The prospect of middle-class multimillionaire athletes having a slightly higher tax burden does not, in fact, make my grasp at my wallet in fear. I will, however, cross over to the other side of the street when I see Obama coming, but only because I really did want to go to the defunct Starbucks that used to be there. Three years ago.
The New York Yankees have a 2008 payroll of approximately $208 million. Under the twin Obama tax proposals, the 24 Yankee players would be hit with an aggregate increase in federal income taxes of just over $22 million, with slugger Alex Rodriguez single-handedly getting dunned with $2.6 million in additional federal taxes.
The owner of the Yankees would owe an additional $7.5 million of federal taxes. Ticket prices would need to be increased by about $65 million so that the owner and players could have the same after-tax income as before. The increase in ticket prices would amount to an average $16 per ticket. Given that the least-expensive ticket in Yankee Stadium currently is $14, this would more than double the cost of a seat in the bleachers.
There is perhaps no less sympathetic team in all of professional sports than the Yankees. Perhaps if the NFL's now-defunct Milwaukee Granny Slappers were still in action, but alas, they're now the Raiders. Yes, any alteration in taxes that increases taxes on top earners will, in fact, result in increases that seem to be exorbitant amounts. If A-Rod's tax increase was a fiftieth of what it's alleged to be in this article, it would still be more than the median American income. This is because Alex Rodriguez earns enough money choking in the playoffs to buy you and the place where you work and put in a vending machine that doesn't dent the cans.
Lastly, I hereby start a nonprofit organization designed to prevent the systematic abuse and degredation of averages. Yes, the average cost to recoup lost salary due to the revamping of the tax system, if done through tickets, and applied exactly equally to every ticket in Yankee Stadium, would result in more than doubling of the lowest price ticket. Because apparently, marginally higher taxes result in renowned capitalists turning into gibbering idiots and destroying everything around them like rage victims in 28 Days Later.
It explains the Great Zombie War of 1939 so much better, doesn't it?
The Yankees are not going to double the price of nosebleed seats. If it becomes so important that one of our most profitable sports franchises, in a year where they're opening a new stadium and once again busing in the AL Central's finest, need to make more money each year to stay the proper level of gazillionaire, they'll probably just add the cost to the forty-four new luxury boxes they're building. You know, if Jorge Posada isn't driven mad by the Lacoste shirt he didn't get to buy and doesn't start biting the faces off of the folks on the third base line.