Thinking Transparently

Transparency in government -- a truthful view into government.

The most elemental underpining of a transparent government is a truthful view of the people and relationships that make up that government. The information, the data, a government creates is of value only as it reveals the actions of elected and appointed officials. Genuine accountability appears only in the presence of facts.

Far too often inane charges of partisanship and fiery rhetoric are thrown out as fodder for the media to feed on. The 'why who did what' is glossed over with claims and counterclaims of increasingly ludicrous hyperbole -- a show to distract the viewer from finding out exactly what happened.

The sheer mass of legislation with budgetary impact is so great as to overwhelm any one person or any hundred people. Semi-automated semantic tagging and indexing combined with the eyes of tens of hundreds of disparate groups with disparate goals could ensure no line item ever went unnoticed. The value of a transparent federal budget is not so much in knowing exactly what was spent where, but in knowing who spent what -- and being able to ask them why.