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Mickelson To Discuss ‘Drastic Changes’ Over Taxes

Golf star Phil Mickelson may shed more light today on the "drastic changes'' he plans to make because of increased state and federal taxes.

Mickelson is scheduled to hold a news conference at the Torrey Pines Golf Club, one day before the start of the Farmers Insurance Open.

A San Diego native who lives in Rancho Santa Fe, Mickelson said Sunday after completing play in the Humana Challenge in La Quinta that "there are going to be some drastic changes for me because I happen to be in that zone that has been targeted both federally and by the state and, you know, it doesn't work for me right now.''

Mickelson declined to provide specifics, saying "I'll probably be a little more open to it because San Diego is ....where I live, where the Padre thing was a possibility and it's where my family is.''

"It just seems like a better fit than right here off 18,'' Mickelson said.

Including federal taxes, Mickelson said "62, 63 percent'' of his income was going to the government. He cited financial issues as part of the reason he did not join the San Diego Padres' new ownership group.

Under Proposition 30, approved by voters in November, the marginal tax rate for the top bracket -- individuals earning more than $500,000 or more or couples filing jointly earning more than $1 million, went from 9.3 percent to 12.3 percent.

Taxable income over $1 million is subject to an additional 1 percent tax for mental health programs.

Mickelson and other high earners are also affected by the increase in the highest marginal federal tax rate from 35 percent to 39.6 percent with the end of the Bush-era tax cuts.

Mickelson issued a statement Monday, saying "finances and taxes are a personal matter and I should not have made my opinions on them public. I apologize to those I have upset or insulted and assure you I intend not to let it happen again.''

The 42-year-old Mickelson is second on the PGA Tour's earnings list at more than $67 million, trailing only Tiger Woods, who has earned more than $100 million.

Woods, in his pre-tournament news conference Tuesday, said high taxes were the reason he moved from California, where he was born, raised and attended college, to Florida, which has no state income tax, in 1996, the year he turned pro.

"I enjoy Florida, but also I understand what he was, I think, trying to say,'' Woods said of Mickelson. "I think he'll probably explain it better and in a little more detail.''

Comments

Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | January 23, 2013 at 8:30 a.m. ― 1 year, 7 months ago

He didn't want to lose his endorsements. Hence the apology.

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Avatar for user 'susanmartha'

susanmartha | January 23, 2013 at 8:33 a.m. ― 1 year, 7 months ago

no explanation is necessary. he made himself perfectly clear. hope he finds a tax haven that suits his purposes, which are obvious.

just another self-important one-percenter blowing smoke. move on, nothing to see here.

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Avatar for user 'JeanMarc'

JeanMarc | January 23, 2013 at 9:21 a.m. ― 1 year, 7 months ago

susanmartha please explain to me what exactly is fair about him paying over 60% of his income in taxes? That is probably double what you pay. Why is a man self-important for not wanting to give over 60% of his income to the government while 47% of the people in this country pay 0% of their income to taxes?

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Avatar for user 'JeanMarc'

JeanMarc | January 23, 2013 at 9:22 a.m. ― 1 year, 7 months ago

I think he should discuss this publicly, every business owner who leaves the state should announce it publicly so people see the real consequences of raising taxes. It does not, overall, increase revenue. It merely drives wealth and business out of the state, or eventually, the country.

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Avatar for user 'llk'

llk | January 23, 2013 at 10:22 a.m. ― 1 year, 7 months ago

JeanMarc, you want to know what's fair about Phil having to pay a high tax rate? I guess it just begs the question, what's fair about a guy who's good at knocking balls into holes on the ground making a billion times more than a plumber, teacher, and firefighter combined?

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Avatar for user 'JeanMarc'

JeanMarc | January 23, 2013 at 10:56 a.m. ― 1 year, 7 months ago

Ilk why should he pay a higher percentage of his income tough? That doesn't make sense. Because poor people are jealous?

Even if he pays 30% he is still paying hundreds of times more than most people. That is why percentages are fair. We all pay the same percent. If we make more money, we pay more money. No one should have to pay a higher percent of their income just because they make more.

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Avatar for user 'benz72'

benz72 | January 23, 2013 at 10:59 a.m. ― 1 year, 7 months ago

Ilk, it is only fair in the sense that people pay for what they value. If you want to ask why people shortsightedly value ball knockers more than firefighters or teachers we have an entirely different conversation on our hands. Also, check you math.

We keep hearing about ‘fair share’ but nobody seems to want to put a number on that. Are we there? Now that we are being more heavily taxed can we get back to restructuring our plans to keep as much of what we earn as possible without someone coming along and claiming a new threshold of "fair"? I think I am already paying my fair share and I’d be willing to bet Mr. Mickelson does as well.

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Avatar for user 'llk'

llk | January 23, 2013 at 11:21 a.m. ― 1 year, 7 months ago

Poor people are jealous of Phil Mickelson? I think even rich people are jealous of Phil Mickelson.

What's fair to some is unfair to others, obviously, but I think "62, 63%" or whatever he's currently paying is a perfectly fair tax rate for a wealthy sports star who lives in a mansion in Rancho Santa Fe when he's not travelling the world knocking balls into holes. I doubt he even breaks a sweat half the time. At least wealthy basketball stars are earning their millions in that regard.

If you're having trouble understanding why we have a progressive income tax structure in this country (and many others), there's lots of information available on the internet and at your local library from which you can educate yourself.

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Avatar for user 'llk'

llk | January 23, 2013 at 11:23 a.m. ― 1 year, 7 months ago

P.S. I checked my math. He actually makes a trillion times more. My bad.

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Avatar for user 'JeanMarc'

JeanMarc | January 23, 2013 at 11:39 a.m. ― 1 year, 7 months ago

Ahh. Jealousy, as I suspected, is the cause of this perceived unfairness. I have yet to hear a good reason why 60% is fair just because he makes a lot.

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Avatar for user 'Questions_everywhere'

Questions_everywhere | January 23, 2013 at 11:52 a.m. ― 1 year, 7 months ago

Well, his first mistake was trying to survive by working. Hire a good investment firm and golf for fun.

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Avatar for user 'JeanMarc'

JeanMarc | January 23, 2013 at 12:40 p.m. ― 1 year, 7 months ago

The fact is the policy of heavily taxing wealth has an overall negative effect on an economy. As the portion of money I get to keep shrinks, so does my motivation to grow a business bigger and earn more. I would prefer to move to Hong Kong or Singapore where there are no capital gains tax, and very low tax rates for individuals and businesses.

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Avatar for user 'llk'

llk | January 23, 2013 at 12:49 p.m. ― 1 year, 7 months ago

That's not a fact at all. If anything, it's a gross oversimplification. For one thing, you need to define "heavy," and for another, you need not one but several reliable metrics with which to analyze the health of the economy over the short-term and long-term.

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | January 23, 2013 at 3:16 p.m. ― 1 year, 7 months ago

Define heavy?

Answer: 62%

Even taxing the struggling middle class 25-28% is heavy.

Going back to the original federal income tax rates of 1913 would be more appropriate and sufficient to run the federal government:

1.0% $0 - $20,000
2.0% $20,000 - $50,000
3.0% $50,000 - $75,000
4.0% $75,000 - $100,000
5.0% $100,000 - $250,000
6.0% $250,000 - $500,000
7.0% $500,000 and above

(adjusted to 2013 dollars the 1% bracket is $0 to $463,826)

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Avatar for user 'JeanMarc'

JeanMarc | January 23, 2013 at 3:49 p.m. ― 1 year, 7 months ago

Thank you CaliforniaDefender. Couldn't have said it better myself.

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Avatar for user 'Questions_everywhere'

Questions_everywhere | January 23, 2013 at 3:55 p.m. ― 1 year, 7 months ago

I guess you guys are comfortable with disbanding our military. I'm interested in the country without federal gov you that are envisioning.

Would you mind breaking down the middle class percentages that you have used? It just seems a bit low.

