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Online Budget Database Planned by White House

Zonk posted about 8 years ago | from the president-uses-google-as-verb-goog-stock-rises dept.

304

prostoalex writes "The President of the United States feels Americans should be able 'to Google their tax dollars', and has signed a law that will create an online database to track federal spending. According to the Associated Press, the 'law is aimed preventing wasteful spending by opening the federal budget to greater scrutiny. The information is already available, but the Web site would make it easier for those who aren't experts on the process to see how taxpayer dollars are being spent.'"

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304 comments

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How much for the website... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16203145)

I'll laugh if people start complaining about the tax dollars being spent on creating and maintaining the website :).

Re:How much for the website... (4, Informative)

FrYGuY101 (770432) | about 8 years ago | (#16203559)

Why do you think Senator Ted "The internet is a series of tubes" Stevens put a hold on the bill to create this website? (I only WISH I was kiding.)

Proof (4, Informative)

missing000 (602285) | about 8 years ago | (#16203895)

Meh. (3, Interesting)

TheCabal (215908) | about 8 years ago | (#16203147)

Nothing will come of this. There will be no data in the database due to either "national security" or creative accounting.

Half Empty, Half Full. (4, Interesting)

Mateo_LeFou (859634) | about 8 years ago | (#16203301)

I suspect you're right. Enron made their income & expenditure information public, too. For funzies here's a story about how they evade being specific here in Dallas: Schutze [dallasobserver.com] rules, by the way.

Re:Meh. (5, Insightful)

eln (21727) | about 8 years ago | (#16203311)

The law is aimed to "prevent government waste," and they are only showing about $1 trillion of the budget. This means that they will be picking out programs they want to eliminate, and putting them in this database (making sure to describe them in an unflattering way) in order to drum up support for cutting them.

This is purely a political move. Unless he plans on putting every single budget item on the Internet (including every item in the Defense budget), there is no way this is ever going to be used as anything but propaganda to cut Bush's least favorite programs.

Re:Meh. (1)

thrillseeker (518224) | about 8 years ago | (#16203409)

there is no way this is ever going to be used as anything but propaganda to cut Bush's least favorite programs

Ah - so he should only look for ways to cut his favorite programs?

Re:Meh. (1)

Goblez (928516) | about 8 years ago | (#16203651)

least favorite, as in bottom of the list. Did you miss that?

Re:Meh. (2, Insightful)

MindStalker (22827) | about 8 years ago | (#16203485)

Me thinks this database is being built from publically readable spending bills. If you can find the spending searching through the thomas website it should also be on this website. Of course if that proves not to be the case I'd agree.

Re:Meh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16203419)

You just know that do you?

I just knew when I saw your user name "TheCabal" that your comment was going to be anti-Bush. And it was! Fancy that.

Re:Meh. (0, Offtopic)

El Torico (732160) | about 8 years ago | (#16203523)

And I just knew when I saw your username "Anonymous Coward" that your comment was going to be a troll. And it was! Fancy that.

Re:Meh. (5, Funny)

Fyre2012 (762907) | about 8 years ago | (#16203521)

No kidding. This is, however, a good idea (dare I say it). Bush and co. need to be held accountable to where the citizens tax dollars go.
That being said, however, i'm sure that the 85% that goes into the military will just be marked 'military', and not
"Dick's new private jet: $15M; Haliburton (just cause): $5B; Bribes (Murdoch & co): $10b; etc.. ; Seeing Dick shoot that guy in the face: priceless;"

But I digress... Of course it's typical political tactics starting this initiative. This way, when the GOP is being tarred and feathered for robbing the good American people blind, the Bushites can say 'But we were the ones who opened up transparency in the buget! Look, we made a blog thing that says so! It runs on the tubes, and is bigger than a truck! It's not our fault, we did everything we could!"

Re:Meh. (4, Interesting)

WhatsAProGingrass (726851) | about 8 years ago | (#16203597)

I work for the military and even in our little shop, we can't keep track of our spending habbits. We can't keep track of man hours. Every piece of data that goes "higher" up, is definately skewed to show the "right" numbers. Absolutely nothing that gets sent up is actuall data. But let them keep spending millions trying to track it. When they find faults, they will yell at the people "below" and tell them to fix the problem. Well, now the people below will "fix" the numbers for the higher up guys. Wow, great ideas.

Re:Meh. (1)

jizziknight (976750) | about 8 years ago | (#16203897)

Seeing Dick shoot that guy in the face: priceless
This is funny on so many levels, I don't even know where to begin.

Re:Meh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16203583)

No, it'll probably be useless information.

$128B Military Spending
$48B Medicare
$300B Social Security

Yeah, thats helpful.

what will suffer (0)

SuperBanana (662181) | about 8 years ago | (#16203653)

Nothing will come of this. There will be no data in the database due to either "national security" or creative accounting.

I think you're half right. All the stuff Republicans care about (defense and pork barrel spending) will either please the people who see it (ie, pork barrel spending, ie "wow, Joe Congresscritter brought in the jobs for us this year! Let's re-elect him!") or won't be included (Defense and/or Homeland inSecurity.) The defense budget is where we need to be trimming the fat more than anywhere else, and under Clinton, we balanced the budget simply by telling the military to chill out. We spend more money on defense, both total and per capita, than any other nation in the world, including China and North Korea.

What will be painfully visible will be the stuff that Joe Sixpack doesn't "see" why we need to spend money on. Things like school lunch assistance programs, PBS and NPR ("liberal media") funding...anything that has a slightly abstract benefit to society as a whole. All that will come of this is a lot of armchair socio-accounting, where Joe Sixpack gets outraged that HE is paying for ____________. It doesn't matter that only one cent out of his income tax goes to that tiny little thing and hundreds of dollars go to military hardware...

One thing seems consistent about Republican policy: cater the lowest common denominator in regards to people's ability to understand the flow of government dollars and how it helps "them." Hence the massive farm subsidies and a national diet that revolves around corn no matter how unhealthy it is, tarriffs on imported farm goods, corn-to-ethanol programs, and absurd "homeland (in)security" spending.

Pretty soon we'll all be corn-bloated, our kids will be mired in at least two foreign wars and dumb as fence posts, and we'll have an explosion of crime and homelessness...but at least we'll have shiny new police cars every year.

Re:what will suffer (1)

Live_in_Dayton (805960) | about 8 years ago | (#16203799)

What do you really think about Republicans?

Google (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16203157)

Google kindof like Podcast. Now the Apple Police will be after me.

But what if the President does it? (1)

njchick (611256) | about 8 years ago | (#16203593)

Imagine what happens if President Bush podcasts his speech. I guess he'll be impeached for violating Apple's trademark.

Oblig .... (4, Funny)

gstoddart (321705) | about 8 years ago | (#16203161)

SELECT from Government.Hammers,Government.Vendors WHERE Hammers.Price > 15
 
:-P

Re:Oblig .... (5, Funny)

Slightly Askew (638918) | about 8 years ago | (#16203473)

I believe you mean:

select VendorName
from Government.Vendors v inner join Government.Products p on v.VendorID=p.VendorID
inner join Government.CampainContributions c on v.VendorID=c.VendorID
where p.HammerPrice > 15 and
c.AnnualContributions < 1000000;

NO RESULTS FOUND

Re:Oblig .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16203847)

you've created a cartesian product of all government vendors and hammers! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAaaa

Thank God (1)

Mateo_LeFou (859634) | about 8 years ago | (#16203163)

We need another one to track what congresspeople spend their time doing. Heard a radio story about that but can't remember who was doing it...

Re:Thank God (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16203655)

It was on NPR late last week. I think the show was "All Things Considered".

Ted Stevens' Internet (3, Funny)

HTH NE1 (675604) | about 8 years ago | (#16203171)

But won't all the people searching this database clog the tubes?

Re:Ted Stevens' Internet (1)

ZeroExistenZ (721849) | about 8 years ago | (#16203595)

Just check the mirror [brillig.com] if it's down :)

Tim and Money (3, Funny)

dlhm (739554) | about 8 years ago | (#16203179)

How much time and money will be wasted looking at how much time and money we're waisting..

In other news... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16203183)

...thousands of Slashdot readers with severe cases of Bush Derangement Syndrome (BDS) go into shock as the president does something they can't somehow link with the end of the world and everyone's freedoms.

