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Thursday, February 7, 2013

Mickelson Shrugged

Hugely successful pro golfer Phil Mickelson told reporters last month that recent tax hikes on the rich might force him to make "drastic changes," suggesting he'd be leaving either golf or his home in California.
"There are going to be some drastic changes for me because I happen to be in that income zone that has been targeted both federally and by the state and, you know, it doesn't work for me right now," he explained.
Thus, Mickelson shrugged.
And why shouldn’t he?
The federal and state tax burden, together with every other kind of thieving government tax imaginable on people like him, have ballooned to gargantuan proportions within the last few years. It’s no wonder then that successful people in America are starting to feel like slaves.
"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," Mickelson said. "So I've got to make some decisions on what I'm going to do."
Mickelson now pays 13.3 percent in California state income tax and 39.6 percent in federal income tax. That's 52.9 percent combined. Add in Medicare and Medicaid, taxes on investment income, Obama’s new health-care tax, self-employment taxes, and local taxes in other jurisdictions where he plays tournaments, real estate taxes and other local taxes – the burden is enormous.
Think of it! Nearly two thirds of this successful individual’s annual income is being looted by federal state and local governments. He’s not even allowed to keep half his earned income from the grasp of the greedy parasites who contribute nothing to society all the while enforcing their thievery against innocent contributors at the point of a gun.
It’s like an ugly slimy tapeworm living unseen inside his digestive system sucking 63% of the life giving nourishment he takes in.  Why would any intelligent person tolerate that?
Hell, if I were Phil, I’d retire from my profession and move out of the United States.
As a matter of fact that’s exactly what I did five years ago because I’ll be damned if I’m going to continue being a tax slave under the boot of gangs of parasitical thieves who suck the life out of successful people in America.
I did it and I’m not by any means rich. You see, even the middle class of successful individuals in America are now becoming taxed half to death.
And the thieves show absolutely no gratitude for their spoils. To the contrary, the reaction to Mickelson’s statement was as though he insulted the takers. He was mocked as a selfish whiner by the outraged parasites. Many of them think he should be paying more and that he’s lucky to be allowed to keep what they leave him.
Democrats in the California legislature were inclined to say that multimillionaires like Phil Mickelson can afford to pay more. Republicans said they expect more high-earners to follow Phil’s comments and eventually leave the state. ''You know, it's sad,'' said Assembly Minority Leader Connie Conway, R-Tulare. ''And I think it'll be the first of many.''
So Phil has apologized to the ungrateful bastards. After all, he doesn’t want to jeopardize his career by speaking the truth about his predicament.  Now he’s saying he should have kept his opinions to himself on taxes.
"Finances and taxes are a personal matter and I should not have made my opinions on them public," said the chastised slave. "I apologize to those I have upset or insulted and assure you I intend to not let it happen again."
Tiger Woods, another hugely successful pro golfer, admitted that he moved out of California immediately after turning pro because of the excessive tax rates there. "Well, I moved out of here back in '96 for that reason," he said. "And I enjoy Florida, but I also understand what I think [Mickelson] was trying to say.”
A majority of PGA Tour players live in Florida and others in Texas, two states that have no state income tax.
Mickelson was part of the group that bought the San Diego Padres baseball team, saying that it would be a ''significant investment'' for him but that he saw it as a great opportunity to get involved in his hometown.
Asked if the tax changes were why he withdrew from the deal Mickelson said, ''Absolutely.''
Mickelson shrugged.


  1. Mickelson makes most of his income not from golf, but from endorsements. If he moved out of the U.S. , sadly he'd lose those endorsements.

    So while it's QUITE likely Mickelson will leave California, financially he'd be foregoing over $100 million of income if he left the country.

  2. Coincidentally I have a letter to the WS JOURNAL on this topic -- published today. Here ya go:

    Here's what everyone has missed concerning state income taxes. For the really rich (people with over $2 million income), in 2013 the deductibility of state and local taxes (income, property and other taxes) is 80% disallowed. The effect can be dramatic.

    Consider the recent flap concerning the hapless Phil Mickelson who spoke out about the new, higher taxes. Between the 29% California income-tax increase on millionaires (to 13.3%) and the loss of the deductibility on federal returns, his 2013 net California income tax will be 12.3%. In 2011, it was 6.7%. That's an astonishing 83.6% increase.

    When you make that much income and have relatively few deductions (even when deductions were allowed before 2013), you seldom if ever trigger the Alternative Minimum Tax. Mr. Mickelson earns income with relatively few deductions, tax credits, etc., so he's probably been paying the full rate for many years. It's only the returns where special income (some municipal-bond income, for instance) or massive deductions are used that the AMT is triggered—ironically, mostly for incomes below $1 million.

    In 2005, the maximum California tax went up from 9.3% to 10.3% for those with over a million-dollar income. At the time, the state income tax was fully deductible. With a 35% maximum federal tax bracket, that meant that the increase cost the rich a net 0.65%.

    With the changes I've discussed, the 2013 net California income-tax increase is 5.6 percentage points—8.6 times higher than the 2005 increase. Only a fool would think that such a massive increase would not motivate many of the wealthy to depart California.

    Richard Rider
    San Diego Tax Fighters
    San Diego

  3. 13.3 state tax.
    39.6 federal tax.
    15.3 self emp. tax.
    total taxes 68.2%