January 22, 2013

Want a lower tax rate? You're a "whiner"

So says Forbes' Len Burman, a professor at Syracuse University who focuses on tax and budget policy:

But suppose Mickelson’s upper estimate on his tax bill–63%–were right. Is he saying that a $10 million endorsement deal wouldn’t be worth doing if he only got to keep $3.7 million after tax? Really? Mr. Mickelson, do you understand that the typical American would have to work about 75 years to earn that much money before tax?

Sir, you get paid astonishing amounts of money for playing golf–directly through the purses you win at tournaments and indirectly through all the endorsement deals that come with golf success. According to Forbes, you are the seventh highest paid athlete in the world, with $4.8 million in salary and winnings and $43 million in endorsements?

Do you have any idea how lucky you are?

Please stop whining and give thanks for being able to earn a fabulous living playing a game and selling golf clubs (even after tax). 99.999% of people would never have that option, no matter how hard they worked on their swing.

Ah, we hear often about how nice it must be to be a professor ... securely entombed in the soft womb of the academic ivory tower, sealed off from the real world. Recall the scene in Cocktail when Tom Cruise belittles his dick-of-a-business teacher as "hiding in here" because he "can't hack it in the real world." Or even Rodney Dangerfield's successful Thornton Melon in Back To School who laughs at Business Professor Barbay as living in "Fantasyland" and "telling it like it ain't":

At any rate, as many (most) of the commenters to the article rightly point out, Burman is obviously of the "You Didn't Build That" school ... that Mickelson should be grateful that he worked his butt off to become one of the best players on the planet (and consequently also feel sorry for those who didn't work as hard and/or have the same talent), and hence should "give something back" by accepting the ridiculous tax rates that states like California possess.

It's all so much utter bullsh**, people. Mickelson, like any rational person, merely desires to keep more of what he's rightly earned. That the government takes over HALF of his salary is an abomination in itself. That it WASTES so damn much of it is even worse.

Mr. Burman -- you're a complete tool.

The California tax rate on golf trophies is 105%.

Posted by Hube at January 22, 2013 05:23 PM | TrackBack

Comments  (We reserve the right to edit and/or delete any comments. If your comment is blocked or won't post, e-mail us and we'll post it for you.)

As I've said in the past, I don't blame anyone for wanting to keep their hard-earned money, because the government wastes it on so much BS it's not even funny. If someone wants to park their hard-earned money in a overseas tax haven, they're allowed to do that.

Posted by: Carl at January 22, 2013 05:45 PM

Or go to a state with lower taxes, too.

Posted by: Carl at January 22, 2013 05:47 PM

It amazes me that progressives trot out the "anyone would trade places with (Mickelson) and give the money away gladly" canard.

In a vacuum, perhaps. If you walked up to me today and said "you'll make $50 million this year, but have to give up half of it," then sure. But Mickelson (and other successful people) did not achieve their success in a vacuum. They were blessed with skill, and honed it through years of practice and competition, and not without risk.

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