Paul Jacob

It’s late in the game, but desperate times call for sensible measures — not to mention quick action. Let’s have these meetings in the open, 0n TV, on the Internet — maybe a couple reporters could scribble in their notebooks to give it ambiance.

In short, let’s bring the American people into the room where our so-called leaders are discussing our future debts. Let citizens read the various plans and proposals in black and white. The choice is simply between an informed electorate and one kept in the dark.

Mr. Obama has spoken eloquently about this. So, how about actually putting it on C-Span?

Don’t hold your breath. After ordering congressional leaders to the White House for more clandestine meetings on Saturday after Friday’s top secret discussions fell apart, Obama said, “[Congressional leaders] are going to have to explain to me how it is that we are going to avoid default. And they can come up with any plans they want and bring them up here and we will work on them.”

But shouldn’t congressional leaders explain to the people, to whom they report, rather than to the president? Shouldn’t we all be reviewing any real plans in the light of day, so that all voters can speak out? And our “representatives” can listen to our informed opinions and represent us?

Mr. President, we citizens want to roll up our sleeves and work on those plans, too.

“The only bottom line I have,” our president informed reporters, “is we have to extend this debt ceiling through the next election—into 2013.”

Again, the key principle seems clear: keep governing as far away as possible from an election . . . and those pesky voters.

Paul Jacob

Paul Jacob is President of Citizens in Charge Foundation and Citizens in Charge. His daily Common Sense commentary appears on the Web and via e-mail.