Update: The Fiscal Cliff Process was an Atrocious, Secretive Mess
John Wonderlich does a good job of summing up how openness was a casualty of the so-called fiscal cliff drama.
- The Fiscal Cliff Process was an Atrocious, Secretive Mess, by John Wonderlich, Sunlight Foundation (Jan. 2, 2013).
As we expected, the culmination of the "fiscal cliff" negotiations was a rush to the finish line, in which policies decided by a few men in a room were passed through the Congress without amendment.
Here is an interesting view of the bill that passed:
- 6 Things You Won't Believe That Are In The Fiscal Cliff Bill That The Senate Passed At 2 AM While Most Americans Were Drunk, by Joe Weisenthal, Business Insider (Jan. 1, 2013).
...why is the bill 157-pages long?
There's a provision extending a tax policy related to Puerto Rican rum... a tax credit for 2- and 3-wheel electric vehicles... An extension of some special rules for the film and television business... A gift to the car-racing world... Help to asparagus farmers...
As Wonderlich said, "While Congress (and the rest of us) only just found out what was in the bill, a coterie of corporate lobbyists managed to get their profit-boosting tax expenditures included. It's hard to imagine how NASCAR and Hollywood had stronger negotiating positions than the House of Representatives, but in the end, they did."