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Avatar for user 'RegularChristian'

RegularChristian | January 23, 2013 at 4:21 p.m. ― 1 year, 7 months ago

Mr. Michelson must pay more taxes to help those struggling in these times of need. It's as simple as that. To say he's entitled to a life of luxury while his neighbors are suffering is bad economics, bad religion, bad all the way around.

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Avatar for user 'jskdn'

jskdn | January 23, 2013 at 5:26 p.m. ― 1 year, 7 months ago

A professional golfer is a pretty ideal occupation for choosing a favorable tax domicile. For many high earners, that isn't as true. Avoiding paying any state income taxes as opposed to the 13.3% in California would be worth about $6 million on Mickelson's reported gross from last year. More for Tiger, whose already done it.

I believe that the Medicare tax just went up .9% for some and is now 3.8% and I think that would to most of Mickelson's income. But that with 39.6% federal and 13.3% state still only adds up to a highest combined marginal rate of 56.7%. So getting above that must include non-income taxes.

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Avatar for user 'JeanMarc'

JeanMarc | January 23, 2013 at 6:09 p.m. ― 1 year, 7 months ago

RegularChristian even if Joe the Plumber and Phil paid the same tax rate, Phil would be paying many, many multiples what Joe the Plumber would be paying. That is how percentages work. Neat, isn't it?

It's not a matter of entitlement. His sponsors, private companies, are willing to pay him an amount they deem fit. They can pay him as much or as little as they want, just like Joe the Plumbers boss can pay him as much or as little as he wants. if Joe, or Phil, don't like the terms they can find employment elsewhere.

This is called capitalism.

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | January 24, 2013 at 8:34 a.m. ― 1 year, 7 months ago

"The poor man has always a precise view of his problem and its remedy: he hasn't enough and he needs more. The rich man can ASSume or imagine a much greater variety of ills and he will be correspondingly less certain of their remedy. Also, until he learns to live with his wealth, he will have a well-observed tendency to put it to the wrong purposes or otherwise to make himself foolish." -- John Kenneth Galbraith, THE AFFLUENT SOCIETY (1958) p 13

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | January 24, 2013 at 12:03 p.m. ― 1 year, 7 months ago

Questions_everywhere,

I am absolutely in favor of reducing the US military and I'm not sure why you think the middle class tax rates are low.

Let's say you're an average San Diego family. Both parents work, dad makes $45,000 and mom makes $30,000. A modest middle class family in a tiny $300,000 home mortgaged to their eyeballs. Here's what they pay:

28% Federal Income Tax = $21,000
7.5% Social Security and Medicare = $5,625
8% California Income Tax = $6,000
1.125% County Property Tax = $3,375
7.5% Sales Tax on $20,000 in purchases = $1500

Total tax payment = $37,500 which is 50% of their income.

BTW, this doesn't include the multitude of use fees, like vehicle licensing, recreation, parking, etc.

Still think middle class taxes are low?

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | January 24, 2013 at 12:31 p.m. ― 1 year, 7 months ago

RegularChristian,

You're morals are right, but totally misplaced.

Sponsors like Rolex, Barclays and Callaway give Mickelson money so rich people watching him buy their luxury products.

Mickelson runs a charitable foundation and we should encourage him to voluntarily donate more to Californian charities rather than force him to pay higher taxes.

He's rich, he can easily move to a no-tax state like Florida. Just ask Tiger Woods who moved there the day he turned pro.

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Avatar for user 'RegularChristian'

RegularChristian | January 24, 2013 at 12:55 p.m. ― 1 year, 7 months ago

I hope the door doesn't hit him on the way out.

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Avatar for user 'benz72'

benz72 | January 24, 2013 at 1:53 p.m. ― 1 year, 7 months ago

It is interesting that the author MA quotes implies that he knows better than the spender what wrong and foolish purposes are. As a Harvard economist I would have expected him to be familiar with a free choice market which recognizez that values are personal and what is a waste to one is given high importance by another.
Even if what he expressed were true, that does not imply that it is somehow the duty of the state to relieve him of that wealth to make sure he doesn't waste it.
This guy has been reading too much Marx and not enough Hayek
In other words... poppycock.

