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Phil Mickelson Apologizes for His Comments on Taxes

SINGAPORE - NOVEMBER 08:  Phil Mickelson of USA plays a shot during the first round of the Barclays Singapore Open at  the Sentosa Golf Club on November 8, 2012 in Singapore.  (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
Stuart Franklin/Getty Images
Michael FitzpatrickFeatured ColumnistJanuary 22, 2013

People often speak from the heart first, but then think with their wallets second, and Phil Mickelson is no different.

Speaking to reporters after his final round at PGA West in La Quinta, Calif., on Sunday afternoon, Mickelson vividly expressed his dislike for California’s new tax code.

“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,” Mickelson said (via

"If you add up all the federal and you look at the disability and the unemployment and the Social Security and the state, my tax rate's 62, 63 percent, so I've got to make some decisions on what I'm going to do," Mickelson continued.

This was Mickelson speaking with his heart. After all, whether you are earning over $47 million, as Mickelson did last year, or earning $22,000 working at a local convenience store, no one likes to see their tax rates rise.

But, less than 24 hours after Mickelson made his initial comments on the new federal and state tax rates, he began thinking with his wallet.

Mickelson’s most marketable quality is his image of the “everyday man.”  Mickelson has spent more than 20 years creating and refining this image; an image which has earned him tens of millions of dollars in endorsements over the course of his career.

So Mickelson, being the astute man that he is, quickly realized that the true “everyday man” would have a difficult time relating to someone earning $47.8 million in this difficult economy complaining about what amounts to a nine percent increase in his tax rate (combining state, federal and payroll tax increases), only three percent of which came from the state of California.

Mickelson issued a statement to Fox News late last night apologizing to anyone he may have “upset or insulted,” saying that, "Finances and taxes are a personal matter and I should not have made my opinions on them public."

Cue the image of a wallet beating a heart over the head with a 4-iron.

Now all that is left for Mickelson to do is wait and see what kind of damage his heart may have done to his image before his wallet swooped in and took control of the situation.  


For more golf news, insight and analysis, check out The Tour Report.

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