Phil Mickelson said the high taxes that he has to pay on his winnings do not give him the incentive to work harder.
In an interview with CNBC’s Maria Bartiromo from The Barclay’s golf tournament that aired on Friday, Mickelson was asked how it felt to pay over 60% of his British and Scottish Open winnings in taxes.
“It’s not making me want to go out and work harder,” Mickelson said.
Mickelson had indicated earlier in the year that he may leave California because of its high tax rate and was pressured to walk back those remarks.
He emphasized that he realizes many are struggling to find jobs in the slumping economy and said he did not want to sound insensitive in talking about taxes.
When Bartiromo asked him if he would ever consider leaving the country, Mickelson said he would “never” do ththat. He noted that because he grew up in a family that was “lower middle class,” Mickelson had to get a job picking up range balls, pins, and trash three times a week at local municipal golf courses to enable him to practice his game.
He said he did not know “what other country” to allow him to realize his dreams. But he noted that, talking specifically about golf, “different cultures” and “different countries” have kids that are “working harder” at a younger age and “they’ll pass us if we don’t get after it.”