The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK


January 27, 2013

Success shouldn't breed jealousy

ENID, Okla. — It’s hard to say what was more outrageous this past week.

Was it the fact professional golfer Phil Mickelson revealed he was considering moving from California after crunching some numbers and realizing that, combined with federal, state and other assorted and sundry taxes, nearly 63 percent of his income was being confiscated, or was it the reaction to his public statement about his tax situation?

Or maybe it was the fact he felt compelled to apologize after being bombarded by the whiny media, which apparently feels his wealth disqualifies him from wanting to retain the majority of what he earns.

Sure, Mickelson is wealthy. In fact, he is mega-wealthy. Golf Digest estimated he earned around $47 million last season between tournaments and endorsements.

But really, it shouldn’t matter if he has earned $10 million or $10,000. When it comes to his money, that he earned, it is outrageous he is only able to keep 37 cents of every dollar.

Sadly, though we seem to have become a nation of the freebie, the handout and of resentment.

 A lot of the reaction we are seeing to Mickelson is simply borne out of envy. Too many people have become resentful of those who have “made it” and seem determined to make such folks pay for being successful.

Our country’s president sealed his re-election in part by playing off class warfare and envy and it seems that attitude has seeped into the fiber of our nation’s soul.

Nobody is saying Mickelson should pay zero in taxes, but to confiscate nearly two-thirds of one’s income is absurd.

For stating such, Mickelson was subjected to smarmy criticism from the nation’s sports media. Just this past week, the News & Eagle ran a column by an Associated Press columnist who took Mickleson to task for being so wealthy, adding “even the greediest of tax collectors doesn’t take it all.” As if Mickelson should be ashamed  he wants to keep any of what he earns.

The columnist went on to suggest there were plenty of ways Mickelson could reduce his wealth (and taxable income), suggesting things like “win less,” and buy a “smaller plane.” Can you say jealousy?

Most of us who work for a living aspire to live as comfortably as possible. It’s part of the American dream after all.

Sure, many of us would love to be able to become fabulously wealthy simply by swinging a golf club or hitting a baseball, but that is not likely to happen for 99 percent of us.

And it is no reason to resent or villify somebody who has been able to parlay such skill into wealth. To do so, seems downright un-American and nearly as obscene as taxing away 63 percent of one’s earnings.

Ruthenberg is sports editor at the News & Eagle. Contact him at

Text Only
  • Moving In? Indoor football coming back to Enid?

    Oklahoma City businessman Antwone Taulton and Enid Enforcers manager Mark Timberlake are in the early stages of a plan they hope will see the return of arena football in 2015 to Enid after an absence of more than 10 years. And if things progress as one league executive expects, an official announcement could be forthcoming in the near future.

    July 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • OU logo color.jpg Probe into incident involving Mixon could last into next week

    The Norman Police investigation into the incident at Pickleman’s Gourmet Cafe in which Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon is an “involved party” could continue into next week.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Morris Claiborne Claiborne wants to prove worth to Dallas

    Morris Claiborne had already told reporters he was ready to prove he was worthy of Dallas’ dramatic move up the draft board to get him with the sixth overall pick in 2012. He didn’t waste any time showing some urgency.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tim Tebow NCAA settles head-injury suit, will change rules

    The NCAA agreed on Tuesday to help athletes with head injuries in a proposed settlement of a class-action lawsuit that college sports’ governing body touted as a major step forward but that critics say doesn’t go nearly far enough.

    July 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • Attorney: OU's Mixon acted in self defense

    The attorney for Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon said the incident that left a 20-year-old female OU student with multiple facial fractures was a case of self-defense.

    July 29, 2014

  • OSU no longer faces APR restrictions

    NCAA officials say Oklahoma State’s football program no longer faces restrictions for the upcoming school year because its Academic Progress Rate has been amended.

    July 29, 2014

  • Radio-TV for 7-30-14

    July 29, 2014

  • Jeff Mullin mug 2012.jpg Rice's punishment hardly fit the crime

    Two games, just over 12 percent of the 16-game regular season. Two games for hitting a woman hard enough to knock her out cold.
    Rice said Monday he will not appeal his suspension, which could wind up costing him $529,411 in fines and salary. And why wouldn’t he? He must feel like he got off scot-free.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • SamBradfordpicturejpeg Bradford used to being at 'career crossroads'

    It’s become a rite of training camp for Sam Bradford.
    Every summer, he deals with the oversized burden of living up to getting picked first overall in 2010. The St. Louis Rams quarterback is not surprised that once again, he’s supposedly at a career crossroads.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • TU wins C-USA academic honor

    The University of Tulsa earned the 2013-14 Conference USA Institutional Excellence award by posting the highest grade point average during the 2013-14 academic year for all student athletes in conference-sponsored athletes, the school announced on Monday.

    July 28, 2014

Click here for NASCAR headlines
Sports Photos

Enid News & Eagle sports photos from the month of February 2014. Enjoy all the ENE photos with full access at