Pro golfer Phil Mickelson (known as “Lefty” to friends and fans) backed into a buzz saw when he said he might make some “drastic changes” about where he lives. Thanks to the confiscatory taxes he and his family will now be paying, he said he was even considering moving out of the People’s Republic of California.
Apparently, a whole bunch of folks thought it was shockingly insensitive of him to mention how much he pays in taxes, when he pulls in 20 times more money a year than the average worker earns in a lifetime. After a media firestorm erupted, he apologized for his remarks, saying that “finances and taxes are a personal matter” and that in the future he wouldn’t say anything about them.
According to SI.com, Mickelson’s total income last year, counting prize money, endorsements and appearance fees, came to $60.7 million. Even though his tax rate is more than 60 percent, that still leaves him a net of about $24 million. The media mob let it be known that, with that much moola, the acclaimed golfer should sit down, shut up and be glad he could pay the piper.
Strangely enough, there was very little criticism of other all-star athletes who fled “The Golden State” long before Mickelson suggested he might do such a thing. Tiger Woods moved from California to Florida in 1996, the year he turned pro. He said last week that the difference in state tax rates had a lot to do with his decision.
In the early 1990s, tennis greats Serena and Venus Williams also moved from California to Florida, where there is no state income tax, so that the sisters could train. I don’t remember anyone raking them over the coals for doing so.
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