Think Tank Launches Government Transparency Website

JACKSON – A new website will “allow Mississippi taxpayers to see exactly how their money is spent by their state government,” according to the head of the organization that created the site.

Forest Thigpen, President of the Mississippi Center for Public Policy, said the site, called SeeTheSpending.org, will provide an easy way for all residents of the state to help the legislature identify areas where the state budget could be cut.

“We have created an easy-to-use format for people to explore state spending, trusting that a multitude of eyes will find items that could be eliminated from the state budget,” Thigpen said. “It is critical, especially under current circumstances, that the state spend our taxes only on essential functions of government and eliminate those that are outside the proper role of government and those that are simply nice to have if you can afford them.”

Thigpen said information on SeeTheSpending.org was obtained directly from the state government, though the Mississippi Center for Public Policy is a private, non-profit organization that receives no funds from government agencies for its operations. The Center reimbursed the state for the computer programming costs that were necessary to fill their request for this data.

SeeTheSpending.org allows searches of state spending for any or all of the past seven fiscal years and is updated monthly. Additional information, including county and school district spending, will be added in the future.

“We believe America’s Founders were right when they said that the legitimate power of government comes from the consent of the governed,” said Thigpen. “But in order to exercise that power appropriately, ‘the governed’ need to know what their government is doing. SeeTheSpending.org is a powerful tool to help people see what their government is doing.”

The Mississippi Center for Public Policy is an independent, non-profit organization based in Jackson. It works to advance the ideals of free markets, limited government, and strong traditional families. Its work, including SeeTheSpending.org, is supported by voluntary, tax-deductible contributions. To learn more, visit www.mspolicy.org.

9/29/10
Mississippi Center for Public Policy’s