Phil Mickelson voices his displeasure about his first-world problems
By mustang6560 on 1/21/13
In his 2013 debut, Phil Mickelson shot a pair of 66s on the weekend to sneak inside the 54-hole cut line at the Humana Challenge and climb the leaderboard to finish T37.

Following the tournament, Lefty turned a few heads with his post-round press conference. He used the opportunity to express his displeasure with the new federal and states taxes he's paying and said it is time to make "drastic changes" in his life because of them.
"I'll probably talk more in depth next week (at the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines). I'm not going to jump the gun," Mickelson said. "There are going to be some drastic changes. I happen to be in the (tax) zone that is targeted both federally and by the state, and it doesn't work for me right now."

Mickelson, 42, was responding to a question about why, in a conference call last Monday, he referred to "what's gone on the last couple of months, politically," when talking about the semi-retirement of fellow tour pro Steve Stricker.

"I think we're all going to have to find things that work for us," Mickelson said on the call. "I think we're all going to have our own kind of way of handling things, handling time in our career, handling what's gone on the last couple of months politically. I think we're all going to have to find things that work for us."

. . .

"If you add up all of the federal and you look at disability and unemployment and the social security and the state, my tax rate is 62, 63 percent," Mickelson said Sunday. "So I've got to make some decisions about what I'm going to do."
There isn't much Phil can do to avoid the new federal taxes (rate jumped from 35% to 39.6% for the top bracket) unless he's considering moving out of the country. But he could move out of his native California to avoid the new state taxes the citizens approved last fall in Proposition 30, which increased the state income tax to 13.3% on income over a million dollars. He said he'll talk more about said "drastic changes" in his pre-Farmers Insurance Open press conference Wednesday.

To be honest, I'm surprised he decided to share his first world problems with us. It must suck to have to pay that much in taxes, but the vast majority of people can't relate to his personal experience. If I could offer Phil a piece of advice, save your public image and golf's image of an uppity game and quietly take up residency in Florida or Texas without lambasting politicians.

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Image via Flickr, TourProGolfClubs

[ comments ]
GolfSmith7 says:
Come to Texas Phil, you shouldn't be taxed unfairly for the mismanagement of a poorly run state . No state taxes in Texas.
mtgolfidiot says:
Forget Texas, forget Florida. Phil is priming the pump to move to the Caymans.
mjaber says:
I'm sure that a vast majority of us would love to have the tax "problem" that he has.
Torleif Sorenson says:
Mickelson would have been better off just moving, then explaining why afterward. Having said this, the new tax increases are negatively affecting everybody - not just the fabulously wealthy - so Mickelson's frustration is completely understandable.

GolfSmith7 is spot-on; neither a person nor a government should spend money they don't have. This is why Texas is doing well, while California is in an economic meltdown.

“Can a people tax themselves into prosperity? Can a man stand in a bucket and lift himself up by the handle?”
— Sir Winston Churchill
Duke of Hazards says:
oh boy, here we go again.

I always had it in the back of my head that Phil 'stuck it out' here because he's a San Diego native and he has his roots here. But considering that he doesn't get a higher income from working 'in' California, he's been paying a premium for perfect weather and scenery.

If he does decide to move, I can't see it being anywhere other than Arizona.
joe jones says:
He could always do what tennis players do. Monte Carlo is a calling. Especially with Phil's inclination to gamble both on and off the golf course.
bkuehn1952 says:
I don't think discussing one's tax situation is proper - kind of like talking about one's income. Phil is a public figure but in my view he needs to button it up about taxes and his financial situation.
Torleif Sorenson says:
Joe Jones: Good one!
windowsurfer says:
"The new tax increases are negatively affecting everybody". Everybody? I think it was Yaz or maybe Tom Seaver - one of my baseball heros from back then? - who was quoted in SI as being proud to pay his share of taxes, recognizing his STAGGERING good fortune to be paid so much to play ball. As I recall, he wasn't too worried about paying more than the average Joe. More of that, please.
Bernie Duffer says:
I agree with mustang6560. Whether you agree with the need for higher tax rates or not, Phil comes out of this looking foolish and, here is where his rant upsets me, he has given professional golf, golf in general, a black eye. All of that probably does not hold true with the country club crowd but it does hold true with the vast majority of the general public. I wish Phil kept his mouth shut and simply moved. When the press asked him about it, he could have told them the move was a personal, family, private decision. People would figure out why and that would be okay.
birdieXris says:
Was talking about it publicly a good idea? probably not, Phil. However, i do understand where he's coming from in this. The golfers on the high end of the spectrum - Phils, Tigers, Strickers - give a lot to charity. A LOT. But they also bring in a lot as well as invest a lot. Will Phil go into the poor house, Probably not, but paying that much in taxes is going to make his phil-anthropy take a hit. Don't forget, these guys are still independent contractors. They have transport of themselves and their caddies, as well as paying those salaries (outside of the guys who may get some comped travel due to promos). They don't want for money but i think it'd be a surprise what the actual take-home of some of these guys is. Just remember, you have to win to get paid (for the most part *cough* rory* cough) so they have to have a safety net at some point. Still, do i think phil could retire happily right now and all his kids could pick a school?--- totally, so stop crying.
Wes11point5 says:
Paying your "fair" share should not be giving the government 6 of every 10 dollars you make. Still, he should have just left and only bring it up when asked by a reporter after the fact.
golfingbumunderpar64 says:
I guess I'm the black sheep here. I don't see a problem with it. He's right. I would have to give up golf if i paid that percentage. And I get he makes a lot and should pay his fair share. But percentage wise I think my fair share and his should be the same along with the person who makes 20k a year. Great thing about this country is that's my opinion and I'm entitled to it.
joe jones says:
The charities that wealthy people create and the money's they donate are legal ways to reduce their tax burden.It is laudable that they do it. Bitching about taxes is the right of every American but come on Phil. His after tax income is about 40-50 million. I don't think he is going to get a lot of sympathy on this.
Mr_X says:
I'll probably talk more in depth next week . I'm not going to jump the gun. There are going to be some drastic changes to the golf pros I follow in the 2013 season.

I happen to be bugged by pro athletes using the pedestal we pay for to promote their political views. If you don't want reporters asking you about your sex life or religious beliefs, don't offer up your political opinions at a PGA press conference!
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