No need to apologize, Phil; taxes plague us all

phil-mickelson-298x300Professional PGA golfer Phil Michelson released a statement apologizing to his fans and those who felt insulted after the left-handed golfer said that due to extremely high state taxes in California, some “drastic changes” are looming in the near future, including a possible move out of the state.

“Finances and taxes are a personal matter, and I should not have made my opinions on them public,” Mickelson said in a statement. “I apologize to those I have upset or insulted, and assure you I intend not to let it happen again.”

A couple weeks ago, Mickelson had broached the subject of politics during a Pebble Beach Pro-Am conference call.  After his final round last Sunday, Mickelson was asked to elaborate on what he meant by his comments.  “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,” he said. “So I’m going to have to make some changes.”

Is there anyone out there who would honestly feel insulted by another person expressing discontentment with having to pay more than 60% of his or her income to the state?  Our tax system is a disgraceful mess and  incomprehensible by the majority of Americans.  As a taxpayer, I would be more insulted if nobody found fault with our clearly lopsided progressive system of taxation.

The public was both supportive and critical of Mickelson’s comments.  Some mocked the golfer, who pulled in close to $45 million last  year, for complaining about taxes while making so much money.  But Mickelson has no reason to apologize for “insulting” anybody.  While talk of politics is probably not the best course of action for any public sports figure, milking the rich out of their money has no place in a free society and it is perfectly natural for people to protect their earnings.  If Mickelson does end up moving, it once again proves a point that we’ve made plenty throughout – that if you milk the rich, you lose the rich.  And what state doesn’t want their tax revenue, or in the case of business owners, their jobs?

Rich Perry has already invited Mickelson to move to Texas, which has no state income taxes.  Many golfers live in Texas or Florida because neither state collects income tax.  Tiger Woods admitted to moving to Florida for precisely that reason back in the middle 90s.  Mickelson, a native of San Diego, lived in Scottsdale, AZ for several years before moving back to California.  California residents are the highest taxed in the nation.