Why is pro golfer Phil Mickelson considering leaving the U.S.A.?

January 21, 2013

Professional golfer Phil Mickelson told reporters Sunday that he is considering "drastic changes" in response to state and federal income tax hikes - including possibly leaving the United States.

"It's been an interesting off-season. And I'm going to have to make some drastic changes. I'm not going to jump the gun and do it right away, but I will be making some drastic changes," Mickelson said during a press conference following the Humana Challenge golf tournament in La Quinta, Calif.

When pressed by reporters about whether those "drastic changes" could include leaving California or even the United States, the four-time major championship winner didn't foreclose the possibility. But he made clear the reason he is considering such drastic options is the massive tax burden he now shoulders. 

"But if you add up, 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. So I've got to make some decisions on what I'm going to do," said Mickelson.

In November, California voters approved Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown's Proposition 30, which raised taxes on all state residents who earn more than $1 million in annual income. California now has the highest state income tax rate in the nation. Earlier this month, as part of a deal to avert the so-called "fiscal cliff," Congress allowed Bush-era income tax cuts to expire for upper-income Americans.

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