Monday, January 21, 2013

The American Dream

The American dream — a good life in exchange for hard work — is slowly dying.  Take, for example, poor Phil Mickelson.  He won a couple of million dollars last year playing golf and also received well more than sixty million dollars in endorsements.  For those of you who are unsure of who he is, watch some of the golf tournaments on TV and he is always the one who is complaining about something at the end of the tournament as to why he didn’t win.  Johnny Miller, the acerbic TV announcer, described Mickelson once as being lucky he had a short game because otherwise ‘he’d be selling insurance.’  Now Mickelson is complaining about something else; he claims that his take home pay is now less than thirty million dollars a year and it seems that figure is hardly enough to live on, even though he has been raking in that kind of money for the past ten to fifteen years.  He complains that his taxes are now 62% of his income, a figure that sounds both boastful and exaggerated to make people feel sorry for him, along with his arthritis (how much income does he get for his TV ads for an arthritis drug?).  Phil lives in California and says he may have to move because of the high tax rates.  California collects a state income tax at a maximum marginal tax rate of 10.30%, spread across seven tax brackets. Like the Federal Income Tax, California's income tax allows couples filing jointly to pay a lower overall rate on their combined income with wider tax brackets for joint filers. Inasmuch as the maximum tax rate federally is 39%, the true amount of Mickelson’s taxes is at most 49% of his income, meaning that his after tax take home income is certainly greater than 30 million dollars each year.  Investment income is taxed at the rate of 15% and if Mickelson is paying 62% of his income in taxes, he should get himself another accountant.  If Mickelson has managed to save any of the millions upon millions of dollars he has earned, his net worth probably approaches a half a billion dollars or greater. He likes gambling, and from reliable reports he apparently gambles amounts of money greater each year than 99% of the population makes.  I have advice for you, Phil.  Your incessant whining about taxes is tiresome.  A typical male worker’s income in 2011 ($32,986) was lower than it was in 1968 ($33,880), about 800 times less than what you take home, and he does pay taxes too.  Suck it up.  Be grateful for what you have and stop complaining about it.  You want more money for your family?  Stop gambling.   
Just saying . . .

No comments: