This needs to be a nationwide thing

I would hope that Glen at Tennesseefree.com would be all over this.

And hat tip to to the Free Republic

**** An Open Letter to the Massachusetts State Legislature ****

from Michael Cloud and Carla Howell

Dear Massachusetts State Legislators,

On behalf of the 3,000,000+ taxpayers of Massachusetts,

For the purposes of transparency and accountability of the Massachusetts state government,

We request that you show us the money: open the books for all Massachusetts State Government income and spending.

We ask that you post the Massachusetts state government budget – every dollar of all state government income and spending online – on an open, free, easily readable, and easily accessible website.

Taxpayers shouldn’t need a Freedom of Information request to find out where the money comes from and where it goes.

Taxpayers shouldn’t have to be Certified Public Accountants or trained business auditors to follow the money in Massachusetts state government.

Taxpayers shouldn’t need training in encryption or code-breaking to understand the language, grammar, or syntax of the Massachusetts state government budget.

We request that you make this state government budget easily readable and understandable by average 12-year old students in the Massachusetts public school system.

Why not? The Massachusetts state government budget isn’t calculus or trigonometry. It’s not even algebra. It’s simple addition and subtraction. With just a little basic multiplication and division.

Taxpayers should be able to log onto this online Massachusetts state government budget website and see exactly where the money comes from and where it goes.

Taxpayers should be able to easily find out how much we’re paying for supplies and services. For rent or purchases. For construction and maintenance.

Detective novels tell us to follow the money.

Taxpayers should be able to easily find out which individuals and companies we are paying these tax dollars to. Government employees. Government expenditures. Contractors. Suppliers and vendors. Outsourcing.

This will help eliminate even the appearance of political favoritism, sweetheart deals, conflicts-of-interest, bribery, or corruption.

It will help taxpayers identify and call attention to overcharges, underperformance, and poor returns on tax spending. It will let taxpayers shine a spotlight on previously unnoticed government overspending and waste.

Closed Books government is secretive government.

Closed Books government is unaccountable to taxpayers. Neither morally, nor financially.

Closed Books government fosters inefficiency and ineffectiveness. It protects incompetence and irresponsibility.

Closed Books government conceals and covers up 3 kinds of waste.

1. Paying champagne prices for beer.

2. Paying champagne prices for champagne – when you only need beer.

3. Buying champagne or beer when you don’t need either.

Open Books government is transparent and accountable.

Open Books government shows taxpayers and voters that the Massachusetts state government has nothing to hide.

Open Books Government is a huge step toward an INFORMED consent of the governed.

You can easily and cheaply post the Massachusetts state government budget online – including all off-budget spending. Post every dollar received and every check written by the state government – with no exclusions – on an open, free, easily readable, and easily accessible website.

We ask that you do this and do it quickly – within 30 days. Starting March 8, 2008. You can and you should.

Why?

Transparency delayed is transparency denied.

Accountability delayed is accountability denied.

On behalf of the 3,000,000+ taxpayers and workers of Massachusetts,

On behalf of the 3,000,000+ voters who will go to the Massachusetts polls this November 4th,

We ask you to open the books of the Massachusetts state government.

Sincerely,

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