Re:In other news... (1)

Com2Kid (142006) | about 8 years ago | (#16203303)

...thousands of Slashdot readers with severe cases of Bush Derangement Syndrome (BDS) go into shock as the president does something they can't somehow link with the end of the world and everyone's freedoms.


After having witnessed two politicians being publicly humiliated for attempting to stonewall the bill.

Re:In other news... (1)

Amouth (879122) | about 8 years ago | (#16203537)

I have to note and wonder.. he said that people should be able to "Google it" but refered to a government built website to host this data and search..

wasn't Google recently sueing people for trademark infringement by saying that using google as a verb when not refering to using Google a devaulation of their name?

can't wait to see the google law peps sicked on bush.. that would be funny..

Re:In other news... (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | about 8 years ago | (#16203325)

I have BDS on the conservative side- and I consider this to be the second thing ever dubbya has done right (the first being the removing of the marriage penalty from income taxes, thus supporting heterosexual marriage). Just about everything else he's failed at.

Re:In other news... (1)

ElleyKitten (715519) | about 8 years ago | (#16203451)

He hasn't actually done it yet, so you can't say he's done it right. I think it's a good idea too, but I won't be surprised if he fucks it up.

Re:In other news... (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | about 8 years ago | (#16203873)

True- given his propensity for reading only what he wants and not what the law says, it's still a possibility he'll mess up the execution.

Re:In other news... (1)

AuMatar (183847) | about 8 years ago | (#16203719)

WHat marraige penalty? You file jointly, you get a bigger deduction. I don't see a penalty there. Oh, you want an even bigger deduction than you would have gotten alone? And why do you deserve that? Typical conservative spin- not getting a bonus deduction is now a penalty.

Re:In other news... (2, Informative)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | about 8 years ago | (#16203785)

WHat marraige penalty? You file jointly, you get a bigger deduction. I don't see a penalty there. Oh, you want an even bigger deduction than you would have gotten alone? And why do you deserve that? Typical conservative spin- not getting a bonus deduction is now a penalty.

The actual penalty was more along these lines: A TWO income family, fileing jointly, got a smaller deduction than two independant people filing singly. About $600 less, on the standard deduction. All the "elimination of the marriage penalty" did was make the standard deduction for filing jointly exactly 2x the standard deduction for filing singly.

Of course, good luck if you're a bigamist with two wives....

Re:In other news... (1)

patrixmyth (167599) | about 8 years ago | (#16203371)

Hey, even a broken clock is right twice a day. As long as it is not digital of course, or displaying military time, in which case it would be right once a day. Of course, you have to take into account daylight savings time and whether the clock is moving across time zones. Time, of course, exists on a continuum that is ultimately undefined and our attempts to quantify it are ultimately subject to forces beyond our meager understanding of the universe. Oh wait, what were we talking about? Oh yes, Bush wants to make the budget searchable online. That sounds great, but he'll probably fsck that up too, or more likely it will trail off into meaningless promises ultimately signifying nothing, just like Social Security Reform, Immigration Reform and the Houston Astros.

Re:In other news... (1)

patrixmyth (167599) | about 8 years ago | (#16203465)

Houston Astros --- err, Texas Rangers... damn, oh well, wasn't even funny the first time.

Re:In other news... (4, Informative)

statemachine (840641) | about 8 years ago | (#16203483)

...thousands of Slashdot readers with severe cases of Bush Derangement Syndrome (BDS) go into shock as the president does something they can't somehow link with the end of the world and everyone's freedoms.

GB2 has only ever vetoed one bill. He's a rubber-stamping president. (The one bill he did veto was about stem-cells and that had to do more with religion than anything else.) He doesn't deserve credit for any bill coming across his desk.

Re:In other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16203729)

I know how this works. You don't like Bush, so everything bad that happens is his fault and nothing good that happens is down to him.

Because, in your opinion, everything bad that happens is his fault and nothing good that happens is down to him he must be a really bad man and you would of course be right not to like him.

Yeah, I'm sure the numbers will be really accurate (4, Insightful)

Who235 (959706) | about 8 years ago | (#16203187)

Pencil - $1500
Toilet Seat - $30,000
Knowing what your government is spending your money on?
Priceless.

