Universal ID

By:  TheFistOfFreedom
Writing for - OneAmericanPatriot

SAN JOSE, California -- As soon as someone brings up the concept of an ID card, especially a universal one, the anguished cry goes up that this is either Stalinist or invasive.  "Preserve our freedoms", they shriek!  No, "Papers please!"  And so the braying goes.  By way of reply, let me propose the ACID test (American Citizenship Identification Device).

How about we think this thing through once or twice.  It's a long step from having an ID, and having someone demand, "Papers please!"  And I for one have enough faith in our elected leadership to know that such a step isn't likely. As it is, we already have defined ID.  A drivers license, for instance, so that you may demonstrate proof of competency to drive.  A passport.  So that you may demonstrate your competency to travel to and from foreign lands.  A Social Security number, so that you may demonstrate proof of your competency to be a working citizen.  And there are more.

All that these various forms of identification do is to announce to any competent authority or someone else with the right to know, who you are.  Try telling a cop that you're not going to show your DL when asked.  See how quickly you're rounded up and put into detention while you and your entire life are scrutinized and brought current.  Not much different than getting asked for, "Your papers, please!"  And when you don't have them, you find yourself a guest of the old KGB.  Everyday we have to either prove who we are or be able to substantiate that we're competent to do one thing or another.  How about one that substantiates your competency to be an American citizen?

And for those that think that somehow you're "right to privacy" is being intruded upon, you're going to need to get both a clue and a life.  If you were reported missing, within the day, the agencies entrusted with your recovery will have access to your phone records; your credit card records; your bank records; your medical records; and so on...  Not much that they can't, don't, or won't find out about in order to find you.  And surely, if government mischief in that direction were to be allowed to "run amok", it would be little different than what would happen if you were lost.  Just go ahead and try to rent a movie or car if you don't have a drivers license or credit card.  Try to purchase a ticket and use it to board an airplane without ID.  Go to the library and check out a book.  Try to LEGALLY enter another country.  Try to cash a check.  There are a myriad of times and places where you're asked to verify just who you are.  What you're doing there.  So why can't we demand that folks walking the streets among us are also citizens?

We need a ready and valid ID or ability to determine our identity for at least these reasons:

  1. Drivers license
  2. Credit and/or financial operations
  3. Leave or enter the country
  4. Pay taxes or get a refund.

In order to preserve the sanctity of our individual American citizenship and to streamline our tax structure, I propose that we do the following:

  1. Put the Federal government back to doing what it's supposed to be doing.  Out of our lives, bedrooms, schoolrooms, churches, colleges, businesses, and back to taking an overview approach to ensuring our sovereignty and security, managing our military, and through that dealing with foreign countries.  In such an "service" setting, they are uniquely positioned to set the limits of what information is to be maintained for each citizen and/or visitor.  We must charge our government to enumerate and codify the content of what information is kept on each of us.  They would mandate the nature, content, and form of a credit card like and style, identity card.  The technical aspects on how the data on it is to be stored, and who & how it can be retrieved would be determined by the feds.
  2. For starters, it should have your picture, name and address, bio-info (height, weight, color of hair&eyes), thumb-print, and any validations (can drive car, truck, motorcycle, airplane, dirigible, boat, etc).  This is already on/about my the California drivers license that I currently possess.  So nothing new there.  The Feds would set the general format, and each state would be free to organize or decorate the visible surface of their own cards as they see fit.  This same sort of scheme has already been used with great success for license plates.  So this shouldn't be a major stumbling block.
  3. To that I would add a full spread of fingerprints and possibly other information; DNA comes to mind.  Given today's technology, that wouldn't prove any challenge at all.
  4. Since each of us is a part of the whole that is the citizenry of the United States, it should come as no shock that we can use this ID card to great effect by using it for tax collection purposes as well.  So this card would double as a tax ID.  Every LEGAL, VALID taxpayer already has a Social Security card.  So adding that info would be nothing new.  Even children now have SS numbers.  So, except for encoding it onto our identity card, there's nothing new here.
  5. Only citizens of this great land are entitled to vote.  So using it as an identity card for voting should be no great stretch.  This will ensure that only legal, authentic Americans got to vote in American elections.

The tie-in to taxes:  Taxes, unfortunately, are a necessary evil.  The problem is how they're administered.  As an American citizen, I have a fiduciary duty to pay the taxes that fuel my government and services.  For the moment, I shall leave the discussion of who should pay and how much, for another day.  The point of this missive is to define the mechanism.  Once we determine who the citizens are, the rest gets easier.  Congress, in their "oversight" mode and out of their more typical "meddlesome" mode, will be required to set a finite limit for a dollar amount of taxes that must be paid, and a percentage of what needs to be paid by EVERY American taxpayer.  This number could only be changed by a 2/3's vote of congress, AND the express approval of the American people. 

Just taking numbers out of the air, let us say, $50,000 as the "tax-free" value, and a TAX-RATE of 17% on any charge over the tax-free value.  That means that the first $50,000 you spend, no taxes would be collected.  After that, whatever the local tax rate is will automatically be added to your bill.  Just like it's already done today.  By making your card a simple to use and easy to swipe card, those having "purchased" less than the tax grace value would escape taxes.

Additional variations and benefits:  No American citizen should be required to have to carry and/or use identification.  So if you decide to get one, or not, that's each Americans right to decide.  OTOH; this ID is also your drivers license, you're not required to drive either.  Or vote.  Or be able to check out a video tape.  Or leave or return to the country.  Or get your tax break.  So you see, your "freedoms" remain intact.

With a valid, numbered, hard piece of identity, theft of same would be impossible.  All one would need to do is present it at any authorized verification station.  Since they're unique, no one could use it without your knowledge, since duplicate usages would be immediately flagged, and the perpetrator immediately nabbed.  This would derail the burgeoning identity theft trade.

By getting a "break" on the first $50,000 in expenditures, those with low incomes are protected.  And the mega-rich (Kennedy & Kerry come to mind) would have to actually pay taxes, as opposed to avoiding them by keeping their wealth off-shore as they do now.

Children would have their own cards, and could have them either from birth or at least by the time they're ready for school.  A child's parents are an easily quantified and known entity.  Their cards can be linked to the parents.  This would derail the trade in stolen or "missing" children.

I would be most proud to be identified as an American citizen

In summation; Let me say first and foremost, as a legal immigrant, that I'm neither anti-immigrant nor anti-Mexican.  I am sympathetic to their plight.  But this constant eroding of our sovereignty has got to stop!  If nothing else, this easy pathway for terrorist access into the heart of our country has got to be raising some red flags somewhere!  If not, then perhaps a change of leadership is in order. 

But then again, this is just my opinion.  While you may not like my solution, at least I have one...

Posted: 06.Feb.07