Friday, September 22, 2006

11 Billion Reasons To Oppose REAL ID

As if we needed even the single reason that a National ID scheme was a honkin' bad idea, here comes the National Governors Association, the National Conference of Legislatures and even the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators to put a price tag on REAL ID. More than $11 billion over a five year period and that's just the cost in tax dollars. The average citizen being forced to obtain a REAL ID compliant drivers license will likely spend a couple of hundred dollars or better and lose who knows how much time.

The Washington Post is reporting that the cost to re-ID 750,000 transportation and port workers will be in the area of $140 each. The costs for government workers will run $100-150 to make them all compliant...and that's just more tax dollars and time, (which boils down to money). REAL ID just keeps getting worse and worse, despite the protestations of its perpetrator, James Sensenbrenner. As with any government program we can look for the real price tag on this one to continue to climb, especially when we factor in lost productivity due to extremely long waits, system failures and multiple visits. How many people possess, at this time a certified copy of their birth certificate and all the other necessary documentation that will be required?

What will these new licenses cost the average person? Hard to say, but it will likely be well over $100, especially when you start factoring in lost time, cost of obtaining documentation and the rest. The cost to each state will be much higher and will ultimately fall right back into the taxpayers laps, as usual.

The cost in lost freedom will be much greater. Failure to comply with the National ID scheme, (its supporters have now ceased even attempting to say that it is not a National ID) will result in people being barred from a variety of places and things. They'll be unable to fly, enter federal facilities and possibly even be denied any federal services, such as Social Security. The entire REAL ID scheme rests on our new Department of Homeland Security to draft requirements for new ID's, something its creators failed to do. The creation of this Homeland Security ID, which is what it boils down to, should be of great concern to everyone. It puts one last nail in the illusion of 50 independent and sovereign states. DHS has already established offices in every state and most large towns and cities. As someone who has lived under communist rule, in police states and in Middle Eastern dictatorships all of this looks exceedingly familiar to me. "You want the papers you must have? Show us some more money."

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