[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/08/14/jc.oboma.0814.gi.jpg caption=" When it comes to stimulus and bailout money, has Pres. Obama kept his promise of transparency?"]
FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
Pres. Obama has been promising the American people transparency ever since he was on the campaign trail.
And, when it comes to the $700 billion dollar bank and auto bailouts, known as TARP, and the $787 billion economic stimulus package, the president vowed an unprecedented level of openness.
A lot of information has been made public through websites like recovery.gov and financialstability.gov. The administration calls these sites "pioneering" compared to how government worked in the past.
But we're talking about almost $1.5 trillion dollars here – and there is key information that the public doesn't know about how and where this money is being spent.
For example, the Treasury Department doesn't require banks that have gotten TARP funds to show how they're using the money or who the bailed out banks are lending to.
Also, taxpayers won't have any idea if they've lost or made money on government investments in companies like General Motors, AIG, Citigroup and Bank of America until the government sells its stakes.
As for the spending of stimulus dollars, the government accounting only goes as far as the first tier recipients from the states. So it's not known which and how many companies down the line are getting work.
It's not enough. We deserve the transparency that was promised us. Otherwise it's just another example of government lying to us in order to get us to go along with something. Does the Iraq war ring a bell?
SO HERE'S THE QUESTION:When it comes to stimulus and bailout money, has Pres. Obama kept his promise of transparency?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Tom from Illinois says:
Once again, campaign rhetoric turns out to be pure blather. New administration, same old b.s. Being from Illinois, I'm not surprised that the results differ from the promises of this crew.
Hey Jack. Are you taking a page from Fox News Channel now? This president has shown more transparency in his first six months in office than his predecessor did in his entire term. Cut him some slack, for crying out loud. He's out there actually working. Pick on someone else about transparency.
Martin from Pittsburgh says:
I voted for Obama and I still have faith in his success, but I am disappointed there has been a lack of transparency. When he promised that he was going to change Washington and make transparency one of his main goals, it made me and other voters feel like we would have more control over our government, even if it does grow. Now I feel like it’s all the same.
Perception is everything. If I was to give a trillion dollars away, how long would it take me to figure out if the money was actually spent the way I wanted it to be? Reality says it takes more than a month or two. Yes, President Obama is doing what he promised. Maybe not at the speed we would like, but progress that counts is seldom fast.
Alex from Atlanta says:
Jack, It's not a question of transparency. Anyone with a computer can easily access all the information he needs. The issues are the abject laziness of most people and the muddy, fuzzy filters through which special interest groups pass the facts.
Jillian from Orleans, California says:
Transparent? More like opaque. I am highly disappointed in the administration because things are more obscure than ever. At least when Bush was president, we knew he was screwing us over because it was so overt.