You know how, whenever the Powerball payout gets really big, someone wanders around your office collecting for a lottery pool? And you know how there is always one guy who takes that moment to explain that winning the lottery isn’t so great because taxes? By the time lottery winners take the smaller lump-sum payment and all the taxes are paid, he loudly explains, that $100 million payout is suddenly only worth like $25-$30 million. And if other people also picked the same numbers, then the prize is split. And then you have to split that with everyone else in the pool. Probably, if you win, you’ll only end up with a a million or two and who can even live on that?
Turns out professional golfer Phil Mickelson is basically that guy. The mullety Garfunkel to Tiger Woods’ Simon is really mad the gub’mint is taxing his golf earnings at a slightly higher marginal rate, so he might quit playing a game that paid him $67 million last year.
Mickelson did not rule off just flat-out retiring from golf.
“I’m not sure what exactly, you know, I’m going to do yet,” he said. “I’ll probably talk about it more in depth next week. I’m not going to jump the gun, but there are going to be some. 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, you know, it doesn’t work for me right now. So I’m going to have to make some changes.
“If you add up all the federal and you look at the disability and the unemployment and the Social Security and the state, my tax rate’s 62, 63%. So I’ve got to make some decisions on what I’m going to do.”
Assuming we believe Mickelson is really paying an effective combined tax rate of 63%, and accept reports that he made $67 million last year, he still cleared over $25,000,000 after taxes in 2012. Yr Wonket gets excited about winning a $2 Nassau at the muni course, so $25 million AFTER TAXES kind of doesn’t seem so bad. For playing golf. Even if tax hikes reduce his take to, let’s say, $22 million (for playing golf) it sounds like a good deal.
After all, all those taxes go to pay for the transportation infrastructure that allows Mickelson to travel across the country to play in golf tournaments and enforcement of federal broadcast standards that makes it possible for golf fans to watch guys like Mickelson putt a tiny ball into a slightly larger hole while dressed like billboards on tv. Taxes also pay for the public education system that created the vibrant middle class of Americans with the Sunday afternoon leisure time required to watch professional golf tournaments. Also, the disposable income to spend the rest of their week purchasing the products endorsed by professional golfers. Taxes also pay for the military and public safety operations that allow millionaire golfers like Phil Mickelson to live in peace and tranquility.
But if you socialists insist on making Phil Mickelson pay for all that stuff, well, he’ll show you by not playing golf ever again. At least until his gambling debts (allegedly) spiral out of control again and he needs to hustle up a couple rounds, lest some bookie break his thumbs. (L.A. Times)