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Compiled by MARY HANNIGAN
Lefty right-on for his Republican golfing buddies
Poor Phil Mickelson. Although, with an estimated net worth of €135 million, including career earnings around the €50 million mark and tasty sponsorship deals with the likes of Callaway, Barclays, KPMG, Exxon, Rolex and Amgen/Pfizer, you’d have to assume the fella won’t go without his supper.
Still, as we know, he had a stressful old week, finding himself at the centre of a monster fuss after announcing he was so peeved by increased taxes in California – increases voted for by the people of the state, resulting in California going from a projected €19 billion budget deficit to a projected surplus, while, at the same time, increasing spending on education – he was considering upping putters and moving on.
As more than a few noted, that monicker of his, “Lefty” suddenly became a bit like dubbing a fella with arrow-straight hair “Curly”.
Later, he conceded, “I’ve made some dumb, dumb mistakes, and obviously, talking about this stuff was one of them,” after the reaction to his remarks was less than universally sympathetic – his sort-of-apology, though, broke the hearts of many who had hailed his initial remarks.
Rush Limbaugh, for one, was crestfallen, at a loss to understand why Mickelson had apologised for speaking out against the “Soviet” revolution in America.
Tax Resolution Services
Mind you, if Mickelson tuned in to Limbaugh’s website to read the transcript from his radio show that dealt with the issue, he’d have seen it peppered with ads for “Tax Resolution Services, Inc”, featuring Limbaugh’s smiling face under “Get Protection from the IRS! [Internal Revenue Service] – You don’t want to fight this fight alone!”.
Phil’s probably clicking the link as we speak.
But no, not everyone felt Mickelson’s pain, Forbes’ Tony Nitti, for example, insinuating that €135 million was a more than decent return on “swinging a metal stick up to 70 times a day” and “repeatedly striking a tiny white ball until it falls into a hole”.
As opposed to, maybe, those who earn marginally less for, say, teaching children, tending to the sick and saving folk from burning buildings, do-gooder occupations that don’t always attract lucrative sponsorship deals from Rolex, Exxon and the like.
“And then there’s the impact of Obamacare,” wrote Nitti. “When you consider that from now on, Mickelson will be liable for an additional 0.9% tax on his self-employment income and 3.8% tax on his net investment income after each exceeds $250,000, what’s left over from the multi-million dollar endorsement deal requiring him to sport a Rolex watch while playing private courses in exotic locales hardly seems worth it.”
Ed Kilgore, in Washington Monthly (authentic “Lefty” alert), was no kinder.
“Perhaps he’s an egomaniacal jerk who actually thinks gross income is an accurate measurement of personal worth. Or maybe he’s just a loudmouth who’s already chastising himself for bitching about his after-tax income when his fan-base is mostly composed of people who would accept his job for peanuts.”
The lack of empathy was startling.
Happily, Tiger Woods was there for Mickelson in his hour of need, reminding everyone he had hightailed it out of California in 1996 for the same “Guv’mint are coming to take my loot and threatening to spend it on roads, bridges, education and Soviet stuff like that” reasons, the erstwhile foes bonding on perhaps the only issue that could ever bond them: tax.