Friday, October 21, 2011


I have a new favorite word. It's "how." I use it every time I hear a politician talk about his or her platform. "I'll cut taxes. I'll balance the budget." "I'll reduce the debt." And my favorite, "I'll create more jobs in [fill in the location]."

I want to ask each talking head one question: How. How are you going to cut taxes, balance the budget AND pay down the debt, all at the same time? All three are contradictory. Cutting taxes in the last administration got us into this mess. Keeping they unreasonably low hasn't done anything to stop runaway spending or to reduce the debt.

How, Mr. Candidate, do you intend to create jobs? Do you really think that by keeping income taxes low, people are going to go out and hire someone, create a job where there is no demand for the goods and services produced? And just how many jobs have been created in the past three years in [fill in the location] with taxes so low we can't pay our bills? Couple this empty promise with the earlier one about tax cuts and I have a question: With unemployment stubbornly hovering over 9%, how's that policy working for you, Mr. Candidate? How many jobs did your tax cuts create? How can you stand in front of us and tell us that tax cuts create jobs? Do you really believe this yourself???

I went to a rally for a candidate running for our state legislature. I asked him how he was going to create jobs. He looked panicked. Evidently, no one had asked him how he was going to carry out his platform. He bumbled and mumbled and stepped on his tongue trying to answer my question. When he passed the hat for money to continue his campaign, I kept my hands in my pocket.

Why would I want to put money in his hat when he couldn't answer my question? Widen the lens, and everyone running for office at all levels has the same credibility problem. They talk a good line, but when pressed, they fall back on familiar sound bites. Well, I'm not hungry. I refuse to rise to the bait.

Oh, yes, the group that invited me to hear our local candidate suggested that I might not want to return. Ya think?