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Avatar for user 'RegularChristian'

RegularChristian | January 25, 2013 at 5:04 a.m. ― 1 year, 7 months ago

It's immoral for some people to earn 100 times more than the next person, no matter what the person does. If the market, which is nothing more than all of us in the same boat, slides too far to one side then it's the government, which is nothing more than all of us in the same boat, has to correct that. Taxation is the best way to do that.

WE have many unmet important needs and if we have to tax those who have far too much money for the good of everyone else, c'est la vie.

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Avatar for user 'benz72'

benz72 | January 25, 2013 at 7:38 a.m. ― 1 year, 7 months ago

It is immoral to consume more than one produces and demand that others carry burdens that do not rightly belong to them. There are people who are easily more than 100 times as productive as some other people and they deserve to be rewarded accordingly, as do those who fail to produce as much.

Taxation enables funding of group goods (roads, bridges, police, etc.) for all citizens and should not be used as a means of wealth redistribution. If one feels inclined to provide additional resources to those who have not earned them then that is an individual choice, not a legitimate government function.

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Avatar for user 'RegularChristian'

RegularChristian | January 25, 2013 at 7:53 a.m. ― 1 year, 7 months ago

We all work for the good of everybody, not just for ourselves. Some people are just more greedy, just like some people are smarter, funnier, better looking, etc, etc..

When greedy people go too far it's bad for everybody, them included. They start thinking their entitled.

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Avatar for user 'Questions_everywhere'

Questions_everywhere | January 25, 2013 at 9:54 a.m. ― 1 year, 7 months ago

I think you misunderstood me, CaliforniaDefender. You said, "Answer: 62%
Even taxing the struggling middle class 25-28% is heavy."

I didn't think it was a fair comparison given that the taxes included in the 62% rate are not the same taxes for the 25-28% amount.

If middle class is $75,000 household income (I'm assuming 2 person, but since you said mom and dad, I'm not really sure), where does working class begin?

benz72 and RegularChristian, both of you make a moral argument, but I'm not really sure why. Money produces money. Immoral people can be rich or poor. Deciding who's worthy based on income seems silly. Hard work does not equal money, in either direction.

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Avatar for user 'benz72'

benz72 | January 25, 2013 at 10:17 a.m. ― 1 year, 7 months ago

We do not all work for the good of everybody. Specifically, there are some people who do not work at all, even for themselves.

You are correct that there are varying degrees of social connection between individuals but it is no more desirable to have the government take money from the rich than it is to have the government mar the beautiful or repress education for the smart in the pursuit of some misguided equality.

When underperforming people go too far it is bad for anybody connected to them, which is why many of us try for increased separation.

A moral argument is foundational to a proposal for action. Before deciding to do X we ought to discuss why doing X is a good or bad idea.

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | January 25, 2013 at 10:28 a.m. ― 1 year, 7 months ago

Salma, Benz? No, I'm just kidding but some of them here might think that. lol

Galbraith and Marx "poppycock"? I don't think so. Funny it is precisely in that same book where Galbraith writes that even Marx's enemies are "Marxists" when it comes to the concept of materialism becaue they are certainly NOT motivated by Idealism.

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | January 25, 2013 at 12:07 p.m. ― 1 year, 7 months ago

RegularChris,

Greed is a terrible thing, but we can't correct it with punitive taxation. We must appeal to their better nature and convince them to donate their money instead.

What "unmet important needs" require additional taxation? The US is the richest country in the world and can easily meet all our needs through minimal taxation. It is just too corrupt to do that.

Questions_everywhere,

I would consider the working class those within the two lowest brackets (10% and 15%) which is still ridiculously high taxation.

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Avatar for user 'benz72'

benz72 | January 25, 2013 at 12:56 p.m. ― 1 year, 6 months ago

I'm referring to Friedrich the Austrian economist not Salma the actress. If she has written a book I haven't heard of it.

As I haven't read the book, just a summary, I cannot speak to the above referenced refutation of Marxism. The original quote you posted did seem to endorse centralized decision-making which I associate with Marxism. Sorry if I misinterpreted. What was the quote intended to convey?

