From CNN's Jack Cafferty:
Part of President Obama's appeal during the election was his call for a new era of transparency, of shaking up the way things are done in Washington.
The 1,071 page bill was posted late last night on a congressional website.
But when you look at how his stimulus bill is moving through Congress, it sounds a whole lot like the way "old" Washington operated.
Late last night, the stimulus plan – all one-thousand seventy-one pages of it – was posted on a congressional web site. This gave lawmakers only a few hours to read it before voting. No one can read a thousand page document written by lawyers in just a few hours.
so the House passed the bill without having read it and the Senate is expected to do the same thing shortly. Almost $800 billion and nobody in Congress knows what's in there. That ought to help you to sleep well tonight.
The Democrats promised lawmakers and the public would have at least 48 hours to read the thing before the vote. They lied. Again.
Old fashioned politics. Wait until the last possible moment – President Obama wants this on his desk by Monday – and then cram it through.
As the AP puts it, the stimulus bill is clearly "the result of old-fashioned sausage-making", with pet projects coming to light that hadn't been included in the original bills.
Here’s my question to you: What does a 1,000 page stimulus bill the public had virtually no chance to look at say about the new era of "government transparency"?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Chris from Buffalo, New York writes:
"Transparency" is like "family values" or "honesty". All political hopefuls from the beginning of time (Mr. Obama being no exception) have claimed that these nebulous traits will be the cornerstones of their tenure in Washington, and then they actually get to Washington.
Rose from Arizona writes:
Are you kidding? There is no transparency in this bill. The Dems are shoving it down our throats and it is our money. We should all be very afraid that this bill is going to fail, and then what? Where is the change?
Ron from Ohio writes:
Jack, That's why politicians have aides. Do politicians ever read whole bills? You know, we want quick action, and when we get it, we complain that it is too quick. Come on. Any politician who has cared to be informed knows what is in the package. Slamming the thousand pages down and whining is just grandstanding.
Steve from Scappoose, Oregon writes:
Jack, Finally found the bill on the Internet. Reading as fast as I can, but at $787 million a page it's going slow. Still haven't seen your name or mine… will call.
To say that no one has read this bill is a fallacy. That no one has read this bill in its current form is probably closer to the truth. I have read this bill; it’s available through the Library of Congress at thomas.gov. Not much has changed from version to version except the numbers involved. On the whole, a lot of the original language is intact. Sections may have been slightly modified and reworded, but to say it’s a whole new bill is intellectually dishonest.
John from New Hampshire writes:
Transparent? Like lead-lined concrete.
Chris from New York writes:
Jack, Stop whining. You are beginning to sound like Limbaugh.