On Tuesday, our president met behind closed doors with CEOs from Google, Twitter and Apple, among other tech experts, to discuss what can be done about the poor performance of the healthcare start, and the National Security Agency collecting phone records on Americans. I suppose we never will know what was discussed unless it turns out to be something that can be portrayed as positive. I don't know about everyone else, but I am fed up with all of the closed door meetings by our elected officials.
Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., came up with a budget deal that the Congress approved on Tuesday. There hasn't been a budget for five years and now we are passing a two-year budget. I doubt any of our congressional representatives read the entire bill, but WE are the ones who are stuck with it. We will continue to add to the debt with promises that cuts will be made in the future. Wow, I am really impressed.
I appreciate the fact that there are some things that must be negotiated in secret, but it seems that now almost everything is negotiated in secret and the voting time is so short that it is impossible to read the bill. CSPAN covers the general meetings of both houses, but more often than not, the discussions that we want to hear are not covered.
To add to the secrecy, the White House press corps has not been allowed to have photographers in selected meetings. The official White House photographers pass out photos they have taken. That is not quite the same because they can be posed for effect and to make a point for the administration.
Remember that the "Obamacare" bill was passed with a lot of secrecy and the actual vote took place on Christmas Eve with not a single Republican voting for it in either the Senate or House. Also remember that then-speaker Nancy Pelosi said that we had to pass the bill to learn what was in it. We are now learning what is in it and we do not like it. Sen. Murray is saying much the same for the current budget when she says that reducing the cost of living allowance for military retirees to include those retired because of wounds should not have happened, but that that will be corrected in the near future. I'm sure they are waiting with bated breath.
There does not seem to be any accountability for actions that have gone astray. The IRS scandal saw no one held accountable. The same is true for the NSA fiasco and the rollout of Obamacare. We were promised this would be the most open administration in history. It seems that promise is much like the promise that we could keep our insurance and doctors if we liked them. Trust must be earned on a daily basis. James Kouzes and Barry Posner have conducted extensive research on leadership throughout the world. According to their research the top attribute expected of leaders is integrity. That includes doing what you said you would do and being where you said you would be. Integrity cannot be faked for any length of time. As Abraham Lincoln stated: "You can fool some of the people all the time and all the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time." I think we are finally discovering that fact.
Donald J. Myers is a retired colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps and a regular columnist for Hernando Today. He lives in Spring Hill and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.