Phil Mickelson, also known as Lefty for his left-handed swing, says that he regrets remarks he made about his higher tax bill. New taxes from California’s Prop 30 plus the taxes from the recent fiscal cliff deal will push his effective tax rate somewhere near or north of 50%. So what sort of atrocious comments did he make that warranted an apology? Here’s what he said:
“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 it doesn’t work for me right now, so I’m going to have to make some changes.”
The audacity! The absurdity! How dare he! Okay, so this is tame at best and is mostly just an acknowledgement that tax policy does indeed affect behavior, but the nerve on this guy! What’s strange about this is that for as mild a statement that Mickelson made about taxes, he somehow felt compelled to take back his thoughts:
“I apologize to those I have upset or insulted, and assure you I intend not to let it happen again.”
It’s somewhat puzzling as to who the heck might actually feel upset or insulted over Phil making personal decisions due to the new tax environment. Looking at France recently, there actually is precedent for hating on people trying to escape taxes. President Hollande of France has been pushing for a 75% tax rate, and that has led to an exodus of high-profile people leaving the country. Bernard Arnault, France’s richest man, sought to move to Belgium. Gerard Depardieu was given Russian citizenship after taking a stand against Hollande’s policy. Even Nicolas Sarkozy, the former french president, is rumored to be thinking of leaving. Depardieu took umbrage at the insults:
But proud socialist dogma is basically unique to France, right? Well, scouring the comments sections of sites reporting on this story revealed many people mocking Mickelson. There was also no shortage of Phil hatred on Twitter:
We’ve come a long way from when dissent was patriotic. Now you can’t even disagree with policy–you’re just expected to shut up and do what you’re told and pay your taxes.
Also on the subject of patriotism, remember when Joe Biden said that paying more in taxes was patriotic? The natural derivative of that is that questioning tax policy is somehow unpatriotic, and lefties were at their worst in throwing this judgment at Mickelson:
The culture is changing. Success is demonized, wealth is viewed as a shameful result of greed or luck, and this will only get worse so long as cowards such as Mickelson bow under the pressure.