One my my pet peeves is the fact that political candidates don't talk about the issues they will be dealing with if elected. Instead, they throw up all the political buzz words to get people's blood boiling. If you are running for a statewide office in Texas, or a legisaltive district, you probably can't do much about President Obama; Texans are not seriously in jeoprady of losing their guns as the 2nd amendment seems pretty safe; it's the federal government's job to handle border security; and do you really believe legalizing marijuana is necessary to improve Texas agriculture?
Do you hear the candidates talking about roads, water, schools, budgets? They aren't even talking much about not raising taxes because Obama and handguns play better. The candidates just tell us what they think we want to hear. The sad thing is, it seems to work. Voters don't demand any answers to real problems. Even the media, when questioning candidates, seems to fall into the trap of asking about these same issues over and over.
What can the state comptroller do about Obama, handguns, border security, etc.? Not much; but to hear the campaign rhetoric, you'd think otherwise. Why don't we hear about effeciency in the compotroller's department, about the inability of taxpayers to get questions answered in a reasonable time? How about a taxpayer friendly attitude? How about following the tax law rather than trying to make it? What can be done to make compliance with the complicated state franchise tax easier?
I'm not the only one that's noticed this phenomena I call "Tell them what they want to hear." Ross Ramsey writing in the Texas Tribune points out his own versionin in his article In Primaries, Political Issues Trump State Issues. He starts by saying:
"The people who want to run the state government certainly care a lot about making sure Texas has enough water, about handling transportation issues, and about solving the latest version of the persistent school finance riddle. Some know a lot about budgeting and taxes and public health and education, and they have ideas ranging from wholesale overhauls of state agencies to adjustments that might improve this or that bit of government machinery.
You wouldn’t know it from their campaigns."
Read the whole article, it is enlightening, but frustrating.