Super Committee + Secrecy = Fail

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Time has run out. The Super Committee has failed.

While the political leadership cast blame on each other for the inability to compromise — no one but the twelve members of the Super Committee know who is actually at fault. Conventional wisdom has characterized the whole deficit reduction saga to one epic battle: the stalwart Republican opposition to tax increases vs. the Democratic protection of social programs. Aside from the hearsay and finger pointing, this mystery will never be solved. The reason for this lies at the foundational premise at the creation of the Super Committee: that secrecy was a necessity for the success of the most sweeping budget legislation in our nation’s history.

Sunlight has railed against this assumption from the beginning and our Policy Director John Wonderlich has a very detailed post outlining this and other assumptions that led to the failure of the Super Committee. While all the Super Committee members and even members of academia argued for a backroom process as a mechanism for ‘real talk’ to achieve compromise, the only success the closed doors achieved was keeping the public in the dark.

Today, a bipartisan group representing a variety of interests sent a letter to the congressional leadership repudiating the secretive process of the Super Committee. As Congress contemplates next steps in resolving the budget crisis, transparency, not secrecy needs to be the modus operandi.

With Thanksgiving tomorrow and recipes as the main focus for many home chefs, Americans need to remind Congress that a closed-door policy is not an ingredient for success.

Happy Holidays. Letter to Leadership on Super Committee Failure

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