Monday, January 21, 2013

Lefty Shrugged

Fiscal Conservatives have a new sports hero to root for.  On Sunday, golfer Phil Mickelson made cyrptic statements following his final round at the Humana Challenge in Conjunction With the William J Clinton Foundation (how fitting is that?) about having to make "drastic changes in his life" to deal with higher taxes.  Phil lives in California--which has followed the Federal Government's lead in increasing taxes on the rich to deal with crippling budget deficits driven by the expansion of the entitlement system.  By Phil's estimate he will now pay between 62 and 63-percent of his annual income in Federal, State and FICA taxes.

Keep in mind, as independent contractors, pro golfers are responsible for paying 100-percent of their
Social Security and Medicare taxes.  They also buy their own health insurance--and I'm guessing with the potential for surgeries and rehab caused by repetitive motion injuries--their plans fall under the "Cadillac Plan Tax" included in the Affordable Care Act.  And their income levels--especially Phil's--are subject to the ObamaCare surcharge tax on the rich as well.

Phil wouldn't get into specifics about what the "drastic changes" might be.  It could be as simple as not playing as many tournaments in California (where all those making the cut in a tournament pay state taxes on their winnings.  That explains why there are so many tourneys in Texas, Arizona and Florida every year--no state income taxes).  Or Phil may choose to move his family from their home outside San Diego to one of the other tax haven states I mentioned before--which is where the vast majority of pro golfers have chosen to live.  But what many in the media are guessing is that Phil may choose to just hang up the clubs and walk away from full-time Tour membership.

The guess comes from the fact that Phil's statement came during a discussion of Steve Stricker's semi-retirement this year.  That's when Phil launched into his dissertation on taxes and how he is one of the President Obama's "targets".  He also pointed out that he would be able to cut those tax rates by simply living off of his investments--which would be taxed at the lower capital gains rate (or "Mitt Romney rate" as it will likely be known for the next decade or so).

With an income of more than 100-million dollars last year--according to estimates by Golf Digest--Phil Mickelson and his family will still do okay whether he continues to golf for a living or retires.  But the millions that he and his wife donate to charities every year like their foundation--which provides grants to science and math teachers around the country and to disabled veterans programs--or the dozens of other non-profits that benefit from anonymous gifts, likely won't be provided any more.  And that just means more taxes so the Government can pay for those things instead.

Maybe Phil just finished reading Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged and realized that his "fair share" is a little beyond "fair"--and that he would be better off joining the "non-working class".  I just find it ironic on this Inauguration Day that President Obama has not only made it more lucrative for the unemployed to stay out of work--but also for the rich to no longer work as well.  Perhaps he really is the "Messiah" the Left believes him to be.

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