Phil Mickelson: Instant hate for California’s Gerard Depardieu


Jan. 23, 2013

By Chris Reed

We don’t have a clear verdict yet on the predictions that the sharp hike in income taxes paid by the rich in California, courtesy of Proposition 30, will drive them from the Golden State. Certainly it seems likely, based on how large groups of people have reacted to tax changes in, oh, a big modern nation like the United Kingdom. But if it does happen in California, expect those fleeing to face hatred and contempt.

I based that on the reaction to legendary San Diego golfer Phil Mickelson’s since semi-recanted Sunday comments that the increase in state and federal taxes will lead to “drastic” changes in his career and life. Most people assumed that Mickelson was specifically peeved about the push in the state income tax from 10.3 percent to 13.3 percent on those in his tax bracket thanks to Prop. 30’s passage, and took it as a sign he was ready to follow many golfers who have moved to Florida, which has no state income tax.

Mickelson may seem an unlikely candidate to be California’s version of Gerard Depardieu. But he is far more colorful than the usual bland PGA pro. So when he offered a gripe about taxes and Social Security consuming more than half his income, it wasn’t all that surprising.

A generation ago, the vitriol his comments triggered would have been surprising, and somewhat  isolated. Griping about taxes used to be something of an American tradition. No more. From President Obama on down, the Democrats who call for civility have sold a narrative for years that those who disagree with them are racists/contemptible fools/morons/know-nothings, etc., on every issue — including taxes.

Media hypocrisy

On ESPN’s popular and often-wonderful “Pardon the Interruption,” co-host Michael Wilbon called Mickelson’s tax gripes “garbage.” After the former Washington Post reporter got a huge pay hike to work at ESPN, Wilbon moved from high-tax Maryland to low-tax Arizona.

On the popular Deadspin sports website, whose ownership is incorporated in the Cayman Islands for tax purposes, Mickelson was hypocritically fricaseed for thinking his double-tax-whammy was unfair.

But what, to me at least, was most troubling of all was in the hundreds of comments on every online  iteration of this story that I saw. Mickelson was reviled as an evil pig. Here’s a sample … and even after the barrage of recent years, I still find this kind of confiscatory thinking  to be stunning:

“… Mickelson still gets to keep somewhere in the neighborhood of $24 million. That’s more than anyone needs. …. The point is that it’s up to the government to decide how much [income] is too much.”

Two of the founding fathers saw this mindset coming long ago, as Andrew Napolitano noted in a column last week:

“Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton agreed on little publicly, but they did agree that when the public treasury becomes a public trough and the voters recognize that, they will send to the government only those who promise them a bigger piece of the government pie.”

You may have earned that money, but it’s not your money. It’s up to the government to decide how much you keep, so shut up and know your place — you scumbag 1 percenter.

These are scary times.


Write a comment
  1. Cacheguy
    Cacheguy 23 January, 2013, 07:53

    Such hypocrisy from ESPN host Michael Wilbon. It is OK for him to lower his taxes but not for someone else making more money than he is. Mr. Mickelson should have stuck to his original statement and not “walked it back” due to what I believe is pressure from his sponsors.

    I wonder how President Obama is going to “equalize” outcomes when one person has a college masters degree and can offer a substantial advantage to an employer while another has dropped out of high school and has no skills at all. Oh yea, I forgot, the high school drop out can work for the government. That solves it all.

    Reply this comment
  2. loufca
    loufca 23 January, 2013, 08:38

    Hypocrisy is the left.

    Reply this comment
  3. CalWatchdog
    CalWatchdog Author 23 January, 2013, 09:02

    I’m surprised Mickelson still is here. Tiger left long ago.

    — John Seiler

    Reply this comment
  4. us citizen
    us citizen 23 January, 2013, 09:44

    Yes, Tiger was on the news saying this.

    There are many more that are going to leave also. I cant blame them. This govt and the feds are penalizing those who are successful.

    Personally, I dont work my ass off, so I can give it to some low life or for that matter, so some arrogant politician can live the high life off of my earnings.

    Reply this comment
  5. jimmydeeoc
    jimmydeeoc 23 January, 2013, 10:46

    “I dont work my ass off, so I can give it to some low life or for that matter”

    And therein lies the problem. I have no idea how much of that ass you do or don’t work off, and moreover, it’s none of my business…….

    But imagine what this state and nation could be if the government offered more carrots and fewer sticks.

    Then again, most of us here already know that. We are dealing with a government that increasingly makes EVERYTHING their business, and does so with an arsenal comprised ONLY of sticks.

    Reply this comment
  6. ExPFCWintergreen
    ExPFCWintergreen 23 January, 2013, 12:01

    I hope he leaves promptly for a foreign country, or Florida, Texas or Arizona, and thereafter pillories California politicians and advocacy groups about their policies.

    Reply this comment
  7. DavidfromLosGatos
    DavidfromLosGatos 23 January, 2013, 15:06

    So, prior to prop 30, Phil is kicking in a cool $5M/year to CA government employees, politicians, “board” members, etc. But, they wanted more. Trot out the school kids and ride the hatred and jealously of high earners stirred up by Obama, “Occupy”, etc., and prop 30 passes, no problem.

    And, for a couple of years, they’ll get more from Phil ($6.5M – a nice raise for them!). But, then they get nothing if he moves away?!

    Pigs get fat; hogs get slaughtered.

    Reply this comment
  8. Hondo
    Hondo 23 January, 2013, 19:24

    Mickelson has a very painful form of arthritis which is a huge problem for golf is very hard on the joints. Us weekend golfers get a glimpse of the joint pain many pros suffer. I practice an hour and I’m so sore. Phil has to practice 4 or more hours a day. A huge block for many pro golfers getting better is that they can’t over practice. They face very painfull shoulder and back injuries. Fred Couples would have probably dozens more wins but for his bad back.
    Pro golfers aren’t garunteed huge salaries like baseball and basketball players. If they don’t win, or place well, they don’t get paid. Only a few, like Tiger and Phil, get appearance fees. But they’ve earned it.
    Once again, its the very richest, the ones that pay the most taxes, that can afford to move to a low tax state. People like Phil and Tiger and Labron James. They take their ball and their money with them and Kali loses again.

    Reply this comment
  9. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 23 January, 2013, 22:37

    I’m surprised Mickelson still is here. Tiger left long ago.
    Tiger left in 1996, 17 years ago.

    Reply this comment

Write a Comment

Leave a Reply

Related Articles

Of course Prop. 32 would slam unions

Aug. 9, 2012 By John Seiler Politics has balance. When one party gets too strong, other parties move to take

Pension follies: New Jersey adopts insane San Diego approach

California leads the way when it comes to government pension dysfunction. The first big city to be stricken by pension

As I predicted, state revenue up — for now

Jan. 23, 2013 By John Seiler A week ago I wrote on, “Two critical budget dates approaching.” I predicted