Debra J. Saunders

Last month, after Gov. Jerry Brown's State of the State address, California Department of Finance spokesman H.D. Palmer handed me a Stanford University study that found that millionaire "out-migration" declined after voters imposed a 1 percent mental health tax on income greater than $1 million in 2005.

But the immortal words of state Senate Republican leader Bob Huff ring in my ears: "There's nothing more portable than a millionaire and his money."

For his part, Lizt spent a recent night checking out Sedona real estate online. He conceded he probably will stay in the Golden State. He moved from New Jersey to California in the 1990s aware that California was a high-tax state. Guesstimating how much he thought Mickelson could save by moving to, say, Florida, Lizt wondered, "Is it worth $5 million to live in a second-rate state?"

I told him that when I asked Democratic state lawmakers what they thought of Mickelson's remarks, for which the golfer later apologized, they were cold. State Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, lauded the good that comes from giving back to the commonweal and then added, "My constituents didn't elect me to worry about Phil Mickelson."

Wrong, Lizt responded. "His constituents are going to pay the price if Phil Mickelson moves."

The top 1 percent of earners paid 41 percent of California income taxes in 2010. Even if you don't like guys like Lizt or Mickelson, California needs them.

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Debra J. Saunders

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