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | January 25, 2013 at 5:48 p.m. ― 1 year, 6 months ago

Mikelson's supposed predicament.

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Avatar for user 'mccolgan55'

mccolgan55 | January 25, 2013 at 10:49 p.m. ― 1 year, 6 months ago

CalDef, it is obvious you have either never paid taxes or never looked at your tax return. With your example of a married couple earning a total of $75K with a $300K home "mortgaged to the hilt" there is NO WAY they are paying $21K to the fed and $6K to CA. You got SS/Medicare/Property tax right but the primary income taxes are ridiculously incorrect. I also sincerely doubt that a family making $75K spends $20K in taxable purchases, more likely most of their income is going to that mortgage payment and food (no sales tax).

$75,000 Married filing jointly (with no children) would pay at most $7,500 in federal and $2,000 in CA income tax. Assuming they have the "average" 1.9 children it drops to $6,300 federal and $1,900 CA. This is an ACTUAL tax rate of 10% federal and 2.67% CA adding the 7.65% SS/Medicare and 1.125% property tax for a total of 21.445%. With 1.9 children 8.4% federal and 2.5% CA adding the same SS/Medicare/Property it is 19.675%.

So that means not including sales tax your married couple are paying a total of $16K or $14.8K. Allowing a more likely $10K in purchases add about $800 in sales tax. Per your other posts still high but I couldn't let it just lay there that your average family was paying your inaccurate tax amounts. To have to pay $21K to the fed for income tax a married couple filing jointly would have to have $135K in combined income or $143K with those 1.9 kids. BTW none of these figures allow for any of those deductions such as mortgage/charity/child/education or all of the myriad others.

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Avatar for user 'RegularChristian'

RegularChristian | January 26, 2013 at 8:02 a.m. ― 1 year, 6 months ago

Yes, I agree. There is a lot of waste and corruption. And those have to be addressed, too. Until they are (i.e., prison terms for white collar crimes), good old-fashioned progressive taxation is the best way to keep an economy and a society healthy. Concentrations of wealth at the very top is self-destructive.

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Avatar for user 'JeanMarc'

JeanMarc | January 28, 2013 at 11:37 a.m. ― 1 year, 6 months ago

RegularMarxist, ehem, I mean RegularChristian, you said two things that are pretty naive.

"It's immoral for some people to earn 100 times more than the next person, no matter what the person does. "

and

"We all work for the good of everybody, not just for ourselves."

What is immoral about earning more than someone else? You don't think a brain surgeon should earn more than a homeless guy earns picking cans out of the trash? How about more than a highschool dropout who works at the gas station?

And you think we all work for the good of everybody? Well I don't. I work for the good of myself, and my family, and no one else. I do not care about anyone else, because they are not my responsibility. Everyone is responsible for themselves, everyone's life is in their own hands. Their financial future, their destiny, is in their control and it is their responsibility to make their life how they want it to be.

Why the f should I give one cent to anyone else? It is MY MONEY that I earned. If they wan't some money, they need to get a job. If they can't get a job, they need to get an education and work harder.

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Avatar for user 'Questions_everywhere'

Questions_everywhere | January 29, 2013 at 10:43 a.m. ― 1 year, 6 months ago

JeanMarc/Regular Christian - we've all been taught that, but what's next? Economies change, can we continue to be a serviced based economy? What is hard work today? What's work tomorrow? How do we deal with population increases? Globalization? You guys are approaching it from two very different perspectives. JeanMarc seems to only see it from the individual and the this world today, and Regular Christian sees it in a larger and more connected context. Who's right? Which is more important?

mccolgan55 - is 75,000 household income middle class? What about the 60+% tax rate for Mickelson's income. Does he not have deductions?

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | January 29, 2013 at 1:54 p.m. ― 1 year, 6 months ago

mccolgan55,

Without any deductions they are taxed $21,000 (28% tax bracket).

You're calculating a 10% federal tax rate which would mean the couple would have to show $57,150 in deductions. Not likely.

