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Senators' tax break ideas top secret for 50 years

Super committee member Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) gestures to the media as he arrives at the meeting between Republican and Democratic members of the 'Super Committee', or Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, on November 21, 2011 on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.

This final note today, in which the Senate fails to fully grasp the meaning of representative democracy.

Tax reform is in the works. Recommendations from senators to the Finance Committee as to which tax breaks they favor and which they oppose are due tomorrow.

Should you be interested in knowing, however, who prefers what: Tough beans. Chairman Max Baucus, Democrat, and ranking Republican Orrin Hatch have promised senators their recommendations will be kept secret for 50 years. Each will be given its own ID number and kept on encrypted, password-protected servers.

Now, maybe it's just me, but isn't this whole idea that they get to do non-national security, non-investigative stuff completely in secret kind of ... nuts?

About the author

Kai Ryssdal is the host and senior editor of Marketplace, public radio’s program on business and the economy.
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Fifty years is an awfully long time for hackers to work on breaking the encryption. It might be interesting to start a pool on how soon this stuff breaks free and leaks out.

Ditto namsmog. I now see that it is necessary to eliminate ALL tax deductions for business and individuals to get real tax reform. No loop holes, no tax deferrals. The only legislation will be ,the rate. Government will have to rethink how it works since it uses tax policy to implement its desires . Legislation will have to survive on its own merits. Thank you Kai

I wonder if a Freedom of Information Act request is stronger than any promise of secrecy. I can't imagine any possible reason that there would be a need to keep this vote secret. Anybody want to write a FOIA request? Of course, they'll probably claim that these are working documents, or something.....

Outrageous!! If you can't do the people's business out in the open, get the hell out of the Senate! Baucus and Hatch are very sad excuses for public officials. And, the rest of them...all derps!!

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