The blogger Alaskan Librarian has a list of things he’d like done by the next president. I share at least one of his wishes, “to see policy formulated in the open.”
Specifically, he wants candidates to sign the Reason Foundation’s “Oath of Presidential Transparency.” The pledge has two parts. The first endorses “effective management, accountability, transparency, and disclosure” of federal spending. The second is a commitment to enforce the Federal Funding and Accountability Act, passed by Congress in 2006.
This legislation was introduced by Senator Tom Coburn. Both Barack Obama and John McCain signed on as co-sponsors. It requires all recipients of federal funds to be fully disclosed on the Web. And hey, they even set up a website.
Obama has already signed the Oath of Presidential Transparency. I have to wonder who is asleep at the McCain camp, given that their candidate has yet to add his John Hancock. Same goes for Ralph Nader, Libertarian Bob Barr and the Green and Constitution Party nominees.
But since we’re all in agreement here, let’s demand more.
Like what? Like real-time updates about budget items, allowing citizens time to protest particular pork projects and other prodigalities. Like forbidding the last-minute stuffing of earmarks into reconciliations bills.
Maybe we need a new compact with our government, one where, as Leslie Graves of the Lucy Burns Institute suggests, there would be “No taxation without information.”
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.