An overwhelming majority of voters want full and open reporting on how Recovery Act funds are spent at federal and state levels, according to a nationwide survey conducted last week on behalf of the Coalition for an Accountable Recovery. Further, roughly eight in 10 voters say that making the U.S. government more accountable and more open to average citizens should be a high priority for the new administration; four out of 10 said it is "one of the most important priorities."
The demand for greater transparency in the recovery package reaches across partisan, geographic and demographic divides. Republicans, independents, and Democrats alike strongly support the inclusion of tracking and reporting requirements to ensure federal money is effectively spent and has a positive impact on the economy:
- Three-quarters of voters (76 percent) believe that "creating a national Web site where citizens can see what companies and government agencies are getting the funds, for what purposes, and the number and quality of jobs being created or saved" would have an important impact on the package, including 39 percent who believe its impact would be extremely important.
Support for state transparency Web sites to monitor recovery funds received almost equally high marks, again from Republicans, independents and Democrats:
- Fully 76 percent of American voters said creating state level Web sites to track funds was "important," and 34 percent said it was "very important."
"Whether or not we agree with the stimulus bill's priorities, officials at the federal and state levels must assure taxpayers that their hard-earned money will be used in a responsible manner," said National Taxpayers Union Government Affairs Manager Andrew Moylan. "The best way to do this is to make information on stimulus spending transparent and easily available to the public in a searchable online format."
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