Guests At Phil Mickelson’s Pity Party

Golfer Phil Mickelson isn’t getting a lot of public sympathy for the pity party he publicly threw for himself about the marginal tax rates he will have to face in California should he choose to refuse the services of tax accountants and investment advisors. One of the few gazillionaires who can personally relate to Phil’s dire situation, Tiger Woods, allowed as how he moved from California to get lower tax rates, too, which would be relevant if anyone were talking about imprisoning Mickelson in the Golden State. Of course wealthy people can and will follow the states’ “race to the bottom” and go to where the taxes they don’t pay are insufficient to support the services they don’t need. So what?

Well, it seems Phil may be a stand-in for a larger group of Americans who have been cowed into silence, or so says one of them, whose name you can probably guess from the writing style:

[Mickelson’s] complaint came as kind of a relief. It was politically incorrect. It was based on actual numbers and facts and not grounded in abstractions, as most of our public pronouncements are. And it was unusual: Most people in his position are clever enough not to sound aggrieved.

Conservatives and Republicans feel a bit under siege these days because their views are not officially in style. But The Cringe is not the way to deal with it. If you take a stand, take a stand and take the blows. Many people would think paying more than half your salary in city, state, county and federal taxes is unjust. Mr. Mickelson is not alone.

Not at all, in the blessed community of the privileged and clueless.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.