Mickelson apologies over tax comments

No sooner had Phil Mickelson made disparaging remarks about his home state of California’s high taxes on wealthy residents than he realised he had crossed the line.

The four time major champion and 2012 Hall of Fame inductee said in a media conference after Sunday’s final round of the Humana Challenge that he might have to consider moving out of California because of recent hikes in federal and state taxes on the wealthy.

Phil Mickelson Phil Mickelson

“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,” he was quoted as saying.

“So I’ve got to make some decisions on what I’m going to do.”

However, while tax experts were quick to outline in detail the inaccuracies in Mickelson’s estimates, Mickelson was also quick to apologise for his ‘insensitive’ remarks as he prepared for the Famer’s Insurance Open at Torrey Pines near his home.

“You know, I’ve made some dumb, dumb mistakes and, obviously, talking about this stuff was one of them,” Mickelson said.

“My apology is for talking about it publicly, because I shouldn’t take advantage of the forum that I have as a professional golfer to try to ignite change over these issues.”

“I think it was insensitive to talk about it publicly to those people who are not able to find a job, that are struggling paycheck to paycheck,” he said.

Mickelson said this was not the first dumb comment he has made in nearly a quarter of a century in the public eye, nor will it likely be the last.

“I’ve said some stupid things in the past that have caused a media uproar before,” he said. “It’s part of my life, and I’ll deal with it.”