No matter which way you try to split hairs, federal taxation is extremely high, especially considering the few services we get in return.

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Avatar for user 'RegularChristian'

RegularChristian | January 29, 2013 at 7:55 p.m. ― 1 year, 6 months ago

Questions Everywhere,

I guess when I see the upper class withdrawing their kids from private schools, or selling their yachts, or skipping vacations, etc., etc. I'll start believing they're hurting like the rest of us.

The people at the top are doing much better than everyone else. They can afford to do with less so that we can get back on track.

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | January 30, 2013 at 11:46 a.m. ― 1 year, 6 months ago

RegularChristian,

The problem is our consumerist society, not the rich hoarding wealth. You can live a very comfortable lifestyle in America on very little money. Do you need a new cell phone, a fast car, a plate full of meat, a closet full of shoes, or a big screen TV? Do you need to put it all on a credit card at 18% interest?

The fault lies with the average consumer. Besides, if you cut back on spending, the rich won't be so rich anymore, now will they?

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Avatar for user 'JeanMarc'

JeanMarc | January 30, 2013 at 1:14 p.m. ― 1 year, 6 months ago

Christian, but why should those people have to live with less? That is their money. It just doesn't make sense to take their money just because they have more than you.

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Avatar for user 'RegularChristian'

RegularChristian | January 30, 2013 at 7:33 p.m. ― 1 year, 6 months ago

Because too much money, when one's neighbors don't have enough, warps one's soul.

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Avatar for user 'benz72'

benz72 | January 31, 2013 at 7:23 a.m. ― 1 year, 6 months ago

Then since souls are imaginary constructs of superstition we are safe. Do you have any actual reasons to present?

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Avatar for user 'JeanMarc'

JeanMarc | January 31, 2013 at 10:31 a.m. ― 1 year, 6 months ago

It's official. RegularChristian is a troll. I suspected it earlier, but now I am sure.

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | January 31, 2013 at 11:49 a.m. ― 1 year, 6 months ago

"A moral argument is foundational to a proposal for action"

Well, Benz, AT LEAST you're not a Rantist--I mean a Randist.

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | January 31, 2013 at 1:22 p.m. ― 1 year, 6 months ago

"Because too much money, when one's neighbors don't have enough, warps one's soul." -RegularChristian

Better not tell the Pope.

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Avatar for user 'benz72'

benz72 | January 31, 2013 at 2:56 p.m. ― 1 year, 6 months ago

MA, do you disagree with the statement you quoted? If so, could you please explain why? Presumably you consider the moral effects of actions you contemplate taking.

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Avatar for user 'JeanMarc'

JeanMarc | January 31, 2013 at 4:05 p.m. ― 1 year, 6 months ago

People probably don't realize how true MA's statement is, the funny thing is... ask most of the OWS crowd what they think about CEOs and rich people having a lot of money and the first thing they will say is "It's wrong!" which is a statement of their moral position.

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Avatar for user 'benz72'

benz72 | February 1, 2013 at 9:04 a.m. ― 1 year, 6 months ago

JM, MA is quoting me. I suspect he may be using sarcasm to imply that since my statement aligns with Objectivist philosophy I believe everything Ayn Rand wrote. Presumably, since her work offends many people emotionally it is easier to dismiss the opinions of those who consider her to have had many good ideas. That is why I am asking for clarification of his statement.

I do agree with your assessment that categorization of actions as right or wrong are moral statements and that, by implication, a well grounded philosophy is required to make a moral statement meaningful.

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Avatar for user 'Really123'

Really123 | February 1, 2013 at 12:39 p.m. ― 1 year, 6 months ago

"I do agree with your assessment that categorization of actions as right or wrong are moral statements and that, by implication, a well grounded philosophy is required to make a moral statement meaningful."

Sounds like regulation to me, which I do believe is absolutely necessary when dealing with a morally bankrupt philosophy such as Objectivisim.

