The Obama Administration's lack of transparency is easily seen in its handling of Fast and Furious . Finding out who knew what and when has been the objective of the questions from Darrell Issa, the Chairman of the House Oversight Committee. But the Obama Administration, including the Attorney General and the president have stalled and equivocated, refusing to provide congress with the complete documents requested, preferring a contempt of congress charge rather than reveal their role in an ill thought, incompetently executed scheme that provided almost 2,000 guns to drug cartels in Mexico. What does that tell Americans about the Obama Administration's commitment to "transparency"?
Obama has not been transparent about the struggles of the small business community which is being crushed by his anti-business policies. Some might argue that the president is simply clueless when in June he proclaimed the "private sector is doing just fine." But how to explain the president's claim: "You didn't build that?"
As a small business owner for 15 years, who often worked 14 hour days, 6 days a week, I don't remember seeing Obama, or any of his ilk, working next to me at 2 a.m. on a Sunday morning, while I was working to grow my business. Obama's transparent scorn, condescension and ignorance are transparent evidence of his hostile attitude towards the American business community.
The Administration has refused to provide transparency into the true cost of Obamacare , and even now, is hiding behind puffery and falsified statistics regarding the cost of Obamacare and about the enforcement of mandatory birth control and abortion provisions triggered by the legislation.
Nor has there been transparency about the funding provided for Obama's "special" czars. Certainly, senate- confirmed czars have publicized budgets and are appropriated funds by congress. However, Obama has appointed a host of other czars, such as the Green Czar, the Education Czar, the Energy Czar. These czars have staffing and infrastructure costs associated with them that were unaccounted for in the FY10, FY11 and FY12 budgets. Little or no transparency exists regarding the total costs of these czars, nor is it clear that the American taxpayer is getting any value for the dollars spent.
There is also a lack of transparency in Obama's Office of Management and Budget. (OMB). Federal government accounting systems, while supposedly following GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles), in reality, have more off-balance sheet items than an ENRON wanna-be. Cleaning up these many and proliferating off-balance sheet budgetary inter-intra agency items is, perhaps, the single most important requirement and the biggest challenge to full transparency and shrinking the size of government. The annual budget reconciliation process, and the "passback" process, offer each federal agency a new chance for transparency, but that too has not been forthcoming.
Now, the president has signed the Sequestration and Transparency Act of 2012 which requires the president, within the next 30 days, to provide transparency into the federal functions that will be cut and the functions that will be exempted from cuts.
Barack Obama has resisted putting pen to paper and making any budgetary decisions over the last four years. No doubt, he will resist the calls and demands from Congress to specify what cuts he will make under the Sequestration Act. Not that it matters much. Anyone paying attention must already know that Obama will continue to expand unsustainable entitlements, and will, instead, push for even deeper cuts in defense.
Even the president's closest allies, such as Defense Secretary, Leon Panetta, have expressed alarm with Obama's gambit. Others will be shocked to see just how far Obama will go to push an expansion of the welfare state. So, don’t expect Barack Obama to follow the law and outline his sequestration plan; he cannot afford true transparency.
So what can we expect the president to do when he has contradicted, obstructed, or abandoned his promises for transparency at almost every opportunity? Give a speech on Transparency? Obama did just that this past June 2012 .
My guess is that in the weeks ahead, instead of being honest and outlining his priorities, the president will continue to willfully mislead Americans by speaking frequently about how committed to “transparency” he is. Such has been the Obama Administration's pattern in the past--to talk about transparency while hiding actions and intentions from the American people.
Ask any successful leader and he or she will tell you that transparency, integrity and accountability are the three pillars of a highly successful, fully-functioning organization. How unfortunate that Barack Obama has none of that DNA.
There is, perhaps, only one area in which the president has been completely transparent. Despite his claims that he would be content to be a "one-term president", Obama has made it crystal clear that he is willing to do anything, promise anything , say anything to get elected to a second term.