September 21, 2014

Maybe government should define transparency

By Tim Barnum
Staff Writer
Posted 10/1/08

The economic situation in America is totally jacked, for lack of a better term.

A lot of the problem comes from the deregulation and “Wild West,” winner take all setting in America’s financial sector. This has a lot of members of government talking about “transparency.”

But what do they mean by transparency?

Pelosi, Bush and others are just now insisting that banks, lenders and investment agencies need to be more transparent about transactions, but perhaps the government should listen to its own advice.

For example, make the bailout plan “transparent.”

And by transparent, I mean make it so WE CAN ACTUALLY UNDERSTAND IT!

I visited the Web sites Nancy Pelosi said to visit to read the bailout. I even listened to its details as explained by Congressmen, Senators, President Bush and pundits. So I should have a pretty good grasp on things, right?

Nope.

First off, if the people talking about the bailout want you and I to understand it, they should probably write it up in language that can be deciphered by the average American.

Instead, they post the bill online in about 50 different sections, each one growing more confusing as I read it.

Then I hear stuff on Fox News, MSNBC, CNN and every other news channel saying this bill needs to pass because the problems will trickle down to small business owners and entrepreneurs.

How? Give me a visual aid. Give me something!

Actually CNN did use a visual aid. It looked like a bunch of random arrows going back and forth between banks, shareholders, corporations, loan recipients and American workers.

And I swear that what I just explained there is just as clear as the visual aid CNN used.

Where’s the “transparency” in that?

If this whole mess is going to trickle down to me, show me how. Show me why. Give it to me straight please, because as of now, all I know is that things are getting worse. That’s it.

And to people saying we need to keep a cool head and be calm … are you serious?

We have a Congress where the Speaker refuses to give credit for the bailout to members of Congress on both sides of the aisle so Republican members vote against it because their feelings were hurt.

Nancy, House Republicans, please listen for a second.

What everybody wants right now, more than anything, is for everyone to stop playing their stupid little political games and to get something accomplished. I don’t care if it hurts your pride to spread credit to everyone. I don’t care if it hurts your feelings that the Congress “boss” didn’t give you props for this proposal that will supposedly keep the U.S. out a second Great Depression.

What I do care is that you guys in Washington do something to fix what’s wrong.

Wait, I forgot. The rules being pressed on to everyone else don’t apply to you guys. You tell us to unite while you divide. You tell us what’s bad or good for the common man, but don’t follow it yourselves. You tell the banks to be more transparent while you make sure everything is over our heads.

So if the government wants to have more transparency to ensure a stable economy, it should be more transparent itself.

I’ve heard people in Congress were actually warning about this collapse. Maybe with a little transparency and unity, those voices would have been heard and this could have been avoided. But no, not in our government.

So far the only things I see taking a turn for transparency are all the elected officials in Washington.

That’s because I’m seeing right through all of them.

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