But seriously, there is no way the numbers will be anywhere close to being remotely accurate.
The government will never tell you where your money goes.
Sorry, but they won't.
This is not news, this is wool being pulled over your eyes.

Re:Yeah, I'm sure the numbers will be really accur (4, Insightful)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | about 8 years ago | (#16203657)

This is not news, this is wool being pulled over your eyes.

Citizen, repeat after me:

"Alpha children wear grey They work much harder than we do, because they're so frightfully clever. I'm really awfuly glad I'm a Beta, because I don't work so hard. And then we are much better than the Gammas and Deltas. Gammas are stupid. They all wear green, and Delta children wear khaki. Oh no, I don't want to play with Delta children. And Epsilons are still worse. They're too stupid to be able."

Now if we could just get Congress (1)

Bucc5062 (856482) | about 8 years ago | (#16203189)

What an amazing thing...providing a tool to the americna public (and the world) that our congress wonks could actually use. Of course they may have to learn how to operate a PC and an browser application. (First post?)

Congress cuts funding (3, Insightful)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about 8 years ago | (#16203193)

In an effort to cutdown wasteful spending, Congress today cut all funding for the budget tracking site that would allow ornery citizens to find how the money is spent. Senator Bridge To Nowhere said, "It is not as if these morons can stop us from spending the money. Then why waste money helping them find the wasteful spending?".

Re:Congress cuts funding (3, Interesting)

Tackhead (54550) | about 8 years ago | (#16203393)

> Senator Bridge To Nowhere said, "It is not as if these morons can stop us from spending the money. Then why waste money helping them find the wasteful spending?"

...whereupon Senator McBridge was promptly set upon and flayed alive by enraged representatives - for his first sentence contained a truth, and the second was the foulest blasphemy his fellow politicians had ever heard.

Irony (1)

hawridger (929560) | about 8 years ago | (#16203199)

The President of the United States feels Americans should be able 'to Google their tax dollars' and signed a law to create online database to track federal spending. According to the Associated Press, the 'law is aimed preventing wasteful spending by opening the federal budget to greater scrutiny.

And how much will the database cost? Can I Google that?

On a side note, is Google going after GW for using "Google" as a verb?

Re:Irony (4, Funny)

thrillseeker (518224) | about 8 years ago | (#16203357)

On a side note, is Google going after GW for using "Google" as a verb?

Not as long as he keeps pronouncing it "googular" ...

Re:Irony (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16203589)

someone should tell the secret service that google's lawyers will be coming soon...

http://it.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=06/08/14/115 9243 [slashdot.org]

Re:Irony (1)

tribune303 (1006109) | about 8 years ago | (#16203839)

To "google" has been added to the merrian-webster and oxford english dictionaries as a verb so I don't think you can get him on that one now :)

LOL tubes! (1)

Mateo_LeFou (859634) | about 8 years ago | (#16203221)

"Senate leaders had tried to pass the bill in early August but Rep. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, and Sen. Robert Byrd (news, bio, voting record), D-W.Va., blocked passage by lodging secret "holds" on the bill. The bloggers tracked down those responsible for the delay and the senators let the bill advance under the pressure."

Try to clog up our legislative tubes, will ya?

Re:LOL tubes! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16203461)

Funny how the Republicans go all batshit crazy about the "nuclear option" when Democrats threaten to use it against them, but when a Democrat threatens to filibuster (that's what this "secret hold" business is, literally an indication that a Senator is going to filibuster if the bill makes it to the floor) a bill one of their own wants killed, this whole "gumming up the works has got to stop" suddenly disappears.

Of course when has it ever been different for the Republicans? Republicans in the 90's set up ethics rules that threw out "Innocent until proven guilty" so that they could beat the Democrats while they were down... until their own ethic rules beat down DeLay, who would later go on record as The Great Divider's personal lapdog, The Great Whiner. Who can forget the Republicans fighting to kill the election laws they helped pass so that The Great Whiner could swap his name off the ballot. Who can forget The Great Whiner's parting speech, whining about how the Democratic Party's minority had twisted the Republicans' arms and forced them to spend out of control, or how the Democrats had gone on a "witch hunt" or how companies should be allowed to buy whatever votes they want in Congress.

