Regardless of your political affiliation, it would be hard to make a case against the idea behind Recovery.gov.

SEC. 1226. RECOVERY.GOV. (a) REQUIREMENT TO ESTABLISH WEBSITE.— The Board shall establish and maintain a website on the Internet to be named Recovery.gov, to foster greater accountability and transparency in the use of funds made available in this Act.

You can read a little more about it at OpenCongress.org.


Just putting the data out there is one thing, but they also have the following mandate: "The website shall provide data on relevant economic, financial, grant, and contract information in user-friendly visual presentations to enhance public awareness of the use funds made available in this Act." This will be tremendously helpful if done well. Hearing about spending ones, tens and hundreds of millions, billions and trillions of dollars is tough to digest without context. Those amounts always seem like a lot (and rightly so), but when they are covered in the media it tends to be an abstract number. A reference point or a comparison can lead to surprising realizations about how some of the amounts compare. One of the best examples of this I've seen is the Death and Taxes maps. (That one is from 2004.) The Recovery.gov web site is based around the bail out money. I hope that it is expanded to cover all our Tax spending. I, for one, would like to have a better grasp on where my tax dollars are going.