Recently, the focus of discussion on the health insurance debate has come to include matters of transparency: are officials sharing their information with us?
Kentucky Republican Senator Jim Bunning has introduced a resolution that would require that all legislation in the Senate to be publicly available 72 hours before the legislation is up for consideration. A few senators have jumped on to support the effort.
Discussing transparency is one thing, but delivering on these promises is quite another. Obama and the senators pushing for transparency should not be allowed to bask in the glory that comes with supporting a good issue, while avoiding the consequences of not providing reform. There are a few things working against this effort. To begin with, transparency isn’t the most scandalous of headlines, so it’s a surprise that it’s a matter of discussion in the first place.
Another potential obstacle comes from critics of Bunning’s resolution who say too much information would confuse the average citizen.
Unfortunately, some are just focused on blaming the president for not delivering on transparency promises. This is a valid criticism. Still, the importance of transparency has less to do with taking down a particular politician, and more to do with empowering taxpayers. Transparency is important, regardless of who is in power or what the ends of transparency will be, because citizens are powerless without information on what the goings-on are in governments. The last check-and-balance on the government is watchful citizens demanding accountability.
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