Monday, July 24, 2006

Openness in Government--Coburn/Obama as a Cure for Problems?

Senators Coburn and Obama have sponsored a bill that would "require the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to establish and maintain a single public website that lists all entities receiving federal funds, including the name of each entity, the amount of federal funds the entity has received annually by program, and the location of the entity. All federal assistance must be posted within 30 days of such funding being awarded to an organization. " See Coburn's website
(Obama seems less active and he's not much of a blogger). This proposal has been greeted enthusiastically by the NYTimes, and Wash Post. While the Post editiorial commends the proposal in the context of their recent articles on farm programs, it fails to mention that we've had a database of farm program payments for 12 years now. Granted, it's not run by OMB but by EWG,
a private entity, but it's based on USDA data. Not to be a gloomy Gus, but during the time the database has been available, farm subsidy payments have increased, not decreased.

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