Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Things candidates need to stop saying

Here are some trite, overused phrases I'm tired of hearing in campaign ads and speeches, followed by my comments. DISCLAIMER: I'm not targeting any particular party or candidate. People from all over the political spectrum use these clich├ęs.

"I will lower taxes."
- Candidates have been spouting this nonsense since the dawn of time. If it were actually possible to lower taxes as often as candidates promise it, we'd be paying exactly $0.00 in federal, state and local taxes. I hate to break it to everybody, but it costs money to provide the services we all expect and demand from our governments. Yes, they need to eliminate waste, inefficiency, and patronage, but it still costs money to run a government, and those costs only increase year after year, so lowering taxes ad infinitum is not a feasible option, but only an empty campaign promise. And then there's our crumbling infrastructure...

"I'm going to create jobs."
- Sure, if you own your own business, maybe you can. Otherwise, all an elected official can do to "create" jobs is to work with the business community to provide services and incentives that allow local businesses to grow. And don't even get me started on the "we'll give you $100 million in tax breaks to move to our state, only to have you leave once they expire" shell game.

"I'm going to fix Washington/Hartford/Albany."
- No you're not. The systems in our legislatures are well-established, which is both bad and good: bad because it allows the bloat and waste to continue and also prevents a bright, ambitious legislator from effecting positive change, and good because it also prevents a less altruistic person from introducing some crazy or even harmful changes. Plus, no matter how ambitious (or rich) you are, you're still just one of 535, 187 or 212. No rookie legislator is going to make much of a ripple.

"I'm an outsider."
- Sure, as of right now you are, but if you're elected, you'll quickly learn that you have to play the game -- and you'll become just like those evil "insiders" and "career politicians" you claim to hate so much.

Are there any other hollow platitudes that bug you? Sound off!

1 comment:

Kevin McKeever said...

"I'm a successful businessperson." All that tells me is you know how to make yourself rich, not that you understand the needs of the electorate and have ideas on how to meet them.