Pretend Mickelson is a corporation, (easy to do since corporations are people) he will do what is best for him regardless of morality. Even regulations will barely hold him back from Florida becuase they will only work if they are enforced. Only a big stick will keep anyone in line. Or having to live in Florida or Texas... what a choice!

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Avatar for user 'JeanMarc'

JeanMarc | February 1, 2013 at 2:17 p.m. ― 1 year, 6 months ago

Sorry benz, didn't realize he was quoting you. Well, you've got it right as usual!

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Avatar for user 'benz72'

benz72 | February 1, 2013 at 2:40 p.m. ― 1 year, 6 months ago

R123, you may be mistaking your view of morality for the only rational view of morality. Can you support the statement ‘Objectivism is a morally bankrupt philosophy' in a reasoned way? Or do you reject it because it does not lead to conclusions you believe are in some way handed down from a divine source and therefore require no rational construction?
I have found Objectivism to be very moral and much more internally consistent than many competing methods of thinking.

You talk about using a big stick to keep people in line and not doing what is best for themselves. I find this way of thinking deeply disturbing. That is not a far step from slavery, which I hope we all find deeply disturbing. What person or organization do you think ought to do what is worst for themselves? Do you consider a morality of self-harm in some way superior to one of self-advancement?

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Avatar for user 'Really123'

Really123 | February 1, 2013 at 3:12 p.m. ― 1 year, 6 months ago

Benz- you make a compelling case. I did not intend to lead you down the road to slavery. I probably should have been clearer. To your first point, how can I say that Objectivism is morally bankrupt? We can get really esoteric and ask excatly what is morality? Yes, I must have some line drawn in the sand that I use as my meter for right and wrong. It is not divinely inspired. Please forgive my simple examples, It's been a long time since college philosophy. I tend to remember only the highlights... but, you use the term moral to describe your asessment of Objectivisim as well as I. What is moral to you may not be moral to me and so on.

To rephrase myself... I see a balance between what is good for the individual (corporation) and what is good for society. (society having value is a given in my argument) Objectivism, as I understand it, characterizes corporations as soulless, conscienceless entities with their own benefit as paramount. This is fine with me, except when the benefit to the corporation causes harm to society. We saw this with the banking meltdown. In essence, the drive to benefit ones own, flaunting the regulations in place, caused to catstrophy. Both, individuals who lied about income on applications, AND corporations who lied and bundled bad loans with AAA ratings were guilty, in my mind of Objectivism. Society has paid the price. (Arguably banks have not, but another story) The side effect here is that with Objectivisim as your only compass, you will do whatever you can, even break the law if you can get away with it, to get ahead.

Only if you get caught and are made to atone for your actions can regulation, and hence society, work. And since I value an ordered society, people only doing what is best for themselves ALL THE TIME, is morally wrong.

Mickelson can leave for all I care, living in Florida is punishment enough. I still think it's morally wrong. But his action will have no bearing on society as a whole.

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Avatar for user 'benz72'

benz72 | February 2, 2013 at 11:13 a.m. ― 1 year, 6 months ago

R123, I believe you may be mistaken. I don't know if any sustainable philosophy that advocates fraud. What you are describing sounds to me like 'law of the jungle' which I agree is not a good model for a moral society. There is a very great difference in my mind between acting for you own betterment and cheating others. Refusing to help is fine, deliberately harming someone is not.

On topic, Why do you think it would be immoral for Mr. Mickelson to move to Florida?
I think this will shed some light on policy because if everyone in Mr. M's situation relocates it presumably would bear on CA society.

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Avatar for user 'mccolgan55'

mccolgan55 | February 2, 2013 at 11:24 a.m. ― 1 year, 6 months ago

CalDef - So I was right you don't look at your tax returns. Everyone has the standard deduction and personal exemption. Plug those in for a married couple making a total of $75K and my figures are accurate. Look at the IRS tax tables. Even if their TAXABLE income (after the standard deduction and exemptions) were $75K they would only pay $10,800 in federal tax.
Questions Everywhere - I am sure Mickelson has MANY deductions but my point was that the example amounts given by CalDef was WAY off. Also at his level of income Mickelson will be limited by the AMT.

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