Is Transparency Always A Good Thing?

Friday, October 28, 2011


Members of the Joint Deficit Reduction Committee participate in a hearing October 26, 2011 (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images/Getty)

The "super committee" on deficit reduction is meeting in advance of their Thanksgiving deadline, and critics claim they have not been transparent enough about the progress of their negotiations.  Bob spoke with Matthew Yglesias of Think Progress and Donny Shaw of the Participatory Politics Foundation about the pros and cons of meeting behind closed doors.

Comments [4]

Philip Prindeville from Portland, OR

It's interesting that during the Bush administration, we never would have asked the question, "Do we have too much transparency?"

Now that we have a floundering President who's failed to get the majority of his own party to buy into his agenda (lest it cost them re-election), the press is willing to afford this administration less transparency to carry out its unpopular agenda.

Nov. 08 2011 12:13 PM
Arnold Layne from Chicago, IL

I'm struck by the fact that such a literate show could so easily confuse the word "secret" with the word "private." The Super Committee is meeting in private, not in secret. Their meeting location and times are known, they're just not open to the public. I know it serves your stated interest in transparency and that of some of your commentators to call them something more sinister than they are, but doing so does a disservice both to the language and to your broadcast.

Oct. 30 2011 05:00 PM
Max Grubb from Akron, Ohio

I think its humorous that they need this secrecy to give the representatives room to express their true positions, etc.....This leads us to believe that our elected representatives then are not being upfront and truthful to us about their real agenda and positions......if this is not so...why then do they need the secrecy......and why are lobbiest still permitted to have access to them......

Oct. 29 2011 05:25 PM

The "super committee" was born out of the wholly manufactured debt ceiling crisis which could have been avoided if it was raised one year ago by the Pelosi Congress but it was deliberately delayed so the Republican majority would share the blame for the almost quadrupled deficit under the Democrats.

So now a secret committee was created not for national security from foreign enemies but political security from the US voters. The "status qua wasn't working" for this administration and the political establishment which is why the committee was created. When combined with open musings from progressives about the need to quickly change the US Constitution and increasing executive power, we seem to be heading down a perilous path.

It is appropriate that the West Wing is being referred to since it was that fantasy many Obama supporters were smitten with that led to today's harsh reality.

The time for congresspeople to "say what's on their mind" is during their local elections and not help them hide their legislating work in order to mislead the public and maintain power. The goal is not to keep power but serve the public and let the citizens decide on their job performance.

Oct. 29 2011 11:23 AM

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