What's wrong with this picture -- or story? Here's the headline in the Wall Street Journal's Capital Report --
Something's up when the carrot dangled in front of you is 50 years of secrecy. I needed to find out more. These senators are trying to figure out how to fix our broken tax codes. I like that. And the only way the Republicans would participate is if they were guaranteed secrecy? Well, why? I understood when Kennedy was assassinated many files were to be kept closed for 50 years. National security was an issue.
But tax reform suggestions? What's next, keeping attendance records sealed for a century and what you ate for lunch punishable by a stay in Gitmo?
Senators soliciting ideas for what deductions and credits to keep as tax reform moves through Congress have promised colleagues that their input will be kept secret for 50 years,according to a report in the Hill newspaper.
Sens. Max Baucus, the Montana Democrat who chairs the Senate Finance Committee, and Orrin Hatch of Utah, the panel’s top Republican, have given fellow senators a deadline of Friday to send in ideas under the committee’s “blank slate” process. That approach, unveiled about a month ago, asks senators to justify what credits and deductions should be kept in the tax code.
And if 50 years of secrecy wasn't enough, it wasn't.
Meanwhile, at least one senator is skeptical that Republicans will participate in writing. North Carolina GOP Sen. Richard Burr told the Hill he thought all Republicans would decide against written submissions.
If they're not going to participate, what's plan B? Go whisper your ideas in Baucus's or Hatch's ears. Use a secret code? Someone dig up Hedy Lamar. Maybe she can decipher what's going on. Are we looking at a tax code or Enigma code?
What congress hasn't yet learned is that we need more transparency, less cloak and dagger. When just making suggestions becomes top secret and the topic is my taxes, you better "F''n" look out because I'm going to be voting and I don't think I can trust someone who has to hide their own opinions -- especially elected officials.
Is there any more justification needed than this as to why congress has such a low approval rating?