Phil Mickelson Might Retire Because The Taxes On His $47.8 Million Income Are Too High

  • Jordan Rabinowitz

Phil Mickelson is a wealthy, wealthy man. Why he would mess up the living he makes in any way is beyond comprehension, but he’s planning what he calls “drastic changes” to his career. Well, when you make as much as Phil does, in the place he makes it, maybe your tax bracket would have you thinking the same thing.

Mickelson, who is just 42, said the changing political landscape is causing him to seriously contemplate his future in golf. Forbes ranked Mickelson as the seventh-highest paid athlete in the world last year, but thanks to his otherworldly income (and the taxes in his home near San Diego), he forks a ton of it over to the government? Like, a lot of it.

“I’m not going to jump the gun and do it right away, but 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. So I’m going to have to make some changes.”

“If you add up all the federal and you look at the disability and the unemployment and the Social Security and state, my tax rate is 62, 63 percent,” Mickelson said. “So I’ve got to make some decisions on what to do.”

Before we examine the spoils that go to this victor, let’s look at it from his perspective. Sixty-three percent of 47.8 million is 30.114 million, which means he only took home a paltry $17.868 million in 2012. Now, that is a substantial drop, but it’s still marginally higher than the median $50,054 the average American household took home last year — before taxes.

It’s easy to rag on multi-million dollar athletes for complaining about the unfair taxes they have to pay, but here’s what’s also unfair: making absurd amounts of money for being able to swing a club way better than most people on the planet. Yes, it’s just the system in place that allows you to rake in the riches you do, but oh Phil, you make it too easy. Stop threatening to retire from a sport that earns you almost $50 million a year be happy with the $17 million you do take home. Or move to Florida. But then again, this commercial might not make sense anymore:

And stop it, you’re not a pencil-pusher. You have someone keep score and do your taxes for you. Just stop it.

[NY Times, Getty Images]