The idea that private negotiations to cut the deficit are somehow bad is fatuous and ill-considered.

Elephant_vs._DonkeyThis week, Democratic and Republican congressional leaders began appointing the members of the so-called “supercommittee” — the latest blue-ribbon commission assigned to tackle the deficit problem, this one created by the recent debt-ceiling legislation. Even before the appointments were announced, there was plenty of chest bumping from both sides, Republicans vowing never to consider tax increases and Democrats swearing to protect entitlement programs. So it’s hard enough to believe that the supercommittee is going to manage to strike any kind of agreement.

But if there’s one thing that could worsen the odds, it’s the suddenly popular notion that the committee’s deliberations ought to be thrown open to the public. “[F]rom the conversations I’ve had with the other leaders of both parties, I can tell you there’s a strong commitment to having open hearings and a public process,” House Speaker John Boehner told his members on Monday.

That’s an absolutely terrible idea.

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Source: Joshua Green | The Atlantic