Why are Phil Mickelson’s taxes our business?

AP Photo/Chris Carlson
AP Photo/Chris Carlson

Pro golfer Phil Mickelson made some comments over the weekend that have some folks up in arms.

“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.”

He’s talking about the upswing in taxation for the bracket he’s currently in, and the response was all-too-predictable. He was killed by a lot of people for being a rich jerk who is so out of touch that he can’t even begin to fathom the error of being upset, having to pay a few million dollars extra in taxes.

Well, that rich jerk is absolutely right.

(Also read: Falcons’ heartbreak looks familiar)

Phil cited his current tax rate at 62 percent. Sixty. Two. Percent. Of everything that he makes. Is taken away from him. And redistributed to those who did nothing to earn it.

For the common good.

The man can shoot 62 on a professional golf course. He can do things with a golf ball that maybe 10 men have done in the history of humanity. Who are any of us to even hint that he hasn’t earned his millions? Who is going to say he deserves his riches less than an engineer or a lawyer or a brain surgeon because he chose to golf instead of study away decades for a different kind of skilled career?

And who are you to ever suggest the government would do anything better with a single dime of Phil’s winnings than he already does? The man gives to multiple charities every year, and he has kept his mother and wife alive as they fought breast cancer at the same time.

Deadspin did their own estimation of Mickelson’s tax rate, and even with their usual hatred for anything or anyone that suggests conservatism, in any form, is a bad thing, it came out to 50 percent. It’s probably closer to 62 percent, as Phil said, when you factor in things like Social Security. Taxing anyone 50 or 62 percent of their earnings is completely ridiculous.

He earned that money the hard way, and it’s time people got off Phil’s back about it. You wouldn’t want to deal with this nonsense if you had millions of dollars, either.

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