Sen. Coburn Wants to Publish Government Spending on the Web

This is a partial transcript from "Your World with Neil Cavuto," July 11, 2006, that was edited for clarity.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Well, you want to get the tax cuts working? Well, you cut the spending, as both my guests seemed to intimate.

My next guest has a plan to do just that. He wants to show all government spending right on the Web. He's Republican Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma.

Senator, how would this work?

SEN. TOM COBURN, R-OKLA.: Well, it creates a Google site, actually, a Google site for federal spending, where all contracts and all grants are available to the American public, not just this year, but in the past years, so you can put on a name, and you can find out how much money they got and where it was spent. And it's your money.

CAVUTO: Well, how is that different than what we have got already, Senator?

This really details it; is that it?

COBURN: It details — you can't get it.

CAVUTO: Oh, I see.

COBURN: You cannot get it on the total — you can go to get parts of it. You can't find out where the money was spent or how it was spent.

So, this creates sunshine. And the people that oppose this, the only reason you would oppose this is, you have something to hide. And this is American taxpayers' money. They ought to know and be able to find out when and where and how it was spent.

CAVUTO: All right. So, I'm an average taxpayer. I want to see how this is done. I am going to be able to look at what? I mean, I want to see exactly where money is being allocated. What am I looking at?

COBURN: Well, you can look at it in several different ways. You can say, I want to find out how many grant were for museums, and how much money, and where it went, what cities it went, went to, and what it was spent on.

Or, if you want to look at a defense industry company, you can look up Lockheed Martin. And other than those for national security purposes, you could see all the contracts and all the grants, and where it was spent, and the subcontracts for it.

CAVUTO: So, why isn't there a clarion call to make this, like, law now? I mean, it would seem to be very transparent, for voters to be able to see exactly what you guys are spending money on. Who is fighting it?

COBURN: Well, I think process is one.

And, number two, not everybody wants all the contracts to be seen. The connection between the defense industry and all the other industries, not just defense, but the industries associated with our foreign aid, which is a big domestic industry here, where we spend most of the money on the industry and very little on the actual foreign aid.

CAVUTO: All right.

COBURN: So, the people don't want the sunshine.

And I believe the sunshine will help us control the growth. And it will also help show where we're actually making good and smart decisions about how we're spending our money.

CAVUTO: All right. It sounds like a great idea.

Senator, thank you very much.

COBURN: Thank you.

CAVUTO: Senator Tom Coburn on Capitol Hill.

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