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Why All The Secrecy On The Fiscal Cliff Negotiations?

I came across an article last night that started me thinking. It was talking about the negotiations that are now underway between the White House and congressional leaders on how to avoid the upcoming fiscal cliff. In this article, Senator Jeff Sessions, R-AL, was rasing a question that I believe is more than a little relevant to the discussion. Exactly why are these negotiations going on behind closed doors?

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(The Hill) Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) is calling on President Obama and congressional leaders to hold open talks to steer clear of the so-called “fiscal cliff.”

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“These secret talks violate the principle of American government that would be open to — every city, county school board has open meeting laws. You’re not supposed to be meeting in secret,” the ranking member on the Budget Committee said late Friday on Fox News’s “On the Record.”

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“Why doesn’t the American people know what it is the president would like to see as the final idea for America’s financial future?” he asked host Greta Van Susteren.

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Sessions is aiming his criticism at President Obama, rightfully so, but I would go one step further than the Senator and ask congressional leaders, specifically Speaker John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell why they agreed to hold the negotiations behind closed doors in the first place.

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I am a firm believer that there are some things in our government that should not be displayed for all the public to see. Some national security issues obviously should be kept under wraps, but I can’t help but scoff at the idea that President Obama and congressional leaders think it is necessary to hold these negotiations behind closed doors.

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I wouldn’t begin to speculate what kind of deal the President and Congress might come up with on the fiscal cliff. They may not even reach a deal and we may plunge over the cliff, for better or for worse. To be sure, whatever they decide to do or not to do, it will affect all of us, in some way or another. Do we not deserve to know what they are talking about? I believe we do, but just as they did in the negotiations before Obamacare was shoved down our throats, our political leaders have retreated behind closed doors. We are still getting the shaft on Obamacare and I look for more of the same when the closed doors are opened and we are informed what they have agreed upon about the fiscal cliff.

About LD Jackson

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LD Jackson has written 2053 posts in this blog.

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Founder and author of the political and news commentary blog Political Realities. I have always loved to write, but never have I felt my writing was more important than in this present day. If I have changed one mind or impressed one American about the direction our country is headed, then I will consider my endeavors a success. I take the tag line on this blog very seriously. Above all else, in search of the truth.

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2 Pingbacks/Trackbacks

  • There could be something strange going on. With this aministration, anything goes. But, couldn’t also be because in these kinds of negotiations a lot of crazy ideas are floated just to see what the other sides reaction will be and if the public was aware, alarm bells would be going off over nothing? Just a thought.


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  • The Constitution was negotiated in extreme secrecy so it should hardly be surprising when modern governments negotiate in secret. I can understand wanting to keep some of these negotiations in secret but at the end the public needs to be allowed to look at the plan and debate it for ourselves.

    • I just can’t help but believe having these negotiations in secret is a slight to the American people. Whatever decision they reach, it is going to affect each and every one of us. We have a right to know how they are going about that reaching that decision.

  • Dragonconservative

    To be fair, if I were in that position, I’d want to keep the negotiations secret in order to prevent the court of public opinion from swaying the negotiations at all. The politicians need to focus in getting the job done, not on getting re-elected. If word of the negotiations reached the public, no doubt there would be some who would be crying blood over the fact that the negotiations weren’t going the way they wanted. However, when the negotiations are finished, I fully expect Congress and the executive branch to reveal all of the details of what went on.

  • I personally believe the negotiations are in secret because they already have the framework for the deal in place and all that’s going on behind closed doors is information sharing about the status of selling the crap plan to members of each party’s caucus. Additionally it allows them to slow leak the framework of the plan to the public to see the reaction and to use it to appease their own constituents. If the plan needs minor adjustments based on the reaction of the people they have time to do it. They have been doing this for a long time in Washington because that’s what politicians do. They know how to play this game.

    The second possibility is they want to keep the public in the dark because an uniformed electorate is easily controlled and manipulated. They can be lead in the direction they want them to go.

    • I hope you are wrong, John. To think they already have a deal and are only manipulating public opinion with their antics sickens me. This is certainly not how our government is supposed to work.

  • Steve Dennis

    I think John is probably right on this, a deal is already made and the two parties are probably colluding on how to best sell this to the American people. At this point I don’t think there is much difference between the parties and they are playing a game of chess while using the American people as pawns.

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  • These negotiations need to be in full view on the television screen. But I do wonder if most Americans give a damn at this point.

    • You may very well be right. Most Americans probably don’t even care about what is going on and what the ramifications will be.

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