Phil Mickelson 63% tax rate

So in the last couple of days there has been a lot of buzz about golfer, Phil Mickelson’s threat to leave California because of our tax rate.

He casually claimed that his tax rates will be somewhere close to 63% percent.

I am going to give him the benefit of the doubt and say that he was probably just blowing off steam, so he just pulled that magic number, 63, out of his ass. We all do that in casual conversation.

I am completely fine with it. I am also completely fine with him bitching about his taxes. It’s his right to do so, and he can move where ever he’d like. He’s got plenty of money to do it.

But what I CANNOT stand is how every freaking news outlet is repeating his 63% quote like it’s the truth.

This really pisses me off because there is no way in hell he is paying 63% tax. No one pays 63% tax, unless you have the most incompetent accountant on earth. In fact, most of the analyst I’ve read put the number at least 10 points lower than that.

But freak, it really irritates me that anyone can just go on a soapbox, say some random bullshit, and it will be parroted across the national media like it’s scientific fact.

  • JBrin

    Well, everyone has an agenda.

    In this case, it’s not just Mickelson, but the news & media outlets as well. Even though reporters try to honor whatever journalistic ethics & standards they were taught in school (to earn the trust and credibility from the public) that falls to the wayside if their boss (and their boss’s boss) wishes to air dirty laundry about taxes being too punitive on the wealthy, then by the will of the Gods — er, Guys-in-Charge — that will become a part of the news echo chamber.

    Why? Because they mutually benefit from this discourse.

    To understand what is happening there’s something fundamental to our nature going on.

    Right or left, there’s no difference in any of our desires. There’s no politics in this world, there’s just a desire to fulfill the human condition (HC). We are all driven by the desire to direct happiness to ourselves. For many people, happiness appears in the form of family, friends, money, power, sex, fame, etc.

    “Okay, but what does this have to do with Mickelson & the Media?”

    Well, M&M already have money. Lots of it. They’re obviously very successful in fulfilling their HC, what else do they want? Why are they resorting to parroting inaccurate statements? Because, fuck you. That’s why.

    This is what happens in a zero-sum society such as ours. Even when resources become infinite and bountiful these things won’t change as long as we’re vying for the same resources. He made $61m in winnings and endorsements last year, yet he’s STILL bitchin’ about it. His gain is everyone else’s loss, save for those in his circle, like Forbes. It’s a mutual win for them.

    When I hear someone like Mickelson making an inaccurate statement, the first thing I do is determine whether he’s someone who is uninformed, ill-informed, or someone who is intentionally being misleading for his own cause. If it’s something that he should know, such as his very own tax rate, then I can attribute it to the latter and move on.

    I think society is kinda funny. I think most of us want the same superfluous things such as the accumulation of wealth, but in spite of all of our own selfish desires, when we see someone making a case for himself like Mickelson, we retort, “Oy! THIS guy wants to keep … MONEY! Let’s lynch him! Arghrg!” And then when we see a wealthy news establishment (like Forbes) serve as his mouth piece, we doubly retort, “Oy! These RICH GUYS are backing him up! Double you tee eff, mate?”

    We all want happiness – it’s human nature – to not, is to be moss or machine – and happiness comes in different forms for different people. For Mickelson, happiness is being under-par, hangin’ out with Tiger, and avoiding California’s progressive tax rate.

    Without a doubt, 63% of his income paid to taxes is a misleading exaggeration to bolster his point – that California is heading in the wrong direction and that he’d like to keep more money for himself. If Mickelson was poor and he was on the benefitting side of the equation, he’d be singing a different tune (

    But in the end, it doesn’t matter what Mickelson or the news is saying. What matters is what drives him and those who support him. That drive is the human condition and it is what drives us.