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Wire: Millionaire golfer Phil Mickelson feels the pain of the underclass: The poor, poor CEOs


WonketteLet us begin our long, long week of snark and by crying a big ol’ bucket of crocodile tears for golfing sports-man Phil Mickelson, a person who has made a fortune hitting a little white ball, then walking after it, and then hitting it again and again until it drops into a little hole. Phil made headlines a few months ago when he mused that he might retire from playing a sport that earned him $67 million in 2012 because the gol’dang gubmint wanted its tithe, and a man like Phil can’t possibly be expected to subsist on the mere $25 million or so he cleared after taxes.

That was in January, and Phil took some heat for his comments. You would think that in the ensuing months he might have used some of his wealth to hire a publicist to teach him to shut the hell up if this issue ever once again reared its head. And yet there was Phil on Friday, talking to Maria Bartiromo on CNBC and stepping on his dick once again.

See, Phil just spent two weeks in the UK, where he won $1.43 million playing in the British Open and another $800,000 in the Scottish Open. Even after paying taxes to the British government for earning money there, and then a bit to the state of California because that’s where Phil maintains his residence, he still should walk away with somewhere between – let’s see, move the decimal, carry the one – somewhere between $900,000 and a cool $1 million. Not bad for two weeks of work! And then Maria Bartiromo asked him how it felt to have to pay so much in taxes.

It’s tough to talk about because nobody wants to be insensitive. Nobody wants to be insensitive.

Let us stop you right there, Phil, because anyone who has to repeat that bit about not being insensitive twice is giving a pretty good “tell” (poker! It is a “sport,” just like golf!) that he is about to be really goddamn insensitive.

I have a chance to spend time with CEOs, a lot of them who are quality individuals having a hard time hiring right now because of so much uncertainty going on in the financial world whether it’s taxes, whether it’s the health care, whether it’s all the obligations that are placed on the employer, so I don’t want to be insensitive, I understand and get it…

Do you, Phil? Do you get it? Do you get that companies are sitting on record amounts of cash right now while somewhere around one in every seven adults is either unemployed or underemployed, because of “uncertainty”? Do you get that the average quality CEO you spend time with earned 354 times the pay of the average employee in his or her company last year? Do you get that while your millions of dollars allowed you to presumably purchase the absolute best treatments in the world for your wife and mother when both were diagnosed with breast cancer a few years ago (and we’re sure that was an enormously difficult time in your life and we are glad both women apparently recovered and are now cancer-free!), the employees of these quality CEOs do not have such resources and rely on the health insurance those companies provide to pay for treatment if they or their family members become ill, and that even crappy insurance is often the only reason people continue working at some of these crappy jobs in the first place?

But it’s not making me want to go out and work harder.

Jesus H. Christ laying up on the fourteenth at Torrey Pines, Phil. You’re maybe one of the ten greatest golfers of all time. In 2011 you were the second-highest paid athlete in America, behind only Tiger Woods. And yet here you are complaining that you don’t want to work harder because more millions of dollars means a higher tax bill? Did we miss the part where someone held a gun to your head and forced you to go play in a couple of tournaments in the socialist nightmare that is the UK?

Phil, you should take a year off from the PGA Tour and go work as a middle manager at an insurance company in Tulsa. Take the wife, take the kids, see how much fun you have trying to support them on forty grand a year and no employer-sponsored health insurance. Then you might really understand how the millions of Americans who don’t have your skills at golf or your opportunities to give quality CEOs tug jobs on national TV can struggle to get by.

Or shit, go ahead and retire. Go sit in your giant mansion in La Jolla and spend your days eating bag after bag after bag of the finest imported salted rat dicks. Anything, just so long as we don’t ever again have to listen to you complain.

By Gary Legum

[CNBC]


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