Altvater: Phil Mickelson hints at ‘drastic changes’ over tax rateWritten by Fred Altvater | | BackNine@toledofreepress.com
Even though Brian Gay shot a final round 63 and won the Humana Challenge in a playoff over David Lingmerth, who fired 62, and Charles Howell III, who posted a 64, Phil Mickelson stole the show and became the major headline with his “drastic changes” comment.
According to Golf Channel’s Ryan Lavner (http://www.golfchannel.com/news/golftalkcentral/mickelson-will-make-drastic-changes-due-to-new-california-law/), while talking with the media after his round on Jan. 20, Mickelson said, “There are going to be some drastic changes for me because I happen to be in that (tax) 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 make some changes.”
Mickelson went on to add, “My tax rate is 62-63 percent, so I’ve got to make some decisions on what I’m going to do.”
It is estimated that Mickelson earned $47 million in 2012. 62 percent still leaves $18 million to pay for groceries and put into his IRA. Most of America just can’t relate to this type of problem.
Why would he open himself up to this abuse? He will take a lot of heat for these comments.
Mickelson raises some interesting questions that Congress and state governments are trying to deal with right now. Is this something that a professional golfer should be bringing to media attention at a professional golf tournament?
Professional golfers are commonly viewed as conservative, white collar and Republican. Does one of its most prominent players expounding on the current tax rates in the higher tax brackets exude the image that the PGA Tour wants to project?
It is doubtful that his managers and even PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem are too excited about Mickelson making a political statement at a golf tournament.
Mickelson has been one of the most popular golfers of all time. Will this hurt his popularity throughout the golf kingdom? Possibly in the short run, but higher-income individuals may actually applaud his remarks.
Is Mickelson simply making us aware of an increasingly serious problem? Will his comments open up the discussion and bring more awareness to the masses in America? Probably not, but maybe it is a good thing that someone is trying to get people to think.
Is this a precursor of his impending run for the presidency in 2016? Maybe he has figured out what he wants to do after his competitive golf days are over. Is a future in politics calling?
Phil Mickelson is a very astute and media-savvy guy. He knows exactly what his comments in the press will create.
Professional athletes like Phil Mickelson have millions of followers. Why do you think they are able to garner millions of dollars in endorsement fees? In this instance a professional athlete is using his popularity to make a point about taxation.
Whether you agree with him or not, maybe he can get a real discussion started concerning taxation in America.