Republican leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday unveiled the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, a new $1.5 trillion tax plan that would deliver significant tax cuts to corporations. Skepticism remains about whether, and to what degree, the plan would benefit America’s middle class.
So, why are you reading those sentences on a blog that covers the NBA? Well, for one thing, because the proposal reportedly carries over the Obama-era proposal to end the practice of allowing municipalities to fund construction of sports stadiums with tax-free bonds, potentially closing a loophole that has seen taxpayers provide $3.7 billion in subsidies for arena construction and renovation projects like the Milwaukee Bucks’ forthcoming new arena.
There is only one person mentioned in GOP tax plan and it’s Steph Curry. ♂️ pic.twitter.com/YynmtvNgyH
— Franklin Leonard (@franklinleonard) November 2, 2017
Here’s the text of the passage, which comes from the section on small business, and is intended to provide a counter to anticipated forthcoming criticisms of the proposal (emphasis mine):
“Lowering the tax rate for pass-through businesses creates a massive loophole that wealthy Americans will use to avoid paying their fair share of taxes.”
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act includes specific safeguards to prevent tax avoidance and help ensure taxpayers of all income levels play by the rules under this new fairer, simpler tax system. Our legislation will ensure this much-needed tax relief goes to the local job creators it’s designed to help by distinguishing between the individual wage income of NBA All-Star Stephen Curry and the pass-through business income of Steve’s Bike Shop.
If you’re wondering why, of all the real living public figures in the world, it’s the two-time NBA Most Valuable Player who gets singled out as a non-job-creating potential loophole-user in a document attached to the Trump administration’s new top priority … well, I might have a couple of guesses on that one.
And if your eyebrows started arching at the fact that the preferred example of a super-rich guy who shouldn’t get tax relief is Curry, who signed a $201 million maximum-salaried contract this summer, rather than, say, Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto (who’s working on a $225 million deal) or Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw ($215 million) — or one of the white men who comprise 72 percent of high-ranking executives at Fortune 500 companies and the overwhelming majority of owners of American pro sports franchises — well, you’re not alone there.
Curry, for his part, elected to have some fun with the oddity of being name-checked in GOP policy paperwork:
I wonder if Steve’s Bike shop is hiring…
— Stephen Curry (@StephenCurry30) November 2, 2017
Stephen Curry having fun with the new GOP proposal, which oddly mentioned him and Steve’s Bike Shop. pic.twitter.com/Lft18VNBd4
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) November 2, 2017
And so did Warriors coach Steve Kerr, who said hadn’t heard about the story until Warriors vice president of communications Raymond Ridder had brought it to him just before his media session, but did say it felt “kind of weird that they just randomly threw [Curry] in there.”
“I’m ill-prepared for this moment of humor that’s existing between all of us,” Kerr said during his scrum with reporters prior to Thursday night’s game against the San Antonio Spurs. “I didn’t know anything about this until two seconds ago, so I’m sorry for not being witty enough on this one. I’m gonna have to check with my employees at the bike shop to see what’s going on.”
After scoring 21 points with eight rebounds, four assists and three steals in the Warriors’ 112-92 win over San Antonio at AT&T Center, Curry briefly discussed his brush with fiscal policy fame.
“It was weird, that’s about it,” he said, according to Raul Dominguez of The Associated Press. “There’s a lot of people wondering why I was called out, whatever the case may be, but mama, I made it.”
Seems like kind of a weird definition of “making it,” but then again, I don’t see any other celebrities getting name-checked in tax policy. Better get your weight up, all you so-called stars, and start asking yourself: If you’re not being used as an odd talking point in proposed legislation, are you even really out here?
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