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‘Republican’ Sen. Richard Burr Threatens to Tax the Scholarships of Collegiate Athletes

This is why people hate the the Republican Party.

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After a historic announcement was made by the NCAA on Tuesday will allow student athletes to receive compensation for their names, images and likenesses, Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) announced that he will seek to tax college scholarships on Twitter:

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Burr’s post was immensely unpopular and immediately ratio’d on the social media platform, as it serves as a reminder of why the Republican Party was such a failure before President Donald Trump came down the escalator in 2015.

It isn’t just smart alecs on Twitter who are enraged by Burr’s proposal because credentialed officials are scratching their heads as well. Higher education expert Mark Kantrowitz said to CNBC about Burr’s harebrained proposal: “Scholarships are already taxed like income.”

“Senator Burr is essentially saying let’s break scholarship recipients into different classes — a deserving class, and a less deserving class,” Tax Policy Center Director Mark Mazur told CNBC.

Americans for Tax Reform president Grover Norquist is concerned that Burr’s legislative proposal may violate the “Taxpayer Protection Pledge” that Burr signed affirming that he would not support any net tax increase.

“Certainly if you are creating a new tax, taxing something that existed before but was not taxed, it seems to me that there would have to be an offsetting tax cut so there was no net tax increase,” Norquist said.

Burr is not representing a Republican Party that purports to stand for opportunity and low taxation in a productive manner with his proposal. Based on the widespread reaction to his idea, it does not appear it will be going anywhere in the Senate if he really goes forward with the legislation.

The NCAA hopes to avoid legal hang-ups by making the rule change, which will help student athletes who many observers believe have been exploited for many years by the lucrative industry of collegiate sports.

“We must embrace change to provide the best possible experience for college athletes,” said Michael V. Drake, chairman of the NCAA’s top governing board and Ohio State University president.

“Additional flexibility in this area can and must continue to support college sports as a part of higher education. This modernization for the future is a natural extension of the numerous steps NCAA members have taken in recent years to improve support for student-athletes, including full cost of attendance and guaranteed scholarships,” Drake added.

“As a national governing body, the NCAA is uniquely positioned to modify its rules to ensure fairness and a level playing field for student-athletes,” NCAA President Mark Emmert said. “The board’s action today creates a path to enhance opportunities for student-athletes while ensuring they compete against students and not professionals.”

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Congress

Arizona’s McSally Introduces Resolution to End Senate Salaries Until Stimulus Passes

If the people won’t get paid, neither will their legislators.

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Arizona Senator Martha McSally has introduced a Senate resolution that would withhold pay from all U.S. Senators until the chamber passes the eagerly-awaited Coronavirus stimulus, termed as ‘TrumpBux’ by some for the one-time payments of $1,200 to almost all American adults.

McSally announced the resolution, titled the ‘No COVID-19 Relief, No Pay Act‘ on Tuesday.

Americans have been largely cut off from everyday economic life by the governmental response to an act of God. It’s all too obvious that federal compensation is required.

If Americans aren’t getting paid, then neither should the Senators failing to support the workers and families who need help making ends meet,” said the freshman Arizona Senator.

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Today, I introduced legislation to have Senators’ pay withheld until relief is passed. It is despicable that millions of Americans are without a paycheck in this time of crisis, while the Senate wastes precious time playing political games. The Senate must pass this relief package now in order to get cash straight to the people.”

Fortunately for Senators that would prefer a path of continued political grandstanding, the planned stimulus may be sent to the President’s desk on Wednesday after negotiations between Chuck Schumer and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin.

The final estimate of the stimulus cost has been gauged at $2 trillion dollars, a sizable package that will be distributed in a combination of TrumpBux and loans to small and big businesses.

There are some similarities between the TrumpBux proposal and universal basic income. The former isn’t ‘universal-‘ individuals who reported more than $75,000 in income on their 2018 tax return will get less money and those who reported more than $100,000’ won’t get anything.

McSally’s proposal ultimately could prove to be the final metaphorical poker stick to the feet of obstructionist Democrats seeking to delay the stimulus package with feckless political gamesmanship.

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