not sure why that wouldn't be classed as charity. The other two provincial government amounts are obvious charities.

Edit: Ah Provincial priorities, yes that's quite vague I'll have to look into that. I can tell you that lottery money is not intended to make anyone rich it is entirely designated to the betterment of society through forms of charity (or supposed to be at least). I've worked with these people in the past, they're very very **** about how money is designated.


Edited, Aug 9th 2012 10:02am by Yodabunny
#44 Aug 09 2012 at 8:36 AM Rating: Decent
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Kastigir wrote:
Both are serving their country. Both have made sacrifices to get there. Outside of combat/non-combat, there aren't too many differences between them. Not to mention that 90% of the athletes won't earn medals, whereas 100% of deployed soldiers do earn a paycheck. My guess is that if this has been proposed by a "liberal" member of Congress, you guys would think it a fantastic idea.


Except for the ones that die.
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#45 Aug 09 2012 at 8:39 AM Rating: Excellent
I wouldn't refer to Government run health care as charity.
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#46 Aug 09 2012 at 9:05 AM Rating: Good
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I wouldn't refer to Government run health care as charity.
Death camps!
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#47 Aug 09 2012 at 1:55 PM Rating: Default
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Sir Xsarus wrote:
I wouldn't refer to Government run health care as charity.


On the flip side though, if you're going to fund government run health care, doing so via a lottery (aka: tax on the stupid) is a better way than by taxing success.
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#48 Aug 09 2012 at 2:11 PM Rating: Excellent
I'm sure lottery money is great for funding specific projects and improvements and the like, but it's a pretty terrible way to fund something with a budget.
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#49 Aug 09 2012 at 2:47 PM Rating: Excellent
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Sir Xsarus wrote:
I'm sure lottery money is great for funding specific projects and improvements and the like, but it's a pretty terrible way to fund something with a budget.


I agree, a proper Skinner box needs more frequent, smaller rewards. Smiley: nod

Also there's something ironic about exploiting an addiction to fund a hospital or whatnot.
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#50 Aug 09 2012 at 3:18 PM Rating: Good
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Sir Xsarus wrote:
I'm sure lottery money is great for funding specific projects and improvements and the like, but it's a pretty terrible way to fund something with a budget.


I'd actually argue the other way around (shocking, I know!). The only reason I can think of why it might be a "terrible way to fund something" would be because of the variability of the revenue stream. But I think that's more problematic for programs which don't have set budgets than those that do. A non-discretionary item will be funded X dollars this year. So if your lottery revenue generates more than X, you've paid for it and the remainder can go into the pool for funding discretionary stuff. If your lottery generates less than X, then you've directly reduced the amount of other taxes you have to raise to pay for that thing, thus lifting the tax burden for something like health care somewhat.

Doing it the other way around is a recipe for those programs growing unnecessarily during high volume years (cause I've never met a government program that can't find ways to spend money if its available), then being unable (or unwilling) to cut that spending level when lottery revenues are down. So what happens is you think "we can use this lottery money to fund new projects A, B, and C and it wont cost the taxpayers a dime!". But it's folly to think that you can just fund them year to year based on the lottery revenue. It just wont work. And it'll always be the highest amount that ends out being used, resulting in greater overall tax burden over time, not lower.


This is the same kind of thinking that got California in so much economic trouble. When property values were high, the state was raking in the money. Because it had extra money, it spent the extra money. Our budget more or less doubled in size over a ten year period of time. Then, when the housing market crashed, the revenue stream dwindled, and resulted in massive deficits. But now that they've already created all that new spending, they can't figure out how to cut it. Had they never had access to that revenue in the first place, they'd have no problem at all managing. It's one of the reasons I don't see increasing revenue as a viable solution to a deficit problem. When you increase revenue, you *will* see increased spending down the line. Government (hell most people) can't help but increase spending to use up all the revenue.
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King Nobby wrote:
More words please
#51 Aug 10 2012 at 9:23 AM Rating: Decent
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Sir Xsarus wrote:
I'm sure lottery money is great for funding specific projects and improvements and the like, but it's a pretty terrible way to fund something with a budget.


You have to keep in mind though it's not like we're going to stop treating people when the budget runs out. This is health care, not tourism. It's an absolute necessity, the health care system will just go into debt and keep on keeping on so a 1.8 Billion dollar donation from people's discretionary income through a voluntary lottery is a pretty **** good way to add some funds to the system, fund some extra research, hire a few more doctors etc all while giving people a little thrill while they check their numbers. It's a no loss situation.

Not only that but most winners end up donating a good chunk of money to various charities.
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