Friday, March 27, 2009

Secrecy for me

but not for thee:

I think I have a better idea now why the White House was so sensitive about my story Monday questioning the legality and wisdom of secret meetings held by subcommittees of President Obama’s economic advisory panel.

It was because officials planned to announce within days that Obama intended to use just such a subcommittee to prepare his tax simplification and enforcement initiative. And it looks like they’re laying the groundwork to allow the new tax panel to do its work behind closed doors.

But Obama has promised to create "an unprecedented level of openness in Government.” Given that Democratic lawmakers have called the subcommittee exception a “loophole” in federal law and that a House committee voted early this month for a bill that would close that “loophole,” it may look a bit odd if the White House tries to leap straight into a "loophole" their Congressional colleagues are trying to close.
(Via Glenn Reynolds)

UPDATE: Bruce McQuain notices, too.

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