A small part of the yesterday’s Tweetfest between Yours Truly and some of Phil Scott’s hardcore fans was about my persistent bird-dogging of Scott’s official Twitter account. Which I suspect is written by others, considering that it often refers to “Phil” in the third person.
And yeah, I frequently Retweet @PhilScott4VT with my commentary attached.
Don’t like it? Stop sending out mass quantities of Tweets that are inaccurate, insipid, or both.
And boy, this afternoon brought a prime example from the “both” category.
— Phil Scott (@PhilScott4VT) September 9, 2016
(Phil’s ghost-Tweeter has but a distant acquaintance with the proper deployment of the apostrophe.)
Ooh! Rough, tough manly man, tossin’ trash in the pickup. Hands callused and creased, fingernails packed with the crud of honest labor. Bet he uses Lava Soap with “millions of particles of volcanic pumice.” A true Man of the People.
And the only candidate in the race “who knows what it’s like to live paycheck to paycheck.”
What complete, utter, USDA Prime, phoney-baloney, ROFLMAO bullpuckey.
And how insulting to Sue Minter, who (1) has a lower household income than Scott, (2) has a substantially lower net worth, and (3) actually had to forego her paycheck to run for governor, while Phil continues to draw his Lite-Guv salary.
It’s also insulting to the thousands of Vermont families that actually do live paycheck to paycheck, and can be thrown into ruin by an unplanned expense or disability or layoff. (The Atlantic Monthly: “Nearly half of Americans would have trouble finding $400 to pay for an emergency.” Phil Scott is not in that category or anywhere close.)
I really, sincerely hope that Tweet was ghostwritten and not approved by the candidate himself, because I honestly believe Phil Scott is a better man than that.
And now let’s look at the numbers, in case you need any proof of my three assertions above.
When Minter released her 2015 taxes in April, she and her husband David Goodman reported total income of $152,068. Not bad.
Phil Scott’s household income for the same year? $221,746.
How about net worth? The Minter/Goodman family has combined assets totaling $1.37 million. Which may seem like a lot, but a couple that enjoys a normal lifespan can easily spend seven figures maintaining their lifestyle after retirement. Also, you can subtract from that the balance on their mortgage, somewhere between $100,000 and $250,000. (She reported that figure under federal disclosure standards, which only require approximate ranges for each asset or debt.)
Phil Scott’s net worth: $3.1 million. More than twice as much as Minter’s.
Scott partisans might argue that most of his wealth is tied up in the family construction business, and thus he has relatively little reserve to draw upon. That’s true, but there’s a flip side. If he really needed to, he could sell the business and its assets and be comfortably set for life.
Let me be clear. Phil Scott is a hardworking man. He has built a business through his own blood, sweat, toil, and smarts. He deserves full credit for that.
But to assert that he’s the only candidate who “knows what it’s like to live paycheck to paycheck”? Ridiculous. And unworthy of the man.
You may think I’m making a big deal out of a single Tweet, but it’s emblematic of some troubling trends in the Scott campaign: casual, careless, or deliberately misleading use of facts and figures; unsupported assertions; and a tendency toward hagiography. This Tweet featured all three.
And now you know why I keep bird-dogging @PhilScott4VT.