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  • Obama Administration Discontinues Transparency Tool

    Since 1993, the Census Bureau has made available detailed data about federal government expenditures in its Consolidated Federal Funds Report (CFFR). The 2012 report will be the last one.

    Through the CFFR website, the public had access to such data as federal expenditures made at the county level for programs such as Medicaid, Social Security, and Medicare as well as for more obscure federal spending programs. How much did the federal government send to Autauga County in Alabama for a hazardous materials training program? That data was available, but now it is concealed.

    The CFFR states:

    The U.S. Census Bureau has terminated the Federal Financial Statistics program effective for the FY 2012 budget. The termination of the program results in the elimination of the Consolidated Federal Funds Report (CFFR), including the publication, downloadable data, and the On-Line Query System, as well as the annual Federal Aid to States Report (FAS). In preparation for the Fiscal Year 2012 budget, the Census Bureau did a comprehensive review of a number of programs and made the difficult decision to terminate and reduce a number of existing programs in order to secure funding for new programs or cyclical increases for other programs.

    Did someone tell the Census Bureau that it must end the CFFR in order to expand other, less transparent data collection? The Obama Administration’s 2012 budget appendix includes a request to expand the Census Bureau’s research and production capabilities in some areas and a request to reduce them in others. It does not name exactly what is to be terminated but only what is to be expanded.

    Under the table cuts are not transparent.

    The old CFFR website refers people to USASpending.gov, with the caveat that not all of the data is available there. For the past two weeks, none of the data was available there.

    I spoke with the chief of the Federal Programs Branch at the Census Bureau, who pointed me to the archives section of USASpending.gov there. When we click on any of the files that are supposed to contain federal contracts however, we continually got “page not found” messages. Researchers who want to continue to use data they have had access to since 1993 are out of luck. On Friday, April 13, the data mysteriously returned to the page and is now located there, but the availability of the data remains spotty—one day in the last two weeks.

    With the Obama Administration outspending all prior Administrations while adding to the astronomical federal debt, the fact that taxpayers can no longer rely on access to where and how their money is being spent at the county and city level is disquieting. So far, Administration officials have been able to brush the lack of transparency under the rug. For the good of the country, that needs to change. Citizens should demand to know what is happening to their tax dollars once they are sucked up by the federal government’s vacuum cleaner.

    Posted in Economics [slideshow_deploy]

    10 Responses to Obama Administration Discontinues Transparency Tool

    1. @syjere17 says:

      This is troubling….very troubling. I find information is curiously unavailable sometimes, for whatever reason. This is NOT America. I'm a very, disgruntled Patriot.

    2. This brought to you by the most transparent government in history

      According to chairman O

      Wasn't that one of his campaign promises

    3. Chris in N.Va. says:

      A key, as-designed, hardwired, built-in feature, not a bug.

      Of the same sort that deliberately turns off their campaign website's account verification system to prevent the normal (and standard, ethical business practice) screening of credit card contributions being given to the most ethical, transparent (mis)administration in history.

      That giant sucking sound you hear is not the swamp being drained, rather, it's our wallets being sucked empty.

    4. Bobbie says:

      why the vulnerable, easily manipulated and the intentional ignorant antiAmericans' will be voting for this man. Can't face Americans with his truth because it isn't what America wants which leaves this man below the standards necessary to run this country!

    5. pearlenesilva says:

      Did you hear about Man robs bank to get medical care in jail i wish some one told him about the "Penny Health" that could have saved him

    6. LTC F says:

      Citizen, the Dear Leader will let you know what he chooses to spend the State's money on if he deems it worthwhile to the State to let you know. Do not concern yourself, the State has your well being in mind. Do not continue to abuse the freedom of speech that the State allows you.

    7. Doyle says:

      “But I do have an unyielding belief that all people yearn for certain things: the ability to speak your mind and have a say in how you are governed, confidence in the rule of law and the equal administration of justice, GOVERNMENT that is TRANSPARENT and doesn’t steal from the people, the freedom to live as you choose.” – President Barack Obama, June 4th, 2009

      Yes, I'd say his objectives are CRYSTAL clear.

    8. Timothy says:

      Conservatives moaning about the consequences of emasculating government? Oh, my, that's very rich!

    9. Pingback: The Transparently Hypocritical Barack Obama [Reader Post] | Flopping Aces

    10. Steve Roth says:

      Yeah it's patently obvious why the Obama administration would want to hide this information. It would allow somebody like The Economist to produce something like this:
      http://www.economist.com/blogs/dailychart/2011/08

      Which would reveal that red(-ink) states are what all our fiscal problems are all about.

      Check out Mississipi. Oh, I mean Greece. Oh no, I mean Mississippi.

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