Lesson learned.
Mickelson apologizes...
By Torleif Sorenson on 1/22/13
Yesterday, several news outlets and golf web sites reported on Phil Mickelson's comments about having to significantly change his financial and residence plans in the face of a tax bill totaling roughly 63% of his earnings.

On Monday, Mickelson released a statement apologizing for his comments:
"Right now, I'm like many Americans who are trying to understand the new tax laws. I've been learning a lot over the last few months and talking with people who are trying to help me make intelligent and informed decisions. I certainly don't have a definitive plan at this time, but like everyone else I want to make decisions that are best for my future and my family.

"Finances and taxes are a personal matter and I should not have made my opinions on them public. I apologize to those I have upset or insulted and assure you I intend to not let it happen again.
Many people, including this writer, opined that Mickelson should have just done what he needed to do and kept his mouth shut about it.

But what was not widely reported yesterday was that the massive tax increases are what forced Mickelson to withdraw from the San Diego Padres ownership group last month and to put his house up for sale. So whether politicians like it or not, Mickelson and his family are gone – as are roughly 3.4 million other residents who have left California since 1990.

The first logical destination would be the Scottsdale area; Mickelson attended Arizona State University in nearby Tempe and lived in the area for a number of years. Since Mickelson also co-owns McDowell Mountain Golf Club, he would have easy access to the course.

Mickelson is not the kind of person who goes around bragging about his income, nor his financial support of educational institutions and of people in difficult circumstances, his ExxonMobile science teacher sponsorship fund TV commercials being the exception. In fact, it was Golf Magazine writer and author Alan Shipnuck who managed to find some of Mickelson's out-of-the-spotlight contributions to other people, some of which he listed in an article posted last summer. But the skyrocketing tax rates will interfere with Mickelson's ability to make these charitable contributions (amongst other things), which may have triggered his comments over the weekend.

People can debate the results of politicians raising taxes; the U.S. Constitution has guaranteed the right to opine and assemble over this subject (and others) for over 200 years. But Mickelson has learned another lesson in this little episode:

Sometimes, discretion is the better part of valor.

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Image via Flickr, TourProGolfClubs

[ comments ]
fromthisdesk says:
How can anyone fault Phil for wanting to protect his income and his family's future?
vabbene says:
Since when is it wrong to speak the truth. Oh, I see, we should bury our heads in the sand and pretend that our taxes haven't gone up (regardless what your income). This an example of the media deciding what we are ALLOWED to say. Just think if we didn't have all the media intellects telling us what was right and what was wrong, we just could not function.
Grinny66 says:
I have lived, in the wonderful state, of California, 61 of my 69 years, on this earth! There's not a better place to live, except for the politicians, who are trying real hard to ruin it. They are totally blind, to the fact, they are running small bussinesses, and people out of our beloved state! We have become a joke to everyone else, and other states are gladly welcoming the bussinesses, the politicians are pushing out of our state. I totally understand what Phil is saying, and so do all the other residents of California!
ally1957 says:
I'm not American but your problems are the same the world over. the banks are broke. and your just starting to notice it.
A Celebrity in the UK used a tax avoidance scheme and had to publicly appoligise for using it. yet the question on here a few days ago would you move to florida to avoid state tax, no prizes for guessing which was leading. We all would. All Phil did was make it public, maybe in the hope (slim chance)that some one might change it. Thats my halfpenath worth
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