Bless her heart. This month, Rep. Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) introduced the Retirement Security for Today’s Four-Year-Olds Act of 2011, which seeks to curb the next generation’s sense of entitlement. This bill seeks to change the definition of retirement age under the Social Security Act to 70, as of January 1, 2069. The title is a bit misleading since it affects more than today’s four-year-olds. People turning 70 in 2069 were born in 1999, meaning they will be turning 12 this year. Yes, another grievance for today’s pre-teens to add to the long list of injustices that have befallen them. I’m sure Dick Clark will be long gone come New Year 2069, so as the New Year’s Eve Ball descends down on Times Square, he should be spared the collective whine: I want to retire and I want it now!
The Administration’s policy on openness is quite broad:
“President Obama and Attorney General Holder have directed agencies to apply a presumption of openness in responding to FOIA requests. The Attorney General specifically called on agencies not to withhold information just because it technically falls within an exemption and he also encouraged agencies to make discretionary releases of records. The Attorney General emphasized that the President has called on agencies to work in a spirit of cooperation with FOIA requesters. The Office of Information Policy at the Department of Justice oversees agency compliance with these directives and encourages all agencies to fully comply with both the letter and the spirit of the FOIA. President Obama has pledged to make this the most transparent Administration in history.”
Show of hands – who here thinks Sunshine Week marks the horrible time of year we drag ourselves out of bed after “losing” an hour of sleep with the change to Daylight Saving Time? Okay, sorry, those of you with your hands up, put them down, you’re wrong. Sunshine Week is actually a national initiative designed to promote a dialogue about the importance of open government and freedom of information. Started in 2005, Sunshine week is celebrated annually in March and coincides with National FOIA Day and James Madison’s birthday.
There are a variety of events held all over the country during Sunshine Week , a round up of which can be found at the Sunlight Foundation site. That said, to participate, you don’t need to attend an event, all that’s required is that you do something to engage in a discussion about the importance of open government. Check out Sunshine Week’s Local Heroes to see examples of what other folks have done to engage in the conversation.
Want to Learn More? Check out these additional Sunshine Week resources.