Ah, I remember the TV ads too, flashing up words like Honor and Integrity. To the Republicans, they seem to have just been words flashed on the screen. So much for "values".

good (1)

thisnow1 (882441) | about 8 years ago | (#16203233)

Although this never really was "secret" it's about time the crew that's been in charge for six years changed direction a bit and let the American people see a little more of their government in action.

Re:good (1)

mackil (668039) | about 8 years ago | (#16203771)

Ahh but the question is, do we want to see this government in action??

A Veto now and then would be more helpful (0, Flamebait)

BunnyClaws (753889) | about 8 years ago | (#16203245)

How about he veto some of the Pork Barreling that has been going on for the past 6 years instead? Oh, wait he wouldn't do that Republicans control the congress why would a Republican President veto a bill from a Republican controlled congress. AHHHHH...

Re:A Veto now and then would be more helpful (1)

Bob_Villa (926342) | about 8 years ago | (#16203319)

I really liked the idea of the line-item veto, personally. I think there should be a pork-item veto personally. Presidents would have the power to trim the fat off the budget. I know that people only vote for these bills nowadays when their pork gets added to it (basically bribes to vote for it) but I would support the pork-item veto!

Re:A Veto now and then would be more helpful (4, Informative)

eln (21727) | about 8 years ago | (#16203613)

The problem with the line-item veto is it makes it so that the President can approve laws that are different than the ones Congress approved. A bill usually represents a set of compromises between the parties, so if the President line-item vetoes parts of it, he's going to end up enacting a bill that violates the compromise that was struck in Congress, and some of the people in Congress would not have voted for had they known parts of it were going to be struck out by the President. In this way, the line-item veto violates the separation of powers and vastly increases the power of the Executive. Personally, I think the Executive is way too powerful already.

On the other hand, the practice of last-minute riders and amendments on bills stinks as well. Ideally, Congress people would be prohibited from attaching amendments to bills that are not directly related to the main subject matter of that bill, but I don't see that happening any time soon.

Re:A Veto now and then would be more helpful (1)

Bob_Villa (926342) | about 8 years ago | (#16203843)

I like that idea too. Basically, this bill is about adding additional funds for Katrina and the troops in Iraq. So only related legislation should be in that bill, rather than pet projects across the country. Otherwise, when people vote against it they are considered anti-Katrina victims or anti-troops rather than anti-pork. Isn't that how the Bridge to Nowhere got funding, from being attached to something important and completely unrelated?

Re:A Veto now and then would be more helpful (1)

BunnyClaws (753889) | about 8 years ago | (#16203925)

In this way, the line-item veto violates the separation of powers and vastly increases the power of the Executive. Personally, I think the Executive is way too powerful already.
I agree the line-item veto would throw off the separation of powers. We can already see this happening with his use of Signing Statements [wikipedia.org] the line-item veto would be much worse. The problem is with both parties controlling the legislative and executive branch there is no opposition from either branch concerning outrageous spending. We need different parties to control each branch. This will create gridlock and that should slow down spending. The database will not put any pressure to stop the spending.

Sounds like a good first step. (2, Interesting)

kabocox (199019) | about 8 years ago | (#16203285)

This sounds like a really good first step. It's a pity that it's taken this long for them to get around to it though. What's really bad though is that it'll most likely take years for this to roll out. What I'd really like is a www.fia.gov that was a single site that any citizen could request and instantly recieve a copy of all FIA information that the government: federal, state, and local can legally give out to citizens. I'd actually like them to spend a few hundred million on a project like that.

The President believes? (5, Informative)

bricriu (184334) | about 8 years ago | (#16203295)

Bush didn't push this, it was a broad, bipartisan coalition of Senators that pushed this through over the "secret holds" of pork-lovin' Senators from AK and VA, aided by bloggers of all stripes [tpmmuckraker.com] . Maybe he's into it too, but to give credit for this to the President when Sens. Coburn and Obama are its parents and originals is disingenuous to say the least.

Re:The President believes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16203423)

Senators Ted Stevens and Robert Byrd placed the "Secret Holds". Stevens is from AK, yes, but Byrd is from *WV* not VA.

