August 4, 2011 11:38AM

More Cost Data and Better Debt Insight

Data‐​transparent government is still a ways off, but some small steps forward are underway. To wit, my project Wash​ing​ton​Watch​.com, which is adding new data going to the costs of bills in Congress.

As detailed in an announcement that went up this morning, many more bills on the site will have cost estimates associated with them, the product of research being done at the National Taxpayers Union Foundation. Some bills spend pennies or less per U.S. family. Some spend $5,000 per family and more. Wouldn’t you like to know which are which?

The site has also begun displaying national debt information on a per‐​family, per‐​person, and per‐​couple basis. Your individual (official) debt—just for being an American—is about $45,000 dollars, your real debt far higher.

I’ll have much more to say on government transparency in the coming months. In the meantime, people may do their part to avoid the next calamitous debt ceiling debate by following the day‐​to‐​day, month‐​to‐​month, and year‐​to‐​year in Congress using resources like Wash​ing​ton​Watch​.com. Shrinking our disastrously run and bloated government is a long game that starts with small steps. Channel your outrage productively, friends.