As you no doubt know, transparency—openness in government, really—has become the new watchword in our political culture. Beneath the headline “Transparency and Open Government,” President Obama promised his administration would have an “unprecedented level of openness.”
How did that turn out?
In his role as the incoming chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) is now preparing what might be called the Mother of All Transparency Investigations, having branded the Obama administration, with some justification, “one of the most corrupt.” (As I write, the Bloomberg news agency is reporting Treasury Secretary Geithner’s aides—who helped engineer the $700 billion bank rescue—reaped millions working for banks and hedge funds.Issa claims his investigation could save $200 billion for taxpayers. Who knows if that’s accurate? But more important even than the savings is the principle of transparency in government without which few, if any, savings are possible, ever. For that Issa must be applauded.
Toward this end, PJ Media has been working in the background on a small initiative of our own we refer to as “The Transparency Project.” The emphasis is on the small because a tiny company like ours cannot hope to examine more than a few areas in the vast and almost endless sea of our government.
Which is why I am writing this. I have some questions for our audience.
First, which areas of government would you like us to focus on?
We cannot promise we will follow exactly what you wish, but as a company that grew from the blogosphere, we can assure you we respect the wisdom of crowds. And in the case of government transparency, the wisdom of crowds is not only useful—it’s necessary. There is simply too much material for any company or group to handle. We need the expertise of our PJM readers and PJTV viewers.