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Amsterdam, NY (August 28, 2013) — With election season moving into full swing, candidates for local races gathered to hammer out the key catchphrases for Election 2013.

At the top of the list for the fifth consecutive decade were “high taxes” and its variants. A longtime politician celebrated the news, “Wow, that’s a relief to still have it as the number one catchphrase. I’ve built a whole repertoire of campaign speeches and literature on demagoguing high taxes so I’d hate to campaign on another issue. I’m really looking forward to talking about how high our taxes are especially for our seniors, which thankfully, were the second catchphrase. I can spin up a wordstorm on taxes and seniors. Thank heavens!”

When asked about the policy choices he would make to address the high taxes and seniors, he replied, “Wait a minute. We’re here to talk about the issues , not the policy stuff. People don’t want to hear about policy , they want us to connect with them on their problems and concerns , and right now, that problem is high taxes. That’s what this campaign is about — tackling high taxes. Especially for our seniors.”

After the votes were tallied, The Top 10 List of Election 2013 Catchphrases was released. Items in parenthesis are the author’s qualifications on the phrase:

  1. High taxes (also acceptable is any pejorative adjective preceding the word “taxes”)
  2. Our Seniors (typically expressed as concern or care for the vulnerabilities of our seniors; typically a foil to justify inaction on helping any other demographic segment, typically kids and families with kids)
  3. Line-by-line (a fictional process for budgeting whereby a multi-million dollar expense will present itself as unnecessary; typically presents itself as micromanaging purchases of paper clips and Bic pens yielding a negative return on a cost-benefit basis )
  4. Consolidation (a process where combining disparate things into one makes it better, in the same way that the succulent flavor of lobster and chocolate ice cream make a delicious milkshake)
  5. Protecting the Taxpayers (the sufferers and wisest, salt-of-the-earth humans to walk the planet prior to election; post-election, see ‘tool’)
  6. Looking out For Voters (also see ‘tool’)
  7. Sharing Services (assigning two or more people the same responsibility; its policy wisdom grounded in the same principle that assigning many children to care for a goldfish assures its death within a fortnight )
  8. Like a Business (typically suggests bringing management principles to bear in running government often espoused by those with no grasp of business management)
  9. Code Enforcement (a set of building guidelines to be rigorously applied to out-of-town landlords, yet must never apply to longtime local landlords, for they are “good people” regardless of how decrepit and blighted their property may be)
  10. Demolition (a prominent religious belief centered on sacrificing historic artifacts to appease the god Economicus Developmentum , whose return is foretold in the sacred texts of Renewalus Urbana. )

A local campaign highlighted how the catchphrases can be wordsmithed for maximum campaign reach in their handy how-to-guide , How to Win Local Elections With Meaningless Catchphrases  Devoid of any Workable Policies:

“I’m looking out for protecting our taxpayers, especially our seniors, tired of our high taxes. We need to run this city like a business and go through budgets line-by-line with an eye to consolidation and sharing services to cut costs. I’m going to support code enforcement and I’ll fight hard for every dollar of funding to demolish this city. Voters will know where I stand against high taxes. “

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