Greatly Needed (4, Insightful)

CastrTroy (595695) | about 8 years ago | (#16203343)

I would love to have something like this in Canada. It's well known by anybody who has ever worked in government that most departments spend their remaining budget on plasma TVs, new computers, agendas (the paper kind), and other expensive or unneeded things right near the end of the fiscal year. The rational is that if you don't use up your budget, you'll get less next year, because you obviously don't need the money you aren't spending. Something like this could help cut down on this type of activity.

Re:Greatly Needed (1)

leoxx (992) | about 8 years ago | (#16203983)

It's well known by anybody who has ever worked in government that most departments spend their remaining budget on plasma TVs, new computers, agendas (the paper kind), and other expensive or unneeded things right near the end of the fiscal year.


Got any actual evidence of this?

Re:Greatly Needed (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | about 8 years ago | (#16203997)

"and other expensive or unneeded things right near the end of the fiscal year. The rational is that if you don't use up your budget, you'll get less next year, because you obviously don't need the money you aren't spending."
Many companies do exactly the same thing.
This wouldn't work to solve that problem. It only covers contracts for items over 25,000.
It would simply look like this.
Ministry of Agriculture
      Office Supplies $1,200,000.
      Computers $3,000,000.

Not real details and no way to tell if it was needed or not.

BTW no offence intended to Canada if they have departments instead of ministries. I am not all that familiar with how the Government of Canada is organized internally. I went with the British naming conventions since it is Canada. I do know that Canada has a senate but they also use the term Parliamentary a lot when dealing with it.

Wait a moment... (1)

Kenja (541830) | about 8 years ago | (#16203365)

So we're spending money to tell people how much more money we're spending then what we're making? Reminds me of the cost (cant recall the figure, but it was a large dollar amount) of sending the letter telling people their 300% tax rebate was on its way.

Info is already available (2, Insightful)

Catamaran (106796) | about 8 years ago | (#16203373)

From the article:
The law is aimed preventing wasteful spending by opening the federal budget to greater scrutiny. The information is already available, but the Web site would make it easier for those who aren't experts on the process to see how taxpayer dollars are being spent.

You can get a lot of info from the GAO [gao.gov] . Unfortunately, W doesn't seem to be albe to get them to spin the numbers in his favor, hence this bill.

Grass-roots Effort (4, Insightful)

adavies42 (746183) | about 8 years ago | (#16203385)

The real story here is that the Porkbusters [porkbusters.org] group of bloggers are the people who kept this issue visible enough to get it passed over the efforts of Ted "series of tubes" Stevens and Robert "reformed Klansman" Byrd. I'd have thought /. would want to highlight the blogs' contribution to this event.

For numbers this big, (1)

idontgno (624372) | about 8 years ago | (#16203387)

and that change this fast, we're gonna need bigger tubes!

Amazon.gov (1)

lorg (578246) | about 8 years ago | (#16203389)

Why not just have a link to amazon.gov and a picture of the $5000 hammers etc so that you can see what your tax dollars are paying for :)

Already been done (3, Interesting)

Aqua_boy17 (962670) | about 8 years ago | (#16203395)

Re:Already been done (1)

Com2Kid (142006) | about 8 years ago | (#16203557)

Not the same thing. I want to see every an invoice for last damn pen the government purchases.

I wouldn't trust it (1)

spidey3 (570347) | about 8 years ago | (#16203417)

I cannot imagine that this will be usefull in any way. I am sure that it will have some terribly obfuscated interface, be heavily redacted, and affected by the well known propensity of the current administration for prevarication...

It's already done.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16203435)

The budget graph [thebudgetgraph.com] already does this. Why spend money when it's already out there?

Election Year (1)

Jamil Karim (931849) | about 8 years ago | (#16203437)

Too bad this election year website will be swept under the rug and forgotten after elections...

Re:Election Year (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16203823)

Whatever you say Bush-basher.

I'll bet you don't believe the server will housed on Mars, either.

Sue Bush!!! (1)

SeattleGameboy (641456) | about 8 years ago | (#16203457)

Isn't Google on a crusade to stop people from using "Google" as a verb? I guess it is time to sue good ol' George.

Just how long... (2, Interesting)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | about 8 years ago | (#16203475)

And just how long will this last after the next Presidential election -- especially if the party in power changes? Can they get it too well established to take away afterwards over the next two years?

