President Obama promised to run a “transparent” government, issuing an open government directive that was intended to contrast his stewardship with the “secrecy” of the Bush presidency. Critics have noted that the promise has often been honored more in the breach than in the observance.
President Obama says a shutdown of the government would have dire consequences for the American people — but his White House is telling agencies not to talk about what those consequences are.
In e-mails from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) last month, agencies were told their statements to Congress “should not state or imply what functions would or would not be continued in the event of a funding gap.”
One such e-mail, sent to the Selective Service System on Feb. 24, is one of the few documents released in response to Freedom of Information Act requests that USA TODAY sent to 92 federal agencies last month.
We’re half way through the government’s Fiscal Year 2011 budget, and still operating on continuing resolutions from FY10 because the last Congress had better things to do than fund the federal government. Which is killing the uniformed services’ modernization and maintenance plans, by the way. And now it’s set to impact you, directly.
So, if you think you’ll be needing anything from the federal government in the near future, you’d better get cracking. There’s a better than even chance that the lights are going to go out in two weeks time, and the bureaucracy has been forbidden from talking about what impact that will have on you, the taxpayer.
This probably has something to do with your “need to know.”
And yes: You’ll still need to file that 1040 on time. Regardless of whether there will be anyone to carry the mail, or anyone to open it.