In one of my last columns of 2012, Taxpayers and Employers Shrug, I
explained that if the government taxes too much, it won’t gain more revenue. Instead, entrepreneurs would “Go Galt”, by simply not
working or leave for less confiscatory places. But leftist politicians who kill the goose that lays the golden egg will likely not pay the political price,
especially if the goose dies after they leave office. And they can always blame someone else.
Rich Frenchmen fleeing France’s socialists
Indeed, some rich people will still unashamedly escape the clutches of tax-grabbers. I mentioned recently in
Appeasing RINOs, Tax Demagoguery, and the Fiscal Cliff
about the famous French actor
Gérard Depardieu emigrating from France to escape the new greedy socialist government and their 75% tax rate on their “rich”. Russia’s president Putin granted Russian citizenship, and Dépardieu accepted—Russia has a straightforward and low flat income tax of
13%. This is just one more example of the common sense eluded by the Left: low tax rates that are paid gain more revenue than high taxes that are avoided! Other wealthy Frenchmen plan to do the same.
But American Patriots must note with sadness that they don’t plan to flee to this country, once the preferred destination for European entrepreneurs.
If we didn’t have such a confiscatory and labyrinthine tax code and a Gestapo-like IRS, then this country could benefit from them again.
What is true of countries is also true of the States in this country. They were always meant to be “laboratories of democracy”, with more
freedom to try different systems. If a system failed, then people were free to move out to another one with a better system. Thus, in theory, America as a
whole would learn what works and what doesn’t.
For some time now, high-taxing states like New York, New Jersey, and California have been losing people and businesses to low-tax states like Texas and
Florida. For example:
More than $70 billion in wealth left New Jersey between 2004 and 2008 as affluent residents moved elsewhere
… In New Jersey, the top 1 percent of taxpayers pay more than 40 percent of the state’s income tax.”
Escape From New York? High-Taxing Empire State Loses 3.4 Million Residents in 10 Years.
From 1995 to 2010, California has lost more than $32 billion in net adjusted gross income to other states. Three of the top five states that receive California taxpayers have no personal income tax.”
Golfer Phil Mickelson and California
One example in the news recently was the great left-handed golfer Phil Mickelson (42), who now makes $47 million a year on the
course, and $43 million
from endorsements in 2012. His net worth is estimated from $150 to $180 million.
However, the Democrats running California can’t wait to get their greedy paws on Mickelson’s money. They approved an increase of the top
personal income rate of 10.35 to 13.3% for those earning over $1 million. This would mean $1.8 million more tax for Mickelson.
Mickelson pointed out:
“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
Quite reasonably, Mickelson thought that he should not be a government slave, working more for the government than for himself—but then, the Democrats were the party of slavery. His fellow leading golfer
Tiger Woods supported him, pointing out that he left his native California in 1996 because of its high taxes even back then. Woods (37) has a net worth of about $600 million, and now lives in Florida which has no state income tax. So Florida earns far more from Woods than
But like so many people demonized by the Left, Mickelson appeased:
“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.”
What Mickelson should have said
Instead of grovelling, Mickelson should have taken lessons from this fantastic Bill Whittle speech (which every Patriot should listen to several times):
Thus, here is my own idea about what Mickelson and other rich people should say:
“I stand by what I said, without apology. Why should I be demonized as “greedy,” while the government is not “greedy” for
wanting to grab over half my income?
“Yes, I am wealthy—it was once called the American Dream. But I didn’t take a cent from someone who didn’t want to give it to me
freely. Why did they do so? Because they perceived that my golfing was offering them more value than the money they spent. Otherwise they
wouldn’t have spent it (duh!). So in reality, America’s perceived wealth has increased even more than mine. Similarly, Corporations likewise
pay me for endorsements because they believe that they will increase their profits by an even greater amount.
“So leftists want me to “give back”? Many of my fellow “1 percent” likewise fall into the trap of saying that their generous
philanthropy is “giving back to the community”. But as I said, I never took anything from the community in the first place that wasn’t freely given. Those who neither play nor watch golf, such as Patriot columnist Nathaniel Davidson, aren’t forced to pay.
“Instead, ask the politicians and bureaucrats to “give back”—they took wealth from the community by force with their taxes and
fees. Or ask “crony capitalists” such as the ethanol lobby, who are subsidized by money coerced from taxpayers, who are also forced to fill their cars with gasoline contaminated by their rotten fuel.
“Leftists who hate my wealth are just envious. Envy used to be called one of the Seven Deadly Sins, and a violation of the 10th
Commandment (“You shall not covet … anything that is your neighbor’s”). But now envy has become the prime virtue of the Left, under
its new name, “social justice.” And these same Leftists think they are oh-so-compassionate spending other people’s money while they are stingy with their own.
“Oh, you don’t think golfers should be wealthier than school teachers and social workers? But what you really mean is: the golf fans and
corporate sponsors made bad choices about how to spend their money. And because you don’t approve of their choices, leftist elitists should take more
of their money so it can be spent properly.
“So I didn’t build that? Did Obama spend hours practicing and training for me? Yes, I used roads and schools, but no more than anyone else. Yet
top 1% (>$369,691) pay 37% of all taxes while earning only 19% of all income
. It’s especially galling to be told by the 47% who pay no federal income tax that I don’t pay my “fair share”? What is my
100%, as Obama’s father advocated?
“Yes, California and the US have huge debts. But was that my fault? If your teenage children max out their credit cards and keep spending more than
they earn, would you increase their credit limits and give them an even higher allowance? But this is what you politicians are doing, instead of
controlling your own profligate spending. And even if all income was confiscated from me and my fellow millionaires, it would barely make a dent in the
We need far more people standing up for the free market, keeping what one’s earned, and against greedy envy-mongering politicians, bureaucrats, and Leftmedia demagogues, and less people grovelling and apologizing for enjoying the fruits of their hard-earned labor, which used to be
known as the American Dream.