Football. A valuable service to the public in line with hospitals, schools and universities? A plausible argument could be made in the affirmative as to an overall therapeutic value and safety valve for the passions. It may explain the National Football League’s non-profit status with respect to the I.R.S. effectively sheltering potential taxes and acting as an effective distraction for the American public. Who cares about drone aircraft civilian loss of life when their team can be wild-card bound with just one more win?
A fascination with the meaningless, where minute differences in a generic product are exaggerated out of al proportion, similar in effect to the difference between the DNC and GOP. It tends to stimulate blind and non-sensical loyalty which is borderline dangerous, deeply chauvinistic with a horrifying aspect linked to sensitive areas as identity which is extremely dangerous, and volatile. Something like the Zimbardo and even Milgram work which show that self-deception is an almost necessary component, a buffer, for people in order to function without totally crumbling, keeping individuals out of the dark reaches of the psyche of austere and terrifying realism.
(see link at end)…Plenty of NFL owners are Republicans. And so they may be feeling more than a little betrayed by the fact that a Republican senator is openly complaining about the tax-exempt status of the league office.
…Tom Coburn, who represents Oklahoma, included in his “Wastebook 2012″ reference to the NFL’s non-profit characterization as one of 100 examples in which the government is getting a raw deal.
The league’s tax-exempt status became a talking point during the 2011 lockout, with NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith repeatedly chiding the league regarding a label more commonly associated with charities. The league’s position was, and is, that all money flows through the league office to the teams, and the teams pay the taxes. That’s what NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told CNN.com in response to Coburn’s contentions.
Here’s the reality. The NFL fits within the current legal definition of a non-profit business association. If the IRS disagrees, then the issue should be litigated. And if Congress thinks that the government is getting screwed by the definition of a non-profit business association, Congress should pass a new law.
The ultimate question is whether and to what extent the owners ultimately would pay more money if the league office wasn’t exempt from taxes. Presumably, it would be more expensive for the league; otherwise, the league wouldn’t do it. But without knowing the specific additional dollars and cents that Uncle Sam would realize by closing the eye of the needle through which the fat cats are fitting, it’s hard to gauge how big of a deal this could be for the league.Read More:http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/10/18/republican-senator-targets-nfls-non-profit-status/
(see link at end)…It seems inconceivable that the NFL is not “engag[ing] in a regular business of a kind ordinarily carried on for profit.” How are their efforts to maximize profits any different than those of Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association or the National Hockey League? As far as the NFL’s “net earnings,” the nonprofit was actually in the red in 2009, according to its latest available return. Virtually all of the leagues $192.3 million in revenue in 2009 came from “membership dues & assessment.” While the NFL doesn’t explain how much each clubs pays in dues, it averages to about $6 million per team. NFL owners don’t have to pay taxes on those dues, as they are considered donations to a nonprofit. Meanwhile, the NFL had $234.6 million in expenses in 2009, but the “nonprofit” paid $53.6 million to eight individuals. NFL Com
In 2010, Andrew Delaney, a Vermont Law School student, put together a fascinating paper examining the tax status of the NFL and found that the NFL was working like a “glorified tax shelter.” Read More:http://www.huffingtonpost.com/brian-frederick/nfl-tax-exempt_b_1321635.html
Noam Chomsky:In part, this reaction may be due to my own areas of interest, but I think it’s quite accurate, basically. And I think that this concentration on such topics as sports makes a certain degree of sense. The way the system is set up, there is virtually nothing people can do anyway, without a degree of organization that’s far beyond anything that exists now, to influence the real world. They might as well live in a fantasy world, and that’s in fact what they do. I’m sure they are using their common sense and intellectual skills, but in an area which has no meaning and probably thrives because it has no meaning, as a displacement from the serious problems which one cannot influence and affect because the power happens to lie elsewhere….The gas station attendant who wants to use his mind isn’t going to waste his time on international affairs, because that’s useless; he can’t do anything about it anyhow, and he might learn unpleasant things and even get into trouble. So he might as well do it where it’s fun, and not threatening — professional football or basketball or something like that. But the skills are being used and the understanding is there and the intelligence is there. One of the functions that things like professional sports play, in our society and others, is to offer an area to deflect people’s attention from things that matter, so that the people in power can do what matters without public interference. Read More:http://chomsky.narod.ru/reader2.htm
Your tax dollars at work. As the Coburn report showed, the $19 billion is a lot, but not enormous. The problem is that these tend to be recurring tax losses so the cumulative effect adds up…