Human Events Blog

Phil Mickelson promises to shut up and pay his taxes

A few days ago, pro golfer Phil Mickelson made the mistake of complaining about confiscatory taxation, during an interview with USA Today:

“I’m not sure what exactly I’m going to do yet. I’ll probably talk about it more in-depth later this week (The Farmers Insurance Open in San Diego),” he said.

It became clear that part of what Mickelson is concerned about is the tax structure in the state and in the country.

“There are going to be some drastic changes for me because I happen to be in that zone that has been targeted both federally and by the state and it doesn’t work for me right now,” Mickelson said.

While Mickelson didn’t state specifics, increases in federal taxes under the deal to avoid the fiscal cliff in Washington D.C. and the passage of Prop. 30 in California in November to raise money for school funding have all increased taxes on the wealthy class.

“If you add up all the federal and you look at the disability and the unemployment and the Social Security and the state, my tax rate’s 62, 63 percent. So I’ve got to make some decisions on what I’m going to do.”

Mickelson said that such considerations had already prompted him to back away from buying a minority ownership in the San Diego Padres, and wasn’t willing to rule out moving out of California, if not the United States.  He also appeared to be thinking about cutting back on his golfing career, since he’d lose most of his marginal income to taxes.  He’s said to be worth over $150 million, so he’s got options for controlling his tax exposure.

But evidently his public discussion of these options offended… someone, because Mickelson issued a statement of “apology” through Fox News the next day:

In a statement to Fox News late Monday, Mickelson apologized to anyone he may have “upset or insulted” with the comments that his high tax bracket was causing him to consider “drastic changes” in his life, including  possibly moving his family out of state and even retiring from the game of golf.

“Finances and taxes are a personal matter and I should not have made my opinions on them public,” Mickelson said.

Mickelson also said he is currently working on learning about the new tax laws that have raised his rate, and is relying on the advice of experts to make decisions for the future.

“I certainly don’t have a definitive plan at this time, but like everyone else I want to make decisions that are best for my future and my family,” he said.

Who was supposedly “upset or insulted” by anything Mickelson said?  Tax-and-spend politicians?  I didn’t realize it was unacceptable to hurt their feelings.  I guess the First Amendment really is as “nuanced” as the Second.  He’s lucky he isn’t getting bundled off to a “sensitivity” seminar, where he would learn not to say anything that ruffles the delicate feathers of socialists.

Remember a few years ago, when the Left’s battle cry was “Dissent is the highest form of patriotism?”  (That was way back when the President was a Republican, so they thought a “unitary executive” was a bad thing.)  Evidently dissent is no longer patriotic.  In fact, it’s downright offensive, even when the speaker pays a thousand times more in taxes than anyone he allegedly offended, and everything he says is reasonable.

On the other hand, “finance and taxes” clearly are not “personal matters” it’s rude to discuss, if the speaker is a millionaire agitating for higher taxes.  Does Phil Mickelson have a secretary, and if so, how does her tax rate compare to his?

 

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