Re:Just how long... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16203921)

Don't worry. I doubt we will see a more extreme and secretive administration than we have now, so if the system is well established under Bush, it won't be going away anytime soon.

So as it turns out (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | about 8 years ago | (#16203491)

the national deficit IS a googol....

Mars Exploration? (1)

Karma Farmer (595141) | about 8 years ago | (#16203493)

Will this go online before or after astronauts set foot on Mars?

Re:Mars Exploration? (1)

joncotes (942594) | about 8 years ago | (#16203713)

LOL. Good one. I remember when Mars exploration was the big news... a long time ago. Maybe this will turn into the next Mars venture.

Re:Mars Exploration? (1)

justkarl (775856) | about 8 years ago | (#16203717)

Maybe the article did not make it clear enough. This will be a joint effort, in order to maintain our priority of getting on Mars first. The server which will host this will be placed on mars by the astronauts. That way, the information will be nearly unreachable.

From the Fine Article... (3, Informative)

NewbieV (568310) | about 8 years ago | (#16203509)

"The law calls for the Web site to go online by Jan. 1, 2008. It will list federal grants and contracts greater than $25,000, except for those classified for national security reasons."

So it doesn't contain all the budget details, but it is a good start.

For more information on the Federal budget, Google turns up this site [gpoaccess.gov] .

Re:From the Fine Article... (1)

pla (258480) | about 8 years ago | (#16203937)

"It will list federal grants and contracts greater than $25,000, except for those classified for national security reasons."

In other news, the president has just issued an executive order classifying all government spending over $25,000, for national security reasons.

Title is extremely misleading (4, Insightful)

Manchot (847225) | about 8 years ago | (#16203525)

"Planned by White House?" Please! The bill is known as the "Coburn-Obama Transparency Bill" because Senators Barack Obama (D-IL) and Tom Coburn (R-OK) authored it. Bush did nothing to support the bill except sign it. In fact, one could make the argument that he had no choice but to do so, since if he did not, he would've inflicted severe damage upon the Republican party come November.

Re:Title is extremely misleading (1)

Dark Paladin (116525) | about 8 years ago | (#16203787)

Thank you! I was hoping that someone had pointed this out.

I heard Mr. Obama on his podcast talking about this bill, and have to give him and Senator Coburn kudos. Each gentlemen proved that just because you disagree on party issues does *not* mean you can't work together on important issues like this one.

Hopefully we'll be able to use this tool to start getting out some of the pork in spending bills. Maybe, maybe not - but more openness in government is usually a good thing.

Re:Title is extremely misleading (1)

Abraxis (180472) | about 8 years ago | (#16203957)

I'd go beyond misleading, and say the the headline is an outright lie. This bill was in no way "planned" by the Whitehouse. The President just signed the thing.
The submitter must be drunk on spiked right-wing Kool-Aid.

already been done (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#16203539)

Greater Scrutiny? (1)

psybre (921148) | about 8 years ago | (#16203599)

Really? Who or what agency is the responsible watchdog to guarantee the numbers are copasetic?

~psybre

Thank you president Bush! (1)

Retardican (1006101) | about 8 years ago | (#16203625)

Finally, we can see how much money Halliburton, Diebold, and DynCorp are raking in these days.
Oh, but wait, since these are defense companies, they are exempt! Oops [wikipedia.org]

My perpertual white house rant (2, Interesting)

way2trivial (601132) | about 8 years ago | (#16203627)

things the Govt DOES NOT WANT YOU TO GOOGLE?

p.s. why is that- think about it-
EVERYTHING under these pages is NOT going to be a result when you search on google.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/robots.txt [whitehouse.gov]

Re:My perpertual white house rant (1)

MrSquishy (916581) | about 8 years ago | (#16203933)

Disallow: /kids/eggroll/text
They are eating children!

Visual budget overview (2, Insightful)

daves (23318) | about 8 years ago | (#16203693)

For an accessible view of the budget, check out at the poster "Death and Taxes".

http://www.thebudgetgraph.com/ [thebudgetgraph.com]

National Security Exempt (1)

s21825 (946313) | about 8 years ago | (#16203711)

FTA:
It will list federal grants and contracts greater than $25,000, except for those classified for national security reasons.
I wonder how many entries will be hidden and whether there will be anything saying e.g. 3 contract awarded; details hidden due to national security concerns.

