When President Bush signed the bill into law last Tuesday, the freshman lawmaker scored his first solo victory in his longtime campaign to increase government accountability.
It was a big day for Obama, D-Ill., who has partnered with other senators on previous acts but never authored successful legislation himself.
"I finally got a bill passed," he told The Associated Press.
The legislation, proposed in conjunction with Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., will create a Web site designed to allow Americans to search a comprehensive database of government grants, contracts, insurance, loans and financial assistance. The act is slated to go into effect by no later than January 1, 2008.
"He's thrilled that it passed," said Tommy Vietor, Obama's press secretary, in an interview with The Daily Illini. "It represents a bipartisan effort to make government spending more transparent for everyday Americans as well as the media."
The public's reaction to the provisions of the act has been positive.
"I think (the law) sounds like a good idea," said Erinn Mitchell, sophomore in LAS and a registered voter in Illinois. "It's a mystery where the money is. Especially given the history of Illinois, it's understandable why he's proposing it. People want to know where their money is going."
Despite Obama's collaboration with his Republican colleagues and widespread public support, several lawmakers anonymously threatened to pigeonhole the legislation before it ever reached the Senate floor.
"The opposition held the bill up for awhile, but thanks to the support of bloggers on both the left and the right, (Obama) was finally able to get it passed," Vietor said.
So the question for Connecticut taxpayers is, "Where does the money go?"
A site made possible by Obama's bill called USSpending.gov gives us a breakdown.
Connecticut is one of the original thirteen states (one of the stripes on the flag) so you and I are wondering where we rank, say, one through fifty in terms of federal "assistance" (a euphemism for getting tax money back). Well, you'll notice that nothing in CT ranks in the top fifty, nor in the top 100.
But you will notice almost a billion dollars to Air India Limited, STAPLCOTN a cotton subsidy gets approx. $700M, AIR CANADA gets a cool half billion as does PUERTO RICO DEPT OF EDUCATION and JET AIRWAYS (INDIA) PVT. LTD. and oil rich assets in the Gulf States such as EMIRATES AIRLINE get approx 270M per year.
Now you might be thinking that high-rollers like Christopher Dodd and Joe Lieberman would ensure that Connecticut - whose population is larger than Alaska (whose citizens pay ZERO state taxes), with some of America's poorest cities, whose schools need infrastructure funds, special education funding, and whose overburdened taxpayers need tax relief - would get a fair share of what they've put in for education.
Well, they obviously don't and it is inexplicable and inexcusable.
When Puerto Rico's (not a state) Department of Education is subsidized more heavily than an actual state then there's something seriously askew in Washington.
When foreign airlines are subsidized to import cheap labor to take American's worker's jobs with American tax payer's dollars the term of betrayal is a Washington double-cross.
And when American public education is used as a scapegoat to obfuscate the funneling of tax dollars to undermine American student's ability to compete on a fair playing field, that level of betrayal is the triple-cross.