"He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left."
Matthew 25:33

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Transparency and Process

The Hill has an article here about the White House ducking questions about a C-SPAN request for access to the negotiations on health care "reform".

Mr. Gibbs is quoted in the article as saying that "I don't think there's anyone who would say there hasn't been a thorough, robust debate on healthcare," and adds "I do not believe the American people have lacked for information on what's in these bills."

These bills weigh in at over 2000 pages each, and various members of congress have admitted not reading them, not understanding them, and not feeling that they even have an obligation to read them. (here, and here) When asked about constitutionality, Speaker Pelosi famously asked "are you serious?".

Many of the provisions in Senate bill were written into a "manager's amendment", that was only revealed to the Senate hours before the final vote. The public analysis of this legislation has barely started, much less been completed.

(See Harry Reid comment on "managers amendments" here)

No one understands these bills, or their consequences. The CBO estimates their cost, but it is generally agreed that this is little more than a guess. The Senate bill is estimated to spend $1 Trillion dollars, and raise taxes an equal amount. That's a LOT of money.

We should support the C-SPAN request for access. Process matters.

Benjamin Franklin is said to have replied that we have a republic "if you can keep it". Now is the time. Write your representatives. Both the legislation being considered, and the process that is being used to pass it should be condemned by every responsible citizen.

No comments: