Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Show Me The Money!

Yesterday President Obama signed the 1,100-page American Recovery and Reinvestment Act into law. This $787 billion stimulus package is meant to revive the American economy and provide jobs and tax cuts for millions of people in an effort to jump-start economic recovery. According to an e-mail he sent me this morning, the President says that citizens can track every dollar spent and every job created on a new website named And you better believe that people will try. (Pity the poor web developers here for a moment.) The site breaks the spending down into broad categories and provides state-by-state estimates of jobs created, but it is not possible currently to track the specific spending at a community level because the states haven't always made those decisions yet. You certainly have to give them points for this effort, though. This is part of the new transparency of government the President is committed to even though it may not yet be perfect. It will set the standard for the future, however, and I get the feeling the President will not tolerate anything but excellence in this endeavor. It is a data stream for holding our government accountable. The future is now and we can see it on the Internet.

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