Mickelson is full of crap.
Just to take two of his examples: unemployment and social security the tax rates on those are capped at certain levels of income. CA state unemployment is only paid on the first $7,000 of wages, federally the first $8,000 of wages. Social security currently has an income ceiling of $113,700.
Also according to IRS Publication 17 (2012) Chap 22 people can deduct the state income taxes they pay from their federal income taxes.
I just looked up the CA disability tax rate and it is 1% on the first $95,585 of wages so that has an income ceiling as well.
If Mickelson is actually paying over half of his income in taxes I will eat his spikes and help him find a competent CPA.
Here’s the math behind that depressing calculation. Today’s top federal income tax rate is 35%. Almost all Democrats in Washington want to repeal the Bush tax cuts on those who make more than $250,000 and phase out certain deductions, so the effective income tax rate would rise to about 41.5%. The 3% millionaire surtax raises that rate to 44.5%.
But payroll taxes, which are income taxes on wages and salaries, must also be included in the equation. So we have to add about 2.5 percentage points for the payroll tax .... employers are responsible for collecting this tax, it is ultimately borne by the employee. That brings the tax rate to 47%