Scott Adams, the creator of the comic strip Dilbert, recently wrote a blog post to explain to his fans why he has switched his vote from Hillary Clinton to Donald Trump. The short answer: because Clinton proposes “robbery by government” and he isn’t keen on paying 75% taxes on his income.
“As most of you know, I had been endorsing Hillary Clinton for president, for my personal safety, because I live in California,” Adams writes. “It isn’t safe to be a Trump supporter where I live. And it’s bad for business too. But recently I switched my endorsement to Trump, and I owe you an explanation. So here it goes.”
He then gives six reasons for the change of heart. First, he explained that he has a lot of uncertainty when it comes to politics and isn’t smart enough on each issue to decide which candidate would make the best president. However, he adds, “That neutrality changed when Clinton proposed raising estate taxes. I understand that issue and I view it as robbery by government.”
Adams’s second point is lengthy, but packed with punch:
Confiscation of Property: Clinton proposed a new top Estate Tax of 65% on people with net worth over $500 million. Her website goes to great length to obscure the actual policy details, including the fact that taxes would increase on lower value estates as well. See the total lack of transparency [at her website], where the text simply refers to going back to 2009 rates. It is clear that the intent of the page is to mislead, not inform.
So don’t fall for the claim that Clinton has plenty of policy details on her website. She does, but it is organized to mislead, not to inform. That’s far worse than having no details.
The bottom line is that under Clinton’s plan, estate taxes would be higher for anyone with estates over $5 million(ish). I call this a confiscation tax because income taxes have already been paid on this money. In my case, a dollar I earn today will be taxed at about 50% by various government entities, collectively. With Clinton’s plan, my remaining 50 cents will be taxed again at 50% when I die. So the government would take 75% of my earnings from now on.
Yes, I can do clever things with trusts to avoid estate taxes. But that is just welfare for lawyers. If the impact of the estate tax is nothing but higher fees for my attorney, and hassle for me, that isn’t good news either.
You can argue whether an estate tax is fair or unfair, but fairness is an argument for idiots and children. Fairness isn’t an objective quality of the universe. I oppose the estate tax because I was born to modest means and worked 7-days a week for most of my life to be in my current position. (I’m working today, Sunday, as per usual.) And I don’t want to give 75% of my earnings to the government. (Would you?)
In point three, Adams says he wants to be invited to “the world’s biggest party on election night” if Trump wins, not the “wake” Clinton supporters have prepared that will “involve crying and moving to Canada.”
Clinton’s health is the fourth reason Adams has changed his mind. He states she doesn’t look good, as evidenced by her wild-eyed screaming in the infamous "Why aren’t I 50 points ahead” video.
“Likewise, Bill Clinton seems to be in bad shape too, and Hillary wouldn’t be much use to the country if she is taking care of a dying husband on the side,” Adams states.
Point number five: Adams believes Trump employs a tactic of “pacing and leading.” As a self-described “trained persuader,” Adams doesn’t see Trump’s controversial suggestions as dangerous as many do:
Trump “paces” the public – meaning he matches them in their emotional state, and then some. He does that with his extreme responses on immigration, fighting ISIS, stop-and-frisk, etc. Once Trump has established himself as the biggest bad-ass on the topic, he is free to “lead,” which we see him do by softening his deportation stand, limiting his stop-and-frisk comment to Chicago, reversing his first answer on penalties for abortion, and so on. If you are not trained in persuasion, Trump look scary. If you understand pacing and leading, you might see him as the safest candidate who has ever gotten this close to the presidency. That’s how I see him.
Finally, Adams sees a persuader like himself in Donald Trump:
Economies are driven by psychology. If you expect things to go well tomorrow, you invest today, which causes things to go well tomorrow, as long as others are doing the same. The best kind of president for managing the psychology of citizens – and therefore the economy – is a trained persuader. You can call that persuader a con man, a snake oil salesman, a carnival barker, or full of shit. It’s all persuasion. And Trump simply does it better than I have ever seen anyone do it…
In summary, I don’t understand the policy details and implications of most of either Trump’s or Clinton’s proposed ideas. Neither do you. But I do understand persuasion. I also understand when the government is planning to confiscate the majority of my assets. And I can also distinguish between a deeply unhealthy person and a healthy person, even though I have no medical training. (So can you.)
Adams also live streamed the Monday night debate. Watch here.