Members of the US Senate, once called the “world’s greatest deliberative body,” are currently debating a number of reforms and changes to America’s byzantine real estate tax code. But you and I aren’t allowed to know who is proposing what, or even what they’re proposing, according to the LA Times.
On the Senate side, Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) asked colleagues in both parties to submit recommendations on which tax preferences should be preserved, starting from a “blank slate” where all current benefits are eliminated. To provide senators political cover and deniability, the committee put all recommendations under a 50-year top-secret classification, and restricted access to them to just 10 staff members.
Our government is supposed to be transparent with and accountable to the people. That’s the joke, I guess. Wherever the Democrats hold power, opacity and trickery rule.
At least on the GOP-controlled House side, there’s no move to put the debate behind any top secret wall.
The Democrat-controlled Senate’s secrecy presents the Republicans with yet another opportunity to rip the Democrats for failing, across the entire Obama era, to deliver on the transparency that they promised. It’s hard to see the RNC taking full advantage, though.