Re:National Security Exempt (1)

ostawookiee (134245) | about 8 years ago | (#16203905)

I imagine there'll be an upswing in the number of $24,999 contracts.

Fantastic idea (2, Interesting)

daigu (111684) | about 8 years ago | (#16203769)

Fantastic idea. I'd personally like to know where the $507 billion since 9/11 through FY2007E [fas.org] was and will be spent - with breakouts by mercenary wages, secret prisons, black operations, etc. Given how forthcoming this administration isn't with everything else it is doing from NSA spying on U.S. citizens to the use of the state secrets priviledge to fend off lawsuits aimed at getting them to provide more information, this can only be posturing for the upcoming election. Check out the Secrecy Report Card 2006 [openthegovernment.org] for an eye-opening discussion.

Obfuscation Incoming. (2, Interesting)

mr_luc (413048) | about 8 years ago | (#16203773)

Public transparency is the arch-enemy of entrenched power -- of all sorts.

So all that measures like this mean are that obfuscation and securing of information will move from the process and mechanics of apportioning tax money -- quietly sneaking in billions in pork, as evidenced by the efforts of Byrd and Stephens to kill this bill (read TFA) -- to their initial conception.

We've already seen this in, say, the environmental policies of the past six years. Healthy Forests; who is against those? Such a program certainly wouldn't be associated with distasteful policies like logging national forests ...

Instead of quieting the *passage* of wasteful bills or the awarding of ridiculous military contracts and other such theft, the process of weaselifying government spending will happen in the early stages of their conception.

Since the military and security is a sacred cow, Head-Start will be renamed the Homeland Child Protection and Institutional Defense Agency.

The military itself will show up on the budget as "1 trillion annually: FREEDOM."

The solution, of course, would be to allow citizens to annotate the entries for their fellow citizens, and to rate the contributions of their fellow citizens to allow popular opinions the visibility they deserve.

Which, despite its negligible cost, would never, ever, ever be allowed to happen. Control of information is power, and the government never gives away power to citizens unless forced.

Google This! (1)

Rogue Eve (831308) | about 8 years ago | (#16203795)

Rather than "googling" my tax dollars I'd like to keep them. Unfortunately, GW and congress are eating my money with their jack off federal budget online even though it's already online bill. Besides what can we do about Steven's bridge to nowhere? Move to Alaska and fire him?

It's a start, at least (2, Interesting)

timothy (36799) | about 8 years ago | (#16203803)

Sorry, but this comment isn't based on a deep reading of the article; I'm sitting in class ("Federal Income Taxation") right now.

A googleable budget is a good start, but things should go a lot further: I'd like to see a paint color called Taxcolor Green (and a highlight color called Debt Red) which all things paid for by tax dollars would be painted, in proportion to the percentage of tax money used to finance them. (Debt Red would be used in a repeating pattern which conveys the amount of the national debt at the time the money was spent.)

This wouldn't upset the army too much, though the Stealth Bomber program and some others would need to file for some sort of exemption.

Anywho, that's my modest proposal for the day -- need to flesh that out a bit ;)

timothy

Tubes 1, Stevens 0 (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | about 8 years ago | (#16203943)

This is the database reported on Slashdot [slashdot.org] that had bipartisan support among the Congressmembers who planned it, but was blocked by Republican Senator Ted Stevens (R-Tubes). Bloggers and other activists organizing on the Internet are getting the main credit for pushing past Stevens.

I don't give Bush much credit, because he didn't start this legislation, and the only passed bill he's ever vetoed was the one this year that would have funded more stemcell research. The White House didn't "plan" this database, it's just too embattled these days to join Stevens in stopping it. And by including the over $25K budget items "except for those classified for national security reasons" while Bush invokes "national security" to cover any questionable acts he wants to do anyway, he's got little reason to dislike it.

Since the article makes no claim that the White House planned this system, I blame prostoalex for submitting it with that headline, and/or Zonk for publishing it with that headline.

Meanwhile, if this database is populated with real data and actually remains open to anyone, including researchers who can navigate its cryptic depths to compose the truth about our budgets, we may be entering a whole new era of "pin the credit/blame on